Over 200 Waukesha and Brookfield families, nearly 900 adults and children, are participating in the Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge – the innovative ‘go green’ project developed and facilitated by the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use – Recycling Program.
The Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge is a friendly competition between households to see who can recycle the most and throw away the least trash over the course of one month. Using a simple bathroom scale, families weigh their recyclables and trash every week before they set it out at the curb and track the results.
Through partnerships with the Waukesha STEM Academy and Brookfield Elementary, Waukesha County is facilitating the project, including offering recycling education on how the families can make the biggest impact.
“The interest in this program has never been higher,” said Rebecca Mattano, Waukesha County Solid Waste Supervisor. “This is the largest number of participants we’ve had in four years of running the Challenge, and we are very excited to see what changes they make and what they learn.”
Starting with a baseline week, families will weigh the “typical” amount of recyclables and trash generated in their household. Over the following four weeks, families will work on reducing their trash and recycling more to improve from their starting weights.
In previous Challenges, families have increased their recycling as much as 66% and reduced their trash as much as 44%, resulting in the diversion of thousands of pounds of resources from the landfill. Among the most effective methods include composting food scraps, purchasing only items with recyclable packaging and considering alternatives for items normally thrown in the trash.
Families who complete the Challenge will be put in a drawing to win local family-fun prizes, including zoo and movie tickets. The schools are also eligible to receive Waukesha County Green Schools grant money as an incentive to recruit as many of their families as possible to complete the Challenge.
The two Challenges will run from February 11th through the week of March 15th and can be followed on the official Challenge website, www.ReduceYourWasteStream.org.