In the 608: Sustain Dane launching new recycling program

MADISON, Wis. – We’re highlighting a brand new program in the 608 as local non-profit is hoping to step up recycling efforts in the area.

Claire Oleksiak is the executive director of Sustain Dane. They do a lot of work leading businesses toward sustainability practices.

Sustain Dane has been around since 1999, but starting Wednesday they’re launching a new Master Recycler Program. The goal is to get people trained to become masterful at recycling and then go out and share that knowledge with their communities.

“We partnered up with the Carton Council and the City of Madison to put together a program to help people become experts, teachers and enthusiasts, so that we can spread recycling practices and knowledge and increase our recycling and decrease our contamination,” Oleksiak said.

Right now, the City of Madison’s recycling is 18.9% trash, meaning almost 19% of what is put into our green recycling carts shouldn’t be there. Recycling coordinator Bryan Johnson says it was a no brainer for them to help drive that number down.

“The more people that are involved, the more voices we can get out there into the communities and help drive this number down, and also get some of these recyclables that end up in our trash out,” Johnson explained. “Unfortunately, it all comes down to us and how we deal with this stuff the right way.”

Johnson says we have to stay on top of the latest recycling information because of the way packaging has changed and adapted over the years. The city is available to answer questions anytime, and they encourage to you contact them.

Sustain Dane will be holding two listening sessions where you can learn the ins and outs of the local recycling system and get your recycling questions answered. The first kicks off today. That one is already full, but you do have another opportunity to be a part of the next session which is taking place in July. Click here for more information.