Improve your recycling habits
A complete list of recyclable items for the City of Monona can be found here. Remember that certain items such as batteries and electronics must be disposed of properly. Click here for a recycling challenge guide, or here for a terracycling guide!
Reduce plastic consumption whenever possible
Think about all the single-use plastic you use throughout a given day; it's probably a lot! Although it is difficult to completely rid your life of plastic, there are a lot of ways to cut it down. Where can, substitute single-use plastic objects for reusable ones. Check out some easy substitutions below.
Whether you make or purchase your composting system, it is a great way to reduce your household waste, re-mediate some contamination, and generate soils. A guide to composting can be found below, or, click here for a composting challenge guide!
Learn About Ecycle
Some items can't just be thrown out like normal garbage. In particular, electronics are especially hard for trash collectors to dispose of, and must be redirected to specialized facilities for proper breakdown, reuse, and disposal. Use the references below to learn more about disposal of electronic waste.
Go Digital with Your Mail
Switching your subscriptions and bills to online can save a lot of paper! Check to see if the companies and organizations you belong to have digital billing or subscription options.
Borrow, Don't Buy
Why waste money on items you'll only use once or twice a year? By borrowing things from friends and family or buying items second-hand, you not only cut down on the amount of things you own, but also on the amount of waste you create! Second-hand items can be just as good as new, and will save you a lot of money.
Have over sized items that you can't dispose of in the trash? A sofa, desk, chair, or computer? Instead of leaving these items out doors or taking them to the Monona Public Works Garage (they are not accepted there), please take it to the Dane County Landfill, located at 7102 US Highway 12, Madison, WI 53718. Click here to go to their website.
Cut out Plastic!
Our world is filled with plastic - it's near impossible to escape. While plastic is extremely durable and useful, it is poses a massive threat to the environment for these same reasons. Plastic does not decompose or break down the same way other materials might, and thus poses a serious environmental threat to wildlife and ecosystems. Instead of breaking down, plastic breaks up - meaning, that instead of dissolving into soil or digested by animals, tiny particulates of plastic linger and don't break down.
As a consumer, you have the power to make more sustainable purchases and orient your spending away from single-use plastic!
Here are some ways you can reduce the waste you create from single-use plastics:
- Reusable Grocery Bags - canvas, cloth, or paper are all good options
- Make Food from Scratch - this eliminates the need for any transportation packaging
- Glass or Metal Straws - you can't chew on it, but you can cut plastic use!
- Reusable Sandwich Bags - they're cleaner, safer, and reusable
- Steer Clear from Bagged Foods - a lot of foods at the grocery store come bagged, which isn't necessary! Plenty of foods come without it
- BYO Takeout Containers - many takeout boxes are styrofoam or plastic, so this is a great way to reduce that consumption
- Use Natural Cleaning Cloths - eliminates chemicals and cuts out waste
- Thrift Shop - buying things secondhand is a great way to reuse and recycle
- Bar Soap - the plastic pump is unnecessary
- Glass or Metal Water Bottles - one of the easiest ways to prevent plastic waste
- Reuse Produce Bags - those little bags you put apples or broccoli in? Reuse them the next time you go shopping!
- Glass Baby Bottles - little sleeves can be fitted over them so they don't break when dropped
- Use Powdered Dishwasher Detergent - pods and other wrapped detergents have unnecessary packaging
- Glass or Metal Kitchen Appliances - salad spinners, blenders, knives, and whisks can all be replaced with non-plastic options
Composting is a process of decomposing organic materials to recycle the nutrients they hold into a rich soil fertilizer - compost! If you have a fruit or vegetable garden, or do any type of active landscaping in your yard, you have a reason to compost. This fertilizer is free, and extremely nutrient dense since none of it is chemically modified.
By diverting kitchen scraps away from the trash bin, you can cut your household waste by up to 30%!
Here are some items that can go in your compost bucket:
- Ash (fully cooled)
- Beer and wine
- Citrus and melon rinds
- Coffee filters
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
- Cooked rice/pasta
- Cotton balls
- Cotton or wool
- Crepe paper streamers
- Crumbs or bread scraps
- Fruits and vegetables
- Hay and lawn clippings
- Human hair and nail clippings
- Kleenex tissues (even if used)
- Latex balloons
- Masking tape
- Non-Styrofoam egg cartons
- Paper cupcake cups
- Paper towels, plates, napkins (even if used)
- Pet fur or feathers
- Pizza boxes
- Soy/almond milk
- Stale tortilla chips, potato chips, and crackers
- Sunflower seed, peanut, and pistachio shells
- Toothpicks and Q-tips (non-plastic)
- Dryer lint and “dust bunnies”
- Egg shells
- Envelopes (without plastic window)
- Expired jam/jelly
- Flowers or leaves
Ecycle Education & Awareness
Learning how to dispose of your used electronics is an imperative to being a conscious consumer. Unlike typical plastics, electronics have to undergo specialized processes to disassemble complex components, and are considered hazardous waste. Additionally, personal information may be stored on electronic devices (especially computers) and if disposed of incorrectly, this information can be recovered and abused. In order to assure that your information is protected and electronics recycled properly, looking in to a given recycler is worth your time.
Watch the video below for a thorough introduction to ecycling.
Click here to be directed to the Dane County Clean Sweep Program, which always accepts large electronics
Ecycle Locations in Monona
Goodwill Monona - 2501 Royal Avenue
Staples - 6580 Monona Drive
Ace Lakeside - 209 Cottage Grove Road
Batteries and Bulbs - 115 East Broadway