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Brown Trout launches recycling bins

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Stan Mischley, manager at Alpena Resource Recovery Facility, and Peggy Donakowski, Brown Trout Festival president, place plastic cups into a recycling bin at the festival on Friday.

ALPENA — If you’re going to toss that cup somewhere, toss it in the box that says “Recycle Plastic Cups Here.”

On a mission to rid the Michigan Brown Trout Festival of plastic cup waste, festival President Peggy Donakowski teamed up with Stan Mischley, manager of the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility, to place cardboard boxes around the festival grounds for recycling plastic cups.

“We go through about 25,000 plastic cups per festival,” Donakowski said. “/so that’s what we’re hoping to recycle.”

The pair banded together quickly to make this earth-friendly mission possible.

“Peggy called last week and I said, ‘It sounds like a plan,'” Mischley said.

Pepsi donated the cardboard boxes for the cups.

“If people want to help us be plastic waste-free, then they can purchase a reusable mug at the festival,” Donakowski said.

The $4 mugs are sponsored by Don’s Tractor and Equipment Sales and D’s Honda Sales and Service, both of Alpena. Patrons pay for each refill and, in turn, save waste from hitting the landfill.

“How long do you think it takes a plastic garbage bag from Walmart to decompose?” Mischley said. “One thousand years. If you recycle it, you can take that same plastic bag and make composite lumber out of it.”

He said that, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t recycle because they see it as inconvenient. He said younger generations are recycling far more than those who have become accustomed to tossing everything into the trash.

“We’re a society of convenience,” Mischley said. “We want everything, and we want it cheap. And when we get done with it we want to throw it away, and we don’t care what happens to it.”

He said the recycling board of directors is exploring options for curbside recycling, but every plan has a cost. He said volunteers are always needed at the recycling facility.

For more information, call 989-354-2607 or visit alpenarecycling.org.

Darby Hinkley can be reached at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com or 354-3111, ext. 324.