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American Family Insurance having success being green

American Family Insurance having success being green

American Family Insurance started a simple recycling program at its national headquarters in 1989. In the 25 years since, the company has developed it into one of the most aggressive programs in the country in diverting waste from landfills.

"We just feel like it is about doing the right thing, and we pledge to protect the dreams of our customers. And we do that in part by being supportive of the communities in which they live and we feel this is one way in which we can do that," said Maggie Becker, facilities program analyst for American Family Insurance.

With nearly 3,000 employees working at ther national headquarters, a significant amount of waste is generated. Currently, American Family Insurance is able to divert 78 percent of that waste from landfills. It has an expansive recycling program but also collects organic items, which are then sent to a composting facility in Oshkosh. Their goal is to reach a 90 percent rate of waste diverted from landfills.

Park Elementary recognized for conservation efforts

Park Elementary has been nominated by State Superintendent Tony Evers for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award.

Park is one of four schools and one school district nominated by Evers.

To earn recognition, schools must save energy and water, improve indoor environmental quality, promote health and well-being for students and staff, and offer robust environmental education curriculum and programs to boost student academic achievement and community engagement.

The nominees were tops in the state in demonstrating progress to reduce a school’s environmental impact and cost, improve the health and wellness of students and staff and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

Mining documentary to be shown in Middleton

A documentary covering the frac sand mining from the viewpoint of anti-mining activists and the sand mining companies will be shown at the Willy West Co-Op Thursday.

According to a release, the hour-long documentary explores the issues surrounding frac sand mining in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The film will start at 7 p.m. in the community room, according to the release. Free refreshment will be provided.

The showing is sponsored by the City of Middleton Sustainability Committee and the Natural Step Monona, with support from Willy Street Co-op, Madison Gas and Electric and Richard and Judy Fritz.

MHS biology students help with DNR deer study

For the second year in a row, MHS Field Biology students from Dan Drangstveit and Jeff Erickson's classes took part in collecting field data as part of a five-year Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources buck mortality study.

In 2006, a panel of experts in big-game population modeling recommended that the DNR document buck recovery rate through a long-term mark-recapture study, thus making this study a top priority. As the name suggests, this means capturing and tagging bucks, monitoring their activity, and determining the causes of buck mortality, or death. 

Two study areas have been established; one primarily forested area in northwest Wisconsin, and one farmland area in east-central Wisconsin. The different study sites were chosen to monitor differences in buck mortality and harvest rates across areas with different habitat types, hunting pressure, types and relative densities of predators, and vehicle traffic.

Take precautions to prevent pipe freezes, utility says

Take precautions to prevent pipe freezes, utility says

The local water utility said the season's frigid temperatures mean residents should take precautions to prevent household pipes from freezing.  

Middleton's Water Utility asked that all city customers start monitoring their water temperature. The recent abnormally cold weather has driven the frost underground to unusual depths, making it is possible for water service pipes may freeze.

The water utility encouraged residents to take periodic temperature readings of water from the cold faucet closest to the meter.

Residents should let the cold water run gently over a household thermometer for approximately 30 seconds. If the cold water temperature is less than 34 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended that a pencil-sized stream of water is run from the faucet continually, 24 hours a day, until further notice.

If taking the preventative measure of letting water run continually: ... Read More

Green Tier Legacy Communities Annual Report

Middleton is a member of the Green Tier Legacy Communities (GTLC) Charter, which is a unique partnership between Wisconsin Communities, non-profit organizations and state agencies. The city submits an annual report of sustainability actions to the GTLC... Read More

More than 800 lbs. of lights recycled in city drive

More than 800 pounds of unwanted holiday lights were recycled over four months in the Middleton's collection drive this season, according to city officials.

The City of Middleton said in the Holiday Lights Recycling Drive that began in October and ended in January yielded 836 pounds of burned out, broken or otherwise unwanted lights. The city said some reusable components from the lights can be saved harvested from recycled strings. 

This season's total adds up to nearly 4,000 pounds of lights saved from landfills through the recycling drive since its initiation. 

Lights were collected at Ace Hardware in the Middleton Springs shopping center and Wolff Kubly Middleton Ace Hardware stores and the city streets department picked up the donated lights and delivered them to the recycling facility.