Recycle Right

Go Green, Save Green

Aug 12, 2021

It’s that exciting time of year for students in Franklin County when the weather will start to cool, fall sports will kick off and students will head back to the classroom. As you create your back-to-school to-do list, it’s important to think about how reusing items and reducing the amount of waste your family generates can contribute to a more sustainable community. SWACO shares some helpful and simple ways to help reduce the amount of materials going into the landfill. 

Reduce Waste: 

On average, each Franklin County resident sends 4-5 pounds of waste to the landfill every day. For a family of four, that’s 112-140 pounds of waste per week. Here are some simple ways to cut back:

  • Reuse school supplies such as folders, binders, pencils and crayons. Many times, these items are sent home at the end of the school year in good, working condition and can be reused. Backpacks and lunch bags can also be reused or donated, if unwanted.
  • If you buy new supplies, look for items with little to no packaging, buy in bulk and purchase notebooks made with recycled content.

Eliminate Food Waste: 

Nearly 15 percent of material entering the landfill is food.

  • Packing lunch allows you to help reduce your carbon footprint by having more control over the waste you generate. Start by packing only what your little ones will eat, and opt for reusable sandwich bags, lunch containers and refillable water bottles.
  • Encourage your child to bring home leftover food. Food scraps like apple cores and banana peels can be brought back home to be composted, and uneaten food can be reused for dinner or tomorrow’s lunch.

Donate Gently Loved Items: 

Seventy-six percent of the material sent to the landfill could have been diverted or reused. 

  • Many college-bound students need linens and furniture for their dorm rooms and apartments, and organizations that support foster families are always looking for emergency supplies. Consider donating TV stands, dressers and bedding to one of Franklin County’s many donation organizations.


Recycling saves money, supports jobs and contributes to a healthy environment. 

  • If you do purchase new items for your student, remember to recycle leftover cardboard boxes and paper in a curbside or drop-off recycling container. Or, for the younger kids, keep the boxes around to be used in imaginative play and activities.
  • Materials accepted for recycling in Franklin County are: glass bottles and jars, metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs, and paper such as cardboard, newspaper, office paper, cartons and lined boxes (such as broth containers).
  • Have a hard-to-recycle item you need to dispose? Check out SWACO’s Recycling & Reuse Search Tool at

Following these simple recommendations will support a safer and more environmentally friendly start to the school year. Together, we can make a difference.

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