Get Involved! Earth Day 2014 is April 22nd!

We're celebrating our 15th Anniversary by giving you 15 ideas to get involved in the Sioux Falls and surrounding areas this Earth Day.


1. Tell Elected Officials how Important Recycling is to You.

When supported by community level officials, recycling programs are more likely to succeed. Check out these tools from the EPA on building support from Elected Officials.

2. Volunteer with the Ecomaniacs.

Organizations of all types can volunteer with the Ecomaniacs to pick up litter and spread the recycling message at events including Ribfest, Automania, Hot Harley Nights, Hot Summer Nites, JazzFest, the Sioux Empire Fair, Riverfest and LifeLight! Raise money for your nonprofit organization or just volunteer as a group to serve the community and enjoy the events! Find more information on the Ecomaniacs here.

3. Recycle More at Home.

Ask for a bigger recycling bin from your hauler. Sioux Falls waste haulers are all shooting for a recycling goal of 21.8% this year and are happy to help residents recycle more. Check out our preferred Haulers directory to find responsible providers in the community.

4. Bag your Bags and Shredded Paper.

When you bundle your plastic bags together in a clear bag and tie up your shredded paper in clear bags as well, you help us sort them into the right category when they get to the recycling facility. If not separated in bags, the single plastic bags, or film as we call it, can get stuck in our machine and slow down the process. The same with shredded paper, if it's not bagged up, the paper flies all over the facility and makes it difficult to collect all of the small pieces.

5. Recycle Milk Cartons at your School.

Last spring, we partnered with the Carton Council to start accepting and recycling cartons! Many schools in the area do not recycle cartons yet. The Carton Council provides free collection bins and great tips on starting a school program and we happily accept dry and empty cartons at our facility both in the Single Stream or separated. If you're interested in starting a program at your school, Contact Us and we will get you the resources you need!

6. Compost at Home.

Composting requires very little work and resources and it has a huge positive impact on the environment. Instead of throwing food waste into  your garbage to rot, start a fun project at home that not only reduces landfill waste, but  creates excellent new resources to fuel your garden! See the City of Sioux Falls information on composting here.

7. Start a Neighborhood Cleanup Crew.

Want a fun way to get to know your neighbors and get your neighborhood in tip top shape? Form a clean up crew to walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash. Recruit new neighbors who are working on their lawn or walking their pets. You may be surprised how many people get excited about keeping the community litter free and meeting new people!

8. Spread the Word on Sharps.

One of the scariest problems we deal with at our recycling facility is finding needles that come from the residential Single Stream. It's very dangerous for our employees to come in contact with needles, or sharps as we call them. Many people don't realize our great city has a Needle Disposal Program that makes it easy for community residents with medical conditions that require self-injections at home to dispose of these items for free. Check out the city's information on free Sharps Drop-off locations throughout Sioux Falls.

9. Donate Clothes & Toys to Thrift Shops.

Macklemore may have made thrift shopping cool, but donating your used clothes and toys is even cooler! When you throw these items in the recycling bin, they may still end up in the landfill because they are not recyclable...but they are reusable! After being mixed with other items in the recycling stream they are usually too contaminated to be reused. Instead of putting them in the bin at home, donate them to a charita

ble thrift store so they can be reused. You can even get a tax write off!

10. Recycle your E-Waste.

With new technology coming out every day, electronic waste is growing three times faster than any other waste stream! Do your part to recycle your old equipment with a certified recycler who does things the right way. Not only will you be protecting the environment, but R2 and e-Stewards certified recyclers also make sure your data is protected. If you are a Sioux Falls resident, you can recycle most household electronics for free at the city's HHW facility. The city has made it a priority to use a certified recycling vendor. If you're a business or have an item they will not accept, Bargain Bytes in Sioux Falls is the only dual certified recycler in the Dakotas. Check out their website for directions to their facility or give them a call!

11. Greener than New: Buy Refurbished Electronics.

When you buy refurbished products, you save yourself significant costs and benefit the environment. The more we can reuse old products, the fewer new resources need to be extracted, and the less we add to the world's growing pile of e-waste. When buying refurbished, look for quality retail stores with strict quality processes and warranties. For example, Microsoft Registered Refurbishers have been authorized by Microsoft to sell genuine Windows operating systems on refurbished PCs. There are many choices for buying refurbished electronics, Bargain Bytes in Sioux Falls is a great place to start. Check out their in-store inventory and online store on Amazon

12. Recycle in Public.

When you go to the store, to the park, or even to church, do you see recycling bins? Sometimes all it takes is a question to get a recycling program going. If you don't see recycling bins at a community, public, or private organization you're visiting, ask them if they recycle. If they do, request that they provide recycling bins in the open areas to get more people to recycle. If they don't, request that they do! They can Contact Us or work with their waste hauler to start recycling at their organization!

13. Buy Recycled Products.

Let's add one more "R" to the mix: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and ReBuy! Postconsumer recycled material is made from products that were purchased, used, and then recycled. Buying products with recycled-content helps create a demand for the materials collected in recycling programs. Buying products that contain recycled materials also helps conserve natural resources, protects the environment, saves money, and reduces the need to develop additional disposal capacity. You can find products made with recycled materials in your local grocery, hardware, and office supply stores. Just look for the “made with recycled-content” symbol on the package. See the benefits of buying recycled here.

14. Recycle at Work.

According to the EPA, as much as 45% of the 250 million tons of municipal waste generated in 2011 was from commercial and institutional locations such as business and government offices, retail establishments, schools and hospitals. Recycling in the workplace results in saving energy, reducing emissions and landfills, conserving natural resources and generating jobs. If your place of business doesn't recycle or you're not sure, ask around. The recycling program is usually managed by the janitorial or facilities staff. If you are already recycling or plan to start, step up your game and take the Recycle at Work Pledge!

15. Become a Recycling Expert.

If you know what to put in and keep out of the recycling bin, that's what we at Millennium call a Recycling Expert! Educate yourself on what you can put in your Single Stream bin at home, what you can take to the city, and what you should take to the landfill. Many people are often confused about where things go. We've created a handy tool for you to see where different types of materials should be taken when ready to be recycled or disposed. Check out our Where Do I Take This? tool to educate yourself, so you can educate others. The more recycling experts we have in Sioux Falls the better!