GTPulse: Norte Will Begin Local Can Pickup by Bike Next Month

I keep all of my cleaning supplies underneath the kitchen sink, and when the particular kind of boredom strikes where I want to clean, I rummage around looking for glass cleaner, disinfectant and whatever else I may need that day. A few days ago I opened that cabinet door and a mass of empty pop, sparkling water and beer cans flooded out. I contemplated what I would do with them since taking them to return isn’t an option now or for the foreseeable future. How can I truly have a clean apartment if I know there’s a secret fortress of cans waiting to pop out and take over at any moment? They’ll dethrone me, throw me out and play their music too loud at the distress of my neighbors. I’m being dramatic (and weird), of course, but I don’t have to worry about the cans much longer. Norte will be collecting cans by bike soon and I’ll be happy to get rid of them.

Ty Schmidt, founder of Norte, has been using the outdoors as a way to keep the quarantine blues at bay. 

“Me personally, and Norte in general, have been very grateful to be quarantined in a place like Northern Michigan. Outside is still not canceled. Walking and biking with your family or by yourself is more important than ever, so that’s what’s keeping me sane.”

Collecting the cans is a way to support Norte in these tough times. It’s also a way to keep cans out of a landfill. Being home has made me more aware of my surroundings and what I like and don’t like about how it looks. Working and living in a messy environment can be stressful, and I know I’m not alone in those feelings. I think sometimes when we clean our spaces we just want everything unnecessary gone and it can be tempting to toss it all without considering what could be recycled.

“We’re gonna launch it in Traverse City, in Elk Rapids and in Northport. Each one of those communities is a little different, Traverse City proper, Elk Rapids village limits and Northport village limits. Norte is trying to tell the story that bikes are more than toys or status symbols, and that bikes are functional and can do things like haul Christmas trees and cans. I had five or six people ask me, ‘is anyone picking up cans? What do we do with these?’”

Ty, and a crew of Norte riders will be picking up and hauling cans by bike by scheduled pickup in early May. If you have a mountain of cans piling up, don’t throw them away! Pickups are scheduled online, and a $10 donation is asked for. Physical contact won’t be necessary and someone from Norte will reach out to you to coordinate a day and time that works best.

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘that sounds fun! I want to do that!’ and you can. Norte would love to have you help out with can collection, and they’ll provide a bike, trailer, gloves, bags and hand sanitizer.

“You provide the horsepower.”

If you’re collecting or donating, you can feel good about it in more ways than one. The money from the donations and cans will go to Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library, you’re keeping trash out of landfills and supporting a local nonprofit that gives back to the community. That calls for a beer.


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Categories: GTPulse