Wisconsin Rapids area grassroots environmental group, Clean Green Action recently received a 2015 Recycling Excellence Award for Innovation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for its Choose to Re-Use program. This award is given to an organization or community that demonstrates unique and innovative approaches to recycling.

Choose to Re-Use has helped hundreds of residents dispose of unwanted items without landfilling them, and other residents acquire useful items for free,” said Joe Ancel, Clean Green Action chairperson. “It’s a great example of municipalities and towns sharing an idea for the good of all residents. We’re proud that this program has continued to grow in popularity over the past five years and that the DNR recognizes what a unique, valuable program this is.”

Choose to Reuse invites residents to bring items in good working condition that they want to discard, but that perhaps someone else can use. The objective of Choose to Re-Use is simple – reduce the amount of solid waste in our landfills and help someone in the process. In central Wisconsin, residents bring items to a designated location on scheduled weekends. Municipalities of Rome, Saratoga, Grant, Seneca and Grand Rapids hold Choose to Re-Use events for their residents.

The Recycling Excellence Award program celebrates the recycling efforts, innovation and performance of Wisconsin communities of all sizes while highlighting the many ways local recycling programs serve their residents and manage their resources. This is the award program’s third year.

“Recycling has long been a priority for Wisconsin communities and a shared value for Wisconsin’s citizens. These awards provide us with an opportunity to tell the stories and share the innovative and effective approaches local programs develop to meet the needs of their individual communities” said Ann Coakley, Waste and Materials Management program director.

In 2015, the DNR recognized 11 communities and organizations for their outstanding recycling efforts. More information on the awards program can be found by going to “Recycling Excellence Awards” on the Department’s website at

Clean Green Action is a local grassroots environmental group based in south Wood County. Its mission is to create a sustainable community through education, recycling and conservation efforts. To learn more go to