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In June the Beaver Island Transfer Station and Recycle Center will officially celebrate the launch of its Single Stream Recycling Program. The  single-stream sorting and recycling system exemplifies the Transfer Station’s commitment to recovering value from waste materials.

The old recycling process required Transfer Station customers to pre-sort recyclables by type of material –cardboard, mixed paper, plastic, glass, tin, metal etc. – and then deposit them into specially marked receptacles when they arrive at the Station.

Single-stream recycling streamlines and simplifies the process of collecting and processing recyclable materials.  Studies have found that communities that use the Single Stream process increase recycling rates.

In the single-stream system being introduced at the Island’s Transfer Station, residents and commercial customers may now place recyclables in a single container at the Station.  Plus residents no longer need to pre sort and separate recyclable materials at their homes, workplaces or the Transfer Station.   When recyclables arrive at the Transfer Station, the new single stream equipment, screens, separates, sorts and processes newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard, plastic (#’s 1-7), aluminum, metal, tin, and glass, which are then shipped off island for reuse. At the Transfer Station residents can use any recycle bin to deposit all types of recyclables.  Green bags still need to be used for food waste, soiled cardboard, such as pizza boxes, wire, broken glass, styrofoam, plastic peanuts, used paper products, such as soiled paper towels, and other non-recyclable materials.

“Waste is no longer something to get rid of – it’s a resource. That’s why the Transfer Center and Recycle Center is implementing innovative solutions such as single-stream recycling to benefit our island communities and the customers we serve,” said Waste Management Committee Chair Paul Cole. “We are pleased to make the investment in our facility to help keep Beaver Island beautiful and to move the island forward in the recycling arena.”

The Transfer Station, with assistance from Charlevoix County, invested just under $60,000 in new specialized equipment to create the single-stream operation. The Station’s single stream recycling equipment can sort and process several tons of recyclable items each month. 

“The less work the customer has to do to get these materials to the Transfer Station the more it helps increase participation.  Residents should be able significantly reduce their unloading time, ” said Station Manager Bob Marsh.  Committee member Vicky Fingeroot added, “Everyone is busy, but wants to do their part in making our island greener. My fellow committee members are excited to help make this a reality by investing in this single stream recycle process.   A clean island is a plus for our tourist economy and our residents.”

“The Transfer Station is focused on recovering more of the valuable recyclables through the single-stream recycling process,” said Doug Tilly, a member of the Waste Management Committee and Peaine Township Supervisor. “By making the process of handling recyclables simpler for local residents and businesses, the island’s Transfer Station has the potential to significantly increase local recycling participation rates, enabling us to further reduce waste, recover more material and improve the effectiveness of our municipal recycling program.” About Waste Management Committee: The seven member Waste Management Committee is a joint committee of  Peaine and St. James Townships.  The committee is made up of citizen volunteers who are appointed by the townships.  Members serve staggered 3 year terms.  The Manager of the Transfer Station is an ex-officio member of the Waste Management Committee.  The WMC is responsible for recommending policy and procedures to the townships for adoption.

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