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Contact information
For information on the Council on Recycling, contact:
Jennifer Semrau
DNR Waste & Materials Management Program
608-267-7550

Wisconsin Council on Recycling

The Wisconsin Council on Recycling, authorized in s. 287.22, Wis. Stats., is a citizens group, appointed by the governor, to advise the governor, Legislature and state agencies on solid waste reduction, recovery and recycling policy. The council is staffed by the Department of Natural Resources. Each member is appointed for a four-year term expiring on the date of commencement of the next gubernatorial term. Interim members' appointments also expire on that date. Current members include individuals representing industry, business, non-profit organizations and local units of government.

Current council members

  • James Birmingham (chair), president, Birmingham Recycling
  • David Keeling (vice chair), director, Steel Recycling Institute
  • Gary Harter (secretary), majority owner, Harter’s Quick Clean-up & Harter’s Fox Valley Disposal; co-owner, Dynamic Recycling
  • Jarrod Holter, city engineer/director of public works, City of Onalaska
  • Heidi Woelfel, project manager, CB&I Environmental and Infrastructure
  • Jeff Zillich, general manager, Advanced Disposal

Council meeting materials and documents

Upcoming meetings

The council’s next meeting will take place Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. in Green Bay. See the agenda for location information. Please contact Jennifer Semrau (608-267-7550) for more information or to RSVP for the tour(s). To ensure sufficient space on the tour(s), please RSVP by Sept. 20.

Past meetings

If you would like a copy of a previous agenda, or meeting minutes or other documents from 2012 or earlier, please contact Jennifer Semrau

Date Information
June 22, 2017
April 27, 2017
March 3, 2017
Feb. 9, 2017
Jan. 18, 2017
Nov. 3, 2016
Oct. 5, 2016
Aug. 10, 2016
July 20, 2016
May 5, 2016
Feb. 19, 2016
Jan. 13, 2016
Nov. 4, 2015
Sept. 22, 2015
May 6, 2015
Feb. 27, 2015
Nov. 14, 2014
July 30, 2014
May 6, 2014
Feb. 26, 2014
Nov. 22, 2013
Oct. 24, 2013
Aug. 7, 2013
May 1, 2013
Feb. 21, 2013

Plastics Recycling Subcommittee

Subcommittee purpose

The Plastics Recycling Subcommittee, convened by the council in February 2013, is charged with using a stakeholder process to develop recommendations to spur economic growth and jobs in Wisconsin through increased plastics recycling. The Council on Recycling will forward the recommendations to the DNR, the state Legislature and the governor.

The motivation behind this study group was the DNR-commissioned Wisconsin Plastic Recycling Study, authored by Foth Infrastructure and Environment and Moore Recycling Associates and published in February 2013. Despite a comprehensive statewide recycling program and a strong recycling ethic among Wisconsin residents, hundreds of tons of valuable plastics are still sent to Wisconsin landfills each year. The study estimated some $64 million in recyclable plastic materials are landfilled annually.

In April 2013, the subcommittee held a kickoff meeting attended by more than 40 representatives from manufacturing facilities, local governments, recycling service providers, and process facilities from Wisconsin and neighboring states. As a result, the subcommittee set up three workgroups to focus on bottles, non-bottle rigid plastic and film/bags.

The DNR has hosted two webinars in support of this initiative, featuring speakers from plastic processing facilities and national trade associations. Check the resources section below for copies of the presentations.

The Council on Recycling's Plastics Recycling Subcommittee and workgroup meetings are open to the public.

Workgroups presented recommendations at the Council on Recycling meeting Oct. 24, 2013. Recommendations are posted under each workgroup below.

Workgroups

Non-bottle rigid plastics

The goal of this workgroup is to increase recyclability, awareness and markets for non-bottle rigid plastics. Short-term action items include research to better understand specific barriers to collection, and an education campaign that will target industry as well as commercial and consumer sectors. Long-term goals include finding appropriate markets for these materials.

Film/bags

The goal of this workgroup is to increase awareness and access to recycling opportunities. Short-term action items includes identifying regional hubs and develop infrastructure for collection. Long-term goals are to explore options for low value material as a fuel source.

Bottles

The goal of this workgroup is to increase access to opportunities for away from home recycling. Short-term action items include promoting awareness of the importance of plastics recycling jobs to the economy. Long-term goals are to create public demand for recycling opportunities everywhere and increase access to recycling opportunities.

Plastics recycling resources

Webinars

Recycling of Non-Bottle Rigid Plastics (June 24, 2013)

Recycling of PET Thermoformed Plastics (Aug. 5, 2013)

Agricultural Film Recycling in Wisconsin: Current Status of Collection and Recycling (Oct. 15, 2013)

Last revised: Tuesday September 05 2017