What MORE Can I Do?

 

There is a lot to know when it comes to the products you buy.

You need to think about: • Where a product was made. • How is a product made? • How does it get from here to there? • What goes in to the product? • What happens to the product when I’m finished with it?

These questions and more are the core of an idea that has been sweeping across the country and bettering the way we manage what we consume.  This idea is called Product Stewardship.  To learn more about product stewardship click here.

We’ve all heard about the 3 R’s but what are ways that we can Reduce and Reuse in every day situations. Reduce • Choose products with fewer layers of packaging • Choose items in smaller packages like concentrated juice, soup or soap. • Buy only the food you’ll eat; shop in your own refrigerator first • Keep your old stuff so you need less new stuff. • Take good care of your stuff so it lasts. • Replace parts, not products (Is it a faster computer you need, or a faster processor?) • Enjoy magazines, newspapers and books at the library or online.

Sometimes as much as half the cost of an item pays for packaging.

Reuse • Take unwanted items to a charity or resale shop • Bring your own reusable bag, mug and water bottle • Reuse containers for leftovers • Eat leftovers. Or freeze them to eat later • Make double-sided copies and printouts • Reuse packing peanuts and bubble wrap • Take notes on scrap paper • Refill ink and toner cartridges • Have a rummage sale • Wear hand-me-downs • Use cloth napkins

Join the Waste Less Wisconsin Conservation Challenge. Learn about what Wisconsinites are doing and embark on your own challenge to help Wisconsin waste less – www.wastelesswisconsin.org.

Want to impact even more people. Coordinate a Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge and create a friendly, fun competition to see who can reduce the most waste. Go to www.reduceyourwastestream.org for details.

• Read labels and do exactly what they say. • Store products marked, “Danger,” “Warning” and “Caution” out of reach of children and pets and in their original labeled containers. • Follow disposal instructions to prevent hazardous pollution. • Choose the lease hazardous product for the job. • Make your own non-hazardous household cleaners. • Understand hazardous chemicals • Recycle electronics • Recycle fluorescent tubes and bulbs • Recycle motor oil • Choose rechargeable batteries • Recycle batteries

Medical sharps, such as needles, syringes and lancets pose an injury risk for anyone who comes into contact with these items. Large numbers of sharps are used at home, work and on the road. According to the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal, about nine million syringe users nationwide annually administer at least three billion injections outside of health care facilities.  For more information on sharps click here.

Waste pharmaceuticals include a wide variety of items such as over-the-counter and prescription medications, controlled substances and sharps. These wastes come in the form of solid pills and capsules, creams, liquids and aerosols.  These items should not be flushed down the toilet or put down the drain.  For more information from the DNR on waste pharmaceuticals click here.  For Pharmaceutical Waste Reduction information from SHWEC click here.

Call your local solid waste and recycling authority when you don’t know how to handle certain items. 

Let nature do the recycling when it comes to yard materials. • Leave grass clippings on the lawn • Mow over leaves and leave them on the lawn • Compost yard materials and kitchen scraps • Keep the air clean – never burn leaves and yard materials

Learn More About Yard Materials

There are many more items that can be recycled.  Here is information on additional items that you may want to recycle.

Hard & Soft Cover Books and Magazine Recycling

Books cannot be recycled in all paper recycling collections. Places that do recycle them have specific requirements on what needs to be done in order to recycle them. Here is a list of book recyclers around Wisconsin – hard cover, soft cover and all magazines.

  • Madison Recycling Center – 2200 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, WI / 608-252-2115
  • A-1 Recycling – 2101 W. Morgan Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53221 / 414-281-8900
  • Waukesha Recycling – 101 Tesch Court, Waukesha, WI 53186 / 262-896-8317
  • Kard Recycling – 3000 S. 163rd Street, New Berlin, WI 53151 / 262-786-7307
  • Kard Recycling – 4702 Helgesen Drive, Madison, WI / 608-274-5273
  • IROW – Cory Tomczyk – 1040 Indianhead Drive, Mosinee, WI 54455  /715-693-7123
  • Pioneer Industries Recycling – Jim Birmingham – 4875 N. 32nd Street Milwaukee, WI 53209  /414-255-2145
  • Paper Valley Recycling Center/Waste Management – 1420 Earl Street, Menasha, WI 54952 / 920-729-5005
  • A Greener Read Co. – 553 Hayward Avenue North, North Oakdale, MN 55128 / 651-702-2552

Sharps

Medical sharps, such as needles, syringes and lancets pose an injury risk for anyone who comes into contact with these items. Large numbers of sharps are used at home, work and on the road. According to the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal, about nine million syringe users nationwide annually administer at least three billion injections outside of health care facilities.

 

For more information on sharps click here.

Textiles

Although textiles are not banned from Wisconsin landfills, they are items that in many cases can easily be reused and recycled.  Majority of textile waste comes from household sources; mostly discarded clothing,  but also can includes carpets, tires, footwear, and nondurable goods such as sheets and towels.  Average lifetime of any clothing is deemed to be for about 3 years, after which, they are thrown away as old clothes. Sometimes even ‘not so worn garments’ are also discarded as they become unfashionable, or undesirable. Most recovered household textiles are sold or donated. The remaining ones go to either a textile recovery facility or the landfill.  Click here to see the Clothing Life Cycle.

Textile waste also arise during yarn and fabric manufacturing, apparel-making processes and from the retail industry. They are the post-industrial waste. Apart from these textile wastes other wastes such as PET bottles etc. are also used for recycling polyester fiber.

Curbside collection is not common for textiles in the United States.

To learn more  and see options for textile recycling click here.

Plastic Bags, Film, & Wrap Packaging

Everyday we use products that are wrapped in plastic film. You now have a solution to recycling this material. With drop offs at many retailers across the country plastic bag and film recycling has never been easier.

For more information on what types of plastic film you can recycle check out this great poster put together by the DNR: Click here

To find a drop off location near you go to: Click here