Statewide clean sweep program assists spring cleaning

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

Spring is finally here and you may be cleaning through your house and finding products that could be dangerous to throw away -- but a program sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is there to help.

Jane Larson runs the "Clean Sweep" program, which was started in 1990.

Back then, it focused on giving farmers a way to dispose of their agricultural waste.

Today, it's involved in to a program that collects much more.

"People have products that they no longer need," Larson said, adding that "by keeping them around their house they could just cause problems."

Anything from pesticide to household cleaners to latex paint... even moth balls...are accepted in communities with a clean sweep program.

Since the program started, it collected 3.5 million pounds of agricultural waste.

The clean sweep program started accepting household and residential waste in 2004, and collected 17 million pounds since then.

In 2008, the program also started accepting left over and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicine... 180,000 pounds since then, and 40,000 pounds in 2013 alone.

"Take advantage of the opportunities in your local communities to get rid of these products," Larson said.

"Everyone is safer for it and the environment is safer for it."

The program is funded by $750,000 in total.


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