Area recycling programs expanding

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- On average, each day Americans throw out more than four pounds of garbage. Nearly half of that can be recycled.

Over the past decade, area counties have stepped up their efforts to keep our landfills less cluttered with things that can be recycled.

In Dunn County, an effort is being launched to expand a recycling program in order to cut down on the amount of plastic bags and plastic film that ends up in area landfills.

The program known as the Wisconsin W.R.A.P. Project will collect plastic from companies and residents and work with two local companies to recycle that plastic into new materials.

“The state did a study in 2009 and found that we in Wisconsin send $65-million worth of plastics in to landfills,” Dunn County Solid Waste Director George Hayducsko said.

Hayducsko said starting this summer, the county will start working with Indianhead Enterprises Inc. and Trex Company Inc. to make sure plastic bags stay out of the trash and instead get recycled to be made into new products.

Dunn County isn't the only county expanding its recycling efforts. In Eau Claire County, First Choice Recycling has expanded from just collecting and recycling electronics to adding box springs and mattresses to its long lists of items it keeps from going into landfills.

“We are trying to keep those out of the landfills we have been working with the community and it is starting to come around people are getting the message about that,” Co-owner of First Choice Recycling Greg Devoll said.

Both First Choice Recycling in Eau Claire and the Dunn County Solid Waste Division says overall people in the state are good recyclers. In 2012 to 2013 750,000 tons of paper and food and beverage containers were recycled. While Dunn County says those numbers are good Hayducsko says there is always room for improvement.

“The one item that I would love to see out of the waste stream is the box board that includes cereal boxes the cake mix boxes,” Hayducsko said.

As part of Earth Day, all week long First Choice Recycling is offering free or reduced rates to customers who want to drop off electronics items. They will also hold their annual recycling roundup this Saturday from 9AM- 1PM at their location on Park Ridge Court in Eau Claire. More detailed information can be found on First Choice Reycling’s website. We have a link to that on the right-hand side of this page under related links.

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