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Reduce, reuse and recycle during back to school shopping and moving

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Published: August 27, 2013 by the Central Office

MADISON - As summer winds down, many families have already started their back-to-school shopping or are moving their college-aged kids to a new city or apartment. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recycling specialists have extra tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle more and throw away less.

"We know it's a busy time for students and their families," said DNR Recycling Outreach Coordinator Elisabeth Olson. "But with just a little planning, you can reduce waste and save money."

Olson said the DNR's back-to-school suggestions include:

  • reuse paper, folders, backpacks and calculators from last year when you can; if purchasing new supplies, look for those made from recycled content, and those that use minimal packaging;
  • use reusable food and beverage containers for school lunches;
  • donate or recycle clothes and supplies that are still in good, usable condition;
  • recycle old electronics; E-Cycle Wisconsin, a DNR program, makes recycling electronics easier by providing a list of collection locations across the state for items like computers, printers, cell phones and more; and
  • talk to your children about the importance of waste reduction and recycling, and to their teachers about teaching and using recycling principles in the classroom. For potential recycling activities, see the agency's EEK!—Environmental Education for Kids! website.
  • Moving suggestions include:
  • develop a plan to pack and organize what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of; having a moving plan will give you more time to think about what to throw away or donate, what to reuse and what to recycle;
  • reuse boxes, cloth bags or plastic containers from move to move and use reusable or recyclable materials - like newspaper and T-shirts - to package fragile items; and
  • donate or recycle old electronics, furniture and other household items. Check with your local recycling program to see if they have a special recycling or reuse collection event to make it easier to reuse and recycle.

More information and ideas are available by searching the DNR website for Recycling for all Seasons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth Olson, 608-264-9258

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Last Revised: Tuesday, August 27, 2013