In the coming days, students across Franklin County will be heading back into classrooms. Do your back-to-school plans include reusing items and reducing the amount of waste your family generates? If not, consider these tips to help reduce the amount of materials going into the landfill.

Reduce Waste:

On average, every Franklin County resident sends 4 to 5 pounds of waste to the landfill every day.

  • Consider reusing school supplies such as folders, binders, pencils and crayons from last year. 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 13 percent of all the waste in the landfill is food waste.  

  • Packing lunch allows you to control the amount of waste you generate by packing only what your little ones will eat. Opt for reusable sandwich bags, lunch containers and water bottles.
  • Encourage your child to bring home leftover food. Food scraps like apple cores and banana peels can be composted, and uneaten food can be reused for dinner or tomorrow’s lunch.

Cut Down on Emissions:

Outdoor pollution can lead to serious environmental and health issues, like harming wildlife and aggravating asthma among Franklin County’s children and seniors. 

  • Keep kids healthy while reducing their environmental impact by encouraging them to walk or ride their bike to school when possible. Parents dropping students off at school by car should consider carpooling with other families to save time and money and contribute to cleaner air.


Seventy percent of the material sent to the landfill could have been diverted. 

  • Many college-bound students need linens and furniture for their dorm rooms and apartments. 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.

  • As students unpack crayons, new school shoes and dorm room items, remember to recycle those leftover cardboard boxes and paper in a curbside or drop-off recycling container.
  • 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 to dispose of? Check out SWACO’s Recycling & Reuse Search Tool at

Following these simple ideas will help to get your family’s school year off on the right track!

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