State environmental officials are urging people to use recycling bins, not matches, as they finish their spring cleaning this year.
The Department of Natural Resources is reminding people that burning garbage is illegal in Wisconsin. The DNR said such burns can add hazardous pollutants to the atmosphere, including carcinogens such as arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde.
Debris burns also can cause wildfires; DNR officials said such burns cause about 30 percent of Wisconsin wildfires every year.
People should instead recycle materials such as plastic, glass, metal, cardboard and paper.
People looking to burn brush can obtain permits from the DNR, but agency officials said people should consider composting the material or spreading it in the woods instead.