Recycling has long been a daily habit and a state law for Wisconsinites and for good reason – recycling works! Every can, bottle and newspaper we recycle saves resources and energy, reduces the amount of waste in landfills, supplies raw materials to industry and creates jobs.
To celebrate all the great benefits of recycling, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging people across the state to participate in America Recycles Day on November 15.
“This annual event encourages Americans to waste less, recycle more and purchase recycled products,” said Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials Management Program Director. “There are lots of ways you can make a difference!”
In honor of America Recycles Day, here are 10 ways to boost the amount you and your family recycle. Try one, try several or try them all!
- Reacquaint – Take time to reacquaint yourself with your community’s recycling program. Many recycling programs have changed in recent years and now collect a wider range of recyclables and have also simplified the recycling process. See RecycleMoreWisconsin.org (exit DNR) for a list of recyclables collected in your community.
- Donate – Donate clothing, furniture or other household items you no longer use to a local nonprofit or resale store. By donating reusable items, you’re reducing waste while helping others in your community.
- Recycle more – In addition to standard materials, find out what other products your recycling program accepts. Many communities have special programs to recycle prescription medicines, electronics, scrap metal, household hazardous wastes and other materials – even athletic shoes!
- Be a thoughtful shopper – Look for products labeled with a high recycled content or that use “post-consumer” recycled materials, or buy products with minimal packaging or packaging that is easily recyclable.
- Talk to your kids – There are many ways children can recycle at home and at school. For ideas on simple activities to teach your kids about recycling, visit DNR’s EEK! Environmental Education for Kids website and search for recycling.
- Recycle your old electronics – E-Cycle Wisconsin, a program funded by electronics manufacturers, is making it easier to recycle electronics like TVs, computers and computer accessories. See DNR’s E-Cycle Wisconsin program to find a recycler near you.
- Compost – Start a compost pile with food scraps and fall yard debris. For suggestions on how to construct and maintain your own bin, see the DNR’s home composting web page.
- Ask for recycling – In places you visit frequently – your workplace, the grocery store, gas stations – ask whether they provide an opportunity for recycling. If not, ask them to put out a recycling bin for customer and employee use.
- Recycle/Reuse project waste – Recycle the debris from home construction, demolition or renovation projects. Several businesses across the state recycle or reuse shingles, construction lumber, lighting fixtures, drywall, concrete, glass and other construction materials.
- Be a recycling-friendly business – If you operate a business in Wisconsin, make sure your business is following the law and saving money by reducing waste and recycling as much as it can. Search the Wisconsin Recycling Markets Directory (exit DNR) to connect with recyclers across the state.
Recycling is easy, and with 5 million Wisconsinites taking part, it makes a big difference to the economy and the environment. For more information on America Recycles Day, including a listing of events or to list your own local event, see americarecyclesday.org (exit DNR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth Olson, 608-264-9258