Choose to Reuse is a program that allows citizens to bring items in good working condition that they want to discard, but that perhaps someone else can use. The objective of Choose to Reuse is simple: reduce the amount of solid waste that fills our landfills and help someone in the process. In central Wisconsin, residents bring items to a designated location on scheduled weekends.
Clean Green Action, began Choose to Reuse in the Town of Rome, Adams County, and it expanded to several area municipalities. Considering increasing environmental concerns, this seemed like a sustainable, positive, and easy program for area residents. By recycling items at no charge, these items went to a new home, providing enjoyment for their new owners. Prior to undertaking the program, Rome residents visited several sites to find out how they recycled items. In some locations, items are checked by a second-hand store and then sold to the public. This becomes a business requiring a business relationship, or creating a not-for-profit business which requires collecting sales tax and reporting taxes. In Rome’s approach, they decided to place the emphasis on recycling and the use of local volunteers. Providing items for free was chosen as a simple alternative.
At Choose to Reuse, residents bring items that they want to discard, but that perhaps someone else can use (e.g. outdoor furniture, small working and nonworking appliances, lawn care items, household goods, seasonal decorations, office equipment, CDs/DVDs, etc.). You may take any item that you can use. There is no charge to take an item and you don’t have to bring items in order to take something away.
Hundreds of people use Choose to Reuse by dropping off and/or taking home items. People bring furniture, fishing poles, bikes, lawnmowers, chairs, tables, books clothes, and more. Items that have fees associated (e.g. tires, TVs, etc.) must be signed for and will be charged if no one chooses that item by the end of the day. There is free disposal of refrigerators, microwaves, car batteries, oil, washers and dryers, and other large metal items. Please do not bring in paint and chemicals, as we are not equipped to handle this.
Clean Green Action received a 2015 Recycling Excellence Award for Innovation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for Choose to Reuse. This award is given to an organization or community that demonstrates unique and innovative approaches to recycling.