Portage County Solid Waste Department

Topics
Resources for Businesses
Resources for Children, Parents, Schools & Educators
Partners in Waste Reduction, Recycling and Reuse
Composting & Yard Waste Management
Managing Special & Hazardous Waste Materials
Open Burning

RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
Green Business Guide
Learn how to become a "green" business, and about how doing so benefits the environment AND your bottom line.
Plastic Bag Recycling
Only a small percentage of plastic bags are currently being recycled. Plastic bags present a threat to the environment and wildlife. Information on recycling plastic bags is available at this site, as is a downloadable "toolkit" for setting up a collection location at your store.

RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN, PARENTS, SCHOOLS & EDUCATORS Wisconsin's Green & Healthy Schools Program
Is your school "green & healthy"? Find out how to sign up to put your school on the road to a better future!
Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
Resources and information on methods to safely keep and dispose of chemicals in schools.
Safe Mercury Management-State Mercury Schools Program
Resources and information on safe mercury management and options for the use of mercury-free items.
Wee Crafts
See how to make fun and interesting stuff from recyclable and non-recyclable materials.
WI DNR: Recycling Study Guide
Helpful resource for educators and parents alike.
Environmental Education for Kids
For children in grades 4-8: Surf this page to learn about the great outdoors!
Environmental Education for Kids (Educators Guide)
Resource for educators: Help students to best utilize the page.
Air Defenders-The Quest for Clean Air
For children ages 4-12: Visit this site to learn about open burning, the quality of our air and how it affects people with asthma.
Air Defenders- Resources for Educators
Air Defenders is a community education resource about open burning, air quality and asthma. In this section of the Air Defenders Web site, specifically for teachers, you'll find ways to incorporate this environmentally important information into your curriculum.
Easy Breathers
For teens and young adults: Easy Breathers is not a cheesy public service message. Real students worked in front of and behind the camera to show you some cool vehicle technologies and seriously disgusting air pollution problems.
Easy Breathers-Educators Guide
Resources for Educators: An activity/resource-based guide to the Easy Breathers site and methods for incorporating it into the classroom.
Environmental Kids Club
Great fun for kids of all ages. Learn about our environment, from the air we breathe to the water we use and everything else in-between
EPA Teaching Center
Resource for educators, with help on curriculum, workshops and background information.

PARTNERS IN WASTE REDUCTION, RECYCLING AND REUSE
The Environmental Protection Agency-Office of Solid Waste

Homepage for the federal solid waste agency, with dozens of links and sites to provide information on everything from residential garbage to hazardous materials to global climate change.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Waste Management Program
The state regulator of all things solid waste, including garbage, recycling, hazardous wastes, special wastes, landfills and recycling centers.
Recycle More Wisconsin
A  one-stop resource to educate residents on how to increase the amount and type of materials they recycle, and reasons why it makes a difference.
Recycling Connections Corporation
A non-profit organization that begun its work in Central Wisconsin in the early '80s. Formerly, Intra-State Recycling, it now serves as executive director for several state-wide organizations, with a combined mission of helping Wisconsin citizens, businesses and branches of government positively address solid waste and recycling issues.
Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW)
A nonprofit, educational coalition dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving natural resources through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.
WasteCap Wisconsin
Its mission says it all: "To turn waste into resources."
 

COMPOSTING & YARD WASTE MANAGEMENT -
A RESOURCEFUL WASTE REDUCTION STRATEGY


Help Keep America Beautiful!
Learn about composting and how it helps to reduce waste and keep our countryside beautiful.
WI-DNR Publications on Composting & Yard Waste
Helpful guides that make composting and yard waste management as easy as 1-2-3!
Home Composting Guide
Home Composting Quick Reference
Home Composting Yard Care
 
Master Composters Share Their Knowledge!
Learn the step-by-step methods employed by Master Composters!
Compost Guide: A Complete Guide to Composting
A rather lengthy site, but it contains a great deal of information about how to compost, what compost matters is made of (carbon, nitrogen, etc), and other useful information.

MANAGING SPECIAL & HAZARDOUS WASTE MATERIALS
The Portage County Solid Waste Department has many programs to accept and either recycle or safely dispose of almost all of your special & hazardous wastes. For more information please call the Scale Office at 715-343-6297. 
These departmental brochures also provide helpful information:

      Continuous Clean Sweep Brochure
      Sharps Brochure
      Permanent Drop-off Site for Unused Medications Brochure
Managing Hazardous Materials-At Home & In Your Community
From a small can of oven cleaner to tanker cars of chemicals, hazardous materials are all around us. However, proper management and safe disposal reduce or eliminate the risks to the environment, animals and humans. The surest way to completely eliminate the risks is to use safe alternatives to chemicals in our homes!
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/aw/wm/publications/recycle/pubsw738.pdf
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/hhw.htm
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/general/manag-hw/e00-001a.pdf
http://www.worldwatch.org/pubs/goodstuff/cleaningproducts
http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/facts/safe-fs.html
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/highlights/homegarden/hazmat.html
Collecting Used Oil for Recycling or Reuse
Helpful hints and ideas to help consumers who change their vehicle's oil. Drop your used oil and oil filters off for recycling at the Portage County Landfill & Recycling Site!
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/recycle/recy-oil.pdf
http://www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=oil/default.asp
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cea/publications/pubs/sw134.pdf
Batteries of All Sizes Are Recyclable
Batteries are a common part of our households and businesses. However, all contain hazardous materials and should be recycled (lead-acid vehicle batteries are mandated for recycling). This site provides a great deal of background information on batteries.
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/battery.htm
http://www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=electronics/bat_index.asp
Used Syringes and Needles-The Sharps Program
Used Syringes and needles should NEVER go into the garbage or recycling. Follow the safety guidelines lines listed in Publication WA808b. See the Sharps Brochure for the sites in Portage County
where you may drop-off Sharps containers free of charge!
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/aw/wm/publications/medinf/PUBL_WA_808b_05.pdf
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/aw/wm/publications/medinf/publwa804.pdf
Electronics: E-cycling
From research conducted by the federal government to business and environmental groups, a growing body of evidence shows that putting electronics into landfills can harm the environment. These websites offer information on the importance of e-cycling!
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/index.htm
http://www.electronicsrecycling.org/index.aspx
http://www.eiae.org
http://www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=electronics/elec_index.asp
The Hazards of Mercury and Mercury-Containing Products
Learn about mercury and how just small amounts of the compound can cause great harm. From recycling your old mercury-containing household thermostat or looking for vehicles with switches that do not contain mercury, these sites provide a wealth of information.
http://www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=mercury/index.asp
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/mercury/index.htm
http://www.almr.org
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/wm/publications/hazard/co_110.pdf
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/cea/mercury/household/page1.htm
Do You Have Old Paint?
Call (715) 346-1931 for more information.

OPEN BURNING:
NOT A GOOD IDEA FOR THE ENVIRONMENT OR ITS INHABITANTS
Backyard Burning Information

Backyard Burning Resource
The burning of trash and other materials can harm not only the environment but people as well. Both of the above resources provide alternatives and help residents better understand the health risks of backyard burning.
Take the Open Burning Quiz
Do you know what can and cannot be burned in the backyard? Take the quiz to test your "burning" IQ!
Alternatives to Open Burning
The burning of waste materials can cause serious health problems. Here are many alternatives to handle your waste materials in an environmentally sound way!
HELPFUL GUIDES FOR WASTE REDUCTION
The Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste: a 36-page guide on how to implement the 3Rs (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle) strategy at home!
Waste Reduction Ideas When Giving Gifts
Give gifts that make a difference!
The United Nations: Sound Practices in Waste Reduction