MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Recycling is gaining popularity in Wisconsin. That’s according to a new report from the Department of Natural Resources. DNR Recycling Coordinator Cynthia Moore says there is a lot more to recycling than simply keeping unnecessary items out of landfills. She says the demand for the recyclable products is on the rise. “This material has real value. This material, I think sometimes people are surprised, this has value on the global market and in addition to the local market.” She adds, “We are constantly reminded by manufacturers they want more recycled material.”
Moore says recycling programs can be found in every Wisconsin community, and there have been changes over the last several years that simplify collection while gathering even more reusable material. “There are two big things. One I think is the variety of materials that we can now recycle, and the advent of what we call “single stream”, which we’re really very fortunate in Wisconsin to have more than fifty percent of our population with access to single stream collection, and this is where the household knows the materials they can recycle but they can put them all into one container.”
Moore says the trend to have single stream collection with one container has drawbacks, but the benefits outweigh them. “There are always tradeoffs. You probably have more contamination when it’s easier, but you get lots, lots more material, and lots more paper because there are tremendous amounts of paper that can be recycled.”
Wisconsin DNR is also recognizing communities now for their recycling programs. Moore says data is collected statewide on how much recyclable waste is collected. They use that to recognize communities that have outstanding programs and those that have made major improvements to their recycling plans.