News Flash

SWACO News

Posted on: April 19, 2020

Make Every Day Earth Day

Finding ways to entertain kids or engage them in educational activities can be difficult at any time. But in the midst of a pandemic when families must isolate themselves at home day after day, the task can be nearly impossible. 

In honor of Earth Day on April 22 – and to support all of the teachers who’ve switched from being with students in the classroom everyday to online instruction and the many parents now playing the additional roles of teacher, babysitter and playmate – we have some ideas for fun, at-home activities that will keep kids busy and entertained at home while they learn valuable lessons about recycling and waste diversion.

Learn to recycle right 

Take some time to teach your family about the importance of recycling – and recycling the right way. All of central Ohio’s residential and business waste – referred to as municipal waste – ends up in the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill. But the landfill doesn’t have an endless capacity. So the more waste we can divert from the landfill, the longer it will be available to serve our community.

Recycling is an easy and convenient way to divert waste from the landfill. Franklin County’s recycling program accepts paper, cardboard, cartons, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic bottles and jugs that are wider at the bottom than they are at the top. If you try to recycle other material – like yogurt cups and clamshell containers – then everything in your recycling bin may end up in the garbage, even if it’s actually recyclable. You can learn to recycle right by:

  • Visiting RecycleRight.org. This website has lots of information about recycling, including answers to common questions, a quiz to test your knowledge, and a search tool to help you find places that accept hard-to-recycle items.
  • Playing the “Recycle Right” game with your family. Ask them whether or not specific items in your home are recyclable and explain why or why not. The winner can receive a prize.
  • Visit our website for downloadable activity pages for kids of all ages.

Start composting 

Nearly 15% of the waste in the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill is food scraps. In fact, about 1 million pounds of wasted food enters the landfill every single day. That equates to about 260 pounds per person per year! We can reduce the amount of food we waste by being more careful about what we buy in the first place. But there’s a relatively easy way to use our food scraps for beneficial purposes and keep it out of the landfill – composting! 

  • Visit our website to learn how to compost food (and/or yard waste). Work with your family to determine which composting method will work best for you, and get everyone involved in composting food scraps after each meal.
  • Visit our website to learn tips to minimize food waste; share the tips with your family and work together to determine other ways to reduce food waste.
  • Check out the Community Backyards program for composting rebates funded by SWACO and services offered by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.

Have fun with arts and crafts 

There are so many fun crafts that can be made by re-purposing common household items that would otherwise go into the trash. Join your kids in making these trash-to-treasure projects. 

  • Turn soup and coffee cans into decorative flowerpots
  • Make jewelry using beads made of paper
  • Make treasure chests out of clamshell containers
  • Turn a tissue box into a desk organizer
  • Paint wooden crates to make artsy cubbies
  • Turn potato chip tubes into piggy banks
  • Refinish an old piece of furniture using colorful paint and accessories

Visit the links above for more ideas, helpful resources and links to inspiring websites. By engaging in these activities, you and your family can celebrate Earth Day every day! 

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