Posts tagged ‘Local Interest’
Often well-intentioned residents try to recycle items because they know the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. However, there are a few popular holiday items that do not belong in your blue bin and a little reminder is never a bad thing.
recycle in waukesha, recycle in brookfield, recycle in delafield, recycle in pewaukee, recycle in oconomowoc,
This Saturday is America Recycles Day, a day to remind us all to recycle more. In a lurch on how to celebrate the holiday? A few humble suggestions:
- Check out what you can recycle in your community by visiting Recycle More Wisconsin if you are in Wisconsin or Earth 911 if you are not. Be sure to recycle everything you can! Recycling saves natural resources and energy.
- Find out just how many natural resources and energy you are saving by using the National Recycling Coalitions calculator. Did you know that for every aluminum can you recycle you can power a TV for 3 hours and a lightbulb for 4?
- Take the pledge with the NRC to recycle everything you can. Then let others know about your pledge by getting the badge for your blog or website.
4. Visit Waukesha County’s Materials Recycling Facility’s Open House this Saturday, November 15th, from 10 to Noon . This fun, family event allows visitors to tour the plant and see how about 23,000 tons of recyclables are sorted and baled each year so they can be sold to manufacturers to make new products. In the education room, learn how recycling saves energy, natural resources and reduces pollution. See new products made from recycled materials such as carpet and fleece clothing.
“We will have a limited number of FREE recycling bins available for Waukesha County residents so they have room to recycle more items,” states Karen Fiedler, solid waste supervisor for Waukesha County. “People who visit the recycling facility are always amazed at the amount of material county residents are keeping out of the landfill, the number of jobs recycling provides in Wisconsin, and how these materials are used for new products.” For more information, visit our website.
5. Finally, encourage others to celebrate. Unlike most holidays, no card purchasing necessary! Save resources and money by sending a fun e-card to your buddies instead.
What a beautiful time of year! I thought life would slow down now that summer is over, but quite the opposite has happened. Looking forward to the long winter, it seems as though everyone is trying to squeeze in a few last nice days outside. Even things like yardwork take on a somewhat enjoyable feel with our recent weather, but I would much rather be talking a walk, playing football, or be carving a pumpkin than raking and bagging all those leaves!
- Economically, it is very costly for municipalities to provide leaf collection and disposal to residents.
- Environmentally, picking up leaves uses a lot of natural resources. Also, when you remove leaves from your property you are also removing all of the nutrients from your yard that went into making those leaves.
- Environmentally, burning leaves creates large amounts of very small particulates that cause air pollution. This air pollution can be especially harmful for our youngest and oldest residents and anyone with asthma or heart problems. For more information about local air quality, visit the DNR’s air quality website.
- Mulch in Place. Using a sharp, regular lawn mower blade, or a special mulching blade in your regular mower, cut your grass like normal. By mowing over the leaves (sometimes requiring an extra pass) you allow them to filter down to the soil and quickly break down, getting your lawn ready for winter. This can work for a large or small amout of leaves. The key is to never let the leaves sit on the lawn for more than 4 days and once cut, to make sure that you can see the tips of the grass blades.
- Compost. Use our quick leaf composting recipe to quickly make compost out of all of your leaves. This is faster than traditional composting and allows you to use the compost on your lawn or any other plantings you will do in the spring.
Recycle MORE Wisconsin is a campaign by the Be SMART Coalition (Save Money And Reduce Trash) to encourage Wisconsinites to recycle all the types of materials that they are able to recycle. The website also has a lot of useful information on other items that can not be thrown in the trash, but also cannot be put in the blue bin. There is a video showing what happens at our MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) as well as information on the many reasons to recycle (saves energy, saves natural resources, makes money, makes jobs, etc.) Check it out at www.recyclemorewisconsin.org
Just a quick FYI – there will be a free computer drop-off program at Miller Brewing, located just off West Highland Boulevard at 38th Street and High Life Place.
If you live in Waukesha County and can not make it to this one time event, sleep easy. With proof of residency you may drop off your computer and computer components at:
- City of Waukesha Recycling Drop-off Site (900 Sentry Drive; Saturdays 8-4 & Wed. 11-7)
- City of Brookfield Highway Department (19450 Riverview Dr; Saturdays 8-5 & Tues/Thurs 1-7)
- New Berlin Recycle Center (3711 S Casper Dr; Saturdays 8-4 & Tues/Thrus 10-7)
Wow. Just when you thought there couldn’t be more water. The hubby just called and said the DOT closed some of the major roads to where we live, and the guys in transportation have been, well no pun intended, flooded with work. We have not gotten any flooding yet (a nice perk to living in an apartment), but I have been getting a lot of calls from soggy Wisconsinites wondering how to get rid of all of their washed up goods.
Carpeting – If you are looking to replace your carpeting, talk to your carpet installer to see if they will recycle your old stuff. Otherwise, it should go to a landfill. Be aware that landfills will charge you to dispose of any item. Sometimes they will charge you by the truckload and sometimes they charge you by weight.
Appliances – These can still be recycled as normal. Take them to your local scrap metal dealer or call your municipality to see if you have a place for municipal scrap metal recycling. If it is an appliance with freon, make sure to take it to a place that can handle freon. Our website has a listing of Waukesha businesses that will take different types of scrap metal. Call your municipality to check, but more often than not if you put out scrap metal on the curb it will go to the landfill. and no one wants that.
Clean, untreated wood – This stuff can usually be recycled. Another option is to get a wood chipper and make yourself some wood chips for around your yard. If life gives you lemons… or some other lame cliche like that.
Most importantly, be safe. Don’t turn on appliances that have been flooded out. Follow the instructions of safety personnel. Make sure to get all trash out of your home as quickly as possible so you don’t have further problems. Make a solution of bleach and warm water to wipe down everything to avoid the growth of mold. Also, use gloves when washing so the nasty stuff doesn’t get in contact with your skin. For more information, Waukesha County has established an informational site on the floods. It includes lots of helpful information, including the closed roads.
Best of luck, try to stay dry
Ah. The oh-so-easy third step. Recycling. In the past I have told you about the laws that govern recycling in Wisconsin. Now, clearly because you are reading this, I assume you are above the recycling curve. The best way to make sure the items in your blue bin get recycled is to know your local recycling regulations. Now, if you are a recycler in:
|the cities of||the towns of||the village of|
|New Berlin||Lisbon||Dousman||Oconomowoc Lake|
|Waukesha||Lac La Belle|
then we can talk. You are a part of the Waukesha County recycling program. Visit our website to learn what goes in the blue bin. Please note the beautiful pdf of what you can recycle. Yup. I know it looks good. I helped make that – so feel free to print a copy and post it near your trash can, recycling bin, cabinet door, family picture album, etc. Really, any place of high honor will due just fine. For all you others out there, I recommend you start with your local government’s municipal hall. If they are not in charge, they can hopefully direct you to who is.
For the most part, you are safe recycling paper (including newspaper, magazine, drink carriers, cereal boxes, cardboard, mail, office paper, and cardboard tubes), plastic bottles and jugs with a place for a twist cap (#1 & #2 only), aluminum and steel cans, and glass.
The most popular no-no’s include plastic bags, paper contaminated by food (like pizza boxes or juice containers), and lids from food containers.
Recycling just makes sense. When I give tours of the Materials Recycling Facility there will usually be one skeptic in the bunch. “But it costs too much to recycle” they say. Well, they might as well be wearing a polyester leisure suit or a hypercolor sweatshirt, because those ideas are just like the clothing: outdated. In Waukesha, recycling has been in the black to the tune of millions of bucks a year for several years. For more economic reasons to recycle, visit the Recycle MORE portion of our website. It also provides more local jobs than landfilling. Environmentally, the benefits are also huge. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to light up a light bulb for 20 hours! Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and enough energy to heat a home for 6 months.
This are the easiest items to recycle. It just makes sense. Commit to recycling one new item, like your paper towel tubes or dropping off your scrap metal to a dealer who will recycle it. Through these little actions we can all make a big difference.
O.K. Deep breath. Here come step 2. Reuse. This next R gets lumped in with reduce an awful lot, so this week I would like to give it the proper respect it deserves. A gold star for you if you have a reusable mug for coffee, and have a canvas bag for reuse while shopping. Both of these things I have talked about in the past. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of organizations that would love to get your items.
The goal is to think before you throw. Could someone else use this? For example, back in my school days I was a bit of a drama geek. Nothing on stage (your welcome), but I did a lot of crew work. I picked up valuable skills during this time, like how in less than 2 minutes I can make it look like you have a broken nose, or a bruised leg. With a mere lip liner pencil I can give you a goose egg on your forehead. Like I said, valuable skills. Another thing I spent a lot of time doing was gathering up furniture, paint, and random crap for sets. This always was a huge part of the play’s budget. If you have some extra paint or old furniture, consider your local school or drama club.
Another example of how this works really well for businesses is how U-Haul makes the idea of reuse work. U-Haul now has a box-trade program. According to this January’s Waste News (the speed in which publications get circulated to my in box is astounding!) box sales at one store actually increased 26% because customers would come in for free boxes to reuse and then realized the wide variety of sizes that U-Haul offered.
For other local organizations that take donations, consider Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul’s, and Purple Heart. These organizations accept a wide variety of home goods, clothing, and furniture. US’Again has red containers scattered throughout the greater Milwaukee and Waukesha areas for collection of dry clothing and shoes. While some are reused, lower quality items are also recycled. Homestore, associated with Habitat for Humanity, has a new store in Waukesha that takes donations of unneeded building supplies. If you are in need of building supplies, check out the Homestore and know you are keeping things out of the landfill while supporting a great cause. Last but not least, check out the Waukesha County chapter of Freecycle. Think free version of Craig’s list.
That lil list is about all I can come up with right now, but I bet you know of a bunch of other ways to reuse items – so why don’t you share? Post a comment with some of your favorite ideas.
O.K. so the point of this blog is to answer the whys and hows of recycling, encourage everyone to get involved, recycle more, help the earth, sing kum ba ya on a daily basis, etc. Most of this information is universal, but because of crazy recycling laws, some of it will not be universal. I will always give a heads-up when I am giving information that may be different in varying communities.
In the US the reason there are different recycling practices from one community to the next is because recycling came from the bottom up. For example, there are very few national directives about recycling. (Notable exceptions come through the EPA which mostly deals with waste considered hazardous) Individual states then had to make up their own laws. Some states set goals for the amount they want to recycle (i.e. IL) while other states ban recyclable items from entering landfills (i.e. WI). You can easily understand how these two different laws would create very different recycling programs.
To complicate things more, in Wisconsin the state gives ‘recycling money’ (if you will) to each ‘responsible unit’. In layman’s terms this is any size community that has enough of a population to collect waste. Any town, village, or city gets money from the state to help with their recycling program as long as they meet some basic requirements (including citizen education). Programs designed by these different responsible units can vary greatly. Some municipalities only have drop off centers where residents have to drive to a central location and sort materials into 10 to 15 different categories. Some communities offer curbside pickup that requires residents to separate paper from bottles and cans. Some communities have huge bins that all curbside recyclables can go in. Some communities offer special programs for electronic recycling and some communities offer yard waste collection. So literally, if I move down the road, recycling could be totally different. Add to that mix businesses, schools, and apartment complexes fall under TOTALLY different rules, and well, you see how complicated it gets.
When this whole recycling law came to be in 1995 in Wisconsin, 25 of the 37 communities in Waukesha County came together to unite their recycling programs. So prep, collection, and education is almost identical in these communities. This is the program I know the best because I am a resident as well as an employee.
A little confusing and overwhelming, I know, but like I said I will always explain when giving local advice and if you are not in our program I would love to pass some resources your way on how to get connected in your own community.
So it seems as though every time I move there are different rules, processes, and hoops to jump through with what I can, should, and do recycle. (Which with going to college, getting my first place, and then getting married – well lets just say I have moved a lot recently) Until 6 months ago I just guessed what I was doing was right and figured if I was wrong that it didn’t matter all that much. After all, who am I, Captain Planet? But then I got a job in the recycling field and learning about the impacts of my simple actions really changed my mind. I spent too many years of my life and way too much of my money getting a teaching degree so I could change the world and affect the future. Well, here was one more way for me to accomplish that larger goal. So slowly I have been learning how important it is to change my habits in little ways to make a big difference. I hope to share some things I have done as well as why I have done them while encouraging others to make little changes as well. Since I am new to this whole green thing I also appreciate your support and ideas because if we all make a few little and local actions, we can make a global difference.
Last year 25 communities in Waukesha County recycled around 24,000 tons of materials. But why? The easy answer is that recycling is the law in Wisconsin, but that is just part of the story. Something motivates us towards action. Each week I will cover a different aspect of recycling and environmentally friendly living. I hope to have lots of information coupled with ideas on how to make easy, little changes that will have a big impact and affect the world around us all.
Despite the picture, I am not a seven foot tall raccoon, but trust me the raccoon’s picture is a lot cuter than any I could find of myself. And it is really hard to type with those claws. The Waukesha County Recycling team and I look forward to your questions and comments.