Waste Reduction Tips

Wisconsin is a leader in recycling – to remain at the forefront, each of us can do more. View ideas on further reducing your waste stream:

  • Reduce the risk that hazardous materials leftover in the home can pose when not stored or disposed of properly by reading labels for warnings and disposal instructions and buying only what is entirely needed.
  • Eliminate open burning. Burning even brush can cause pollution and health problems for you or your family and neighbors. It is illegal to burn treated wood, plastic, household garbage and most all other trash. State law allows burning of clean wood or brush and non-recyclable paper, but local ordinances may be more stringent than statewide requirements.
  • Recycle electronics. Keep these out of the landfill by recycling your used electronics, cell phones, fluorescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Your public works department or recycling program should have information about recycling options in your area.
  • Recycle used automotive materials. Used oil, oil filters, lead acid automotive batteries and used antifreeze should be recycled.
  • Reuse or recycle construction and demolition materials. Much of this material is a mix of reusable or recyclable material that should be kept out of the landfill. Habitat for Humanity Restore will gladly accept donations of your new or gently used building materials.
  • Properly manage fluorescent and other light bulbs. Many types of bulbs contain metals such as mercury at toxic levels. These bulbs should be properly disposed of to avoid contaminating the environment or harming human health.
  • Buy products in recyclable containers with as little packaging as possible. Look for packaging that can be recycled in your community and items which you can repair or reuse. Also, support recycling markets by buying and using products made from recycled materials.
  • Reduce use of disposable shopping bags and use canvas or other reusable bags instead. There are also many locations throughout Northeast Wisconsin that will recycle your plastic bags.
  • Develop yard materials and vegetable food scraps into compost. Composting is a smart way to keep valuable materials out of the landfill. Making your own compost saves you money and makes your plants happy.