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August 16, 2011

MADISON -- August has arrived. For many families this means back-to-school shopping or a move to a new city or apartment. Although shopping for new school supplies or packing up an old home can leave you with extra waste, state recycling specialists say a little planning can help people reduce, reuse and recycle more and throw away less.

To assist people in shopping or moving, Department of Natural Resources recycling specialists have put together tips on reducing waste and finding recycling and reuse options.

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

Back-to-school suggestions include:

• Reuse paper, folders, backpacks and calculators 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. See E-cycle Wisconsin for more information.

• Share ideas about waste reduction and recycling with kids and their teachers. For potential recycling activities, see the EEK!—Environmental Education for Kids! pages of the DNR website.

Moving suggestions include:

• Develop a plan to pack and organize what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Approaching moving with a plan will give you more time to think about what to throw away, what to reuse and what to recycle. It'll save you room in the truck , too.

• Reuse boxes, cloth bags or plastic containers from move to move and use reusable or recyclable materials (including newspaper, T-shirts and others) to package fragile items.

• Reuse or dispose of hazardous materials, including paint, cleaners and other household chemicals safely. See How Do I Handle My Waste Materials for more information.

• Donate or recycle old electronics, furniture and other household items.

More tips and links to more information are available on the Go Back to School Green web page and Green Your Move webpage on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Moore, DNR Recycling Coordinator, (608) 267-7550

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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