Still Time To Register for the Reduce Your Waste Stream Challange

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 6:15am

The City of Madison still has openings for households interested in joining the Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge. The Challenge will pit Madison households against each other in a friendly competition to cut the volume of material they throw away, increase their diversion through recycling, and composting.

"As a community, Madison has an outstanding recycling program," Madison recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said. "But we know from waste sorts and studies that we could do much better. The Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge is our way of calling attention to the trash we are still throwing away and showing our community how to recycle more, reduce waste, and start composting in the backyard."

The Challenge asks participants to measure their weekly household garbage and recycling and actively try to reduce the trash and increase the recycling over the course of one month. Each household establishes a baseline weekly weight, by weighing a typical amount of trash generated by the household, before making extra efforts to reduce. This is often eye-opening. Then, households embark on trying to reduce their garbage weight down to virtually zero while increasing recycling and composting.

"We are looking for typical Madison households to join the Challenge," Dreckmann said."We would prefer folks who are not currently composting and that consider themselves average recyclers. Participating households will need a bathroom scale, internet access, and a willingness to try and change their disposal habits."

Participants in the Challenge will measure their waste and recycling volumes for a normal week. They will then take actions to cut waste and increase recycling and composting over a four
week period. There will be weekly weigh ins and results will be posted on a special Challenge web site. Participants will also be asked to blog about their experiences on the web page.

Prizes will be awarded to teams and households based upon the volume and percentage of waste reduced and the volume and percentage of recycling increase. Prizes include gift certificates from the Concourse Hotel, the Williams St. Coop, the Plaza Tavern, Ian's Pizza and Union Cab.

To volunteer your household for the Challenge go to and follow the instructions.

"We are very excited about the Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge, "Mayor Paul Soglin said. "We feel it is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day by taking action to improve our environment."

  • George Dreckmann, 267-2626