Recycling Updates

Recycling Updates is your source for up-to-date information on all that is new in recycling. Stay informed about recycling opportunities and resources, including grants, professional development, policy news and more. New updates and opportunities are posted as they become available. Recycling Updates is also an email subscription service, with emails sent about once per month.

Share your updates

We're always looking for interesting or timely information to share with our subscribers. Email Elisabeth Olson if you have an event, webinar or other information you'd like to share.

DNR news releases

Does your community publish a newsletter? Are you looking for free recycling outreach materials? The DNR's Waste and Materials Management Program puts out frequent news releases dealing with recycling in Wisconsin. These releases are free and available for you to use in your newsletter, flier or other materials. The most recent releases are listed below.


EPA seeks Environmental Education grant proposals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Grants Program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate and⁄or spread environmental education practices, methods or techniques. Local grant proposals submitted for the 2015 grant cycle must be postmarked by March 6.

EPA Environmental Education Grant Solicitation Notice [exit DNR].

Wisconsin Environmental Education Board grant cycle is open

The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board awards grants for the development, dissemination and implementation of environmental education programs in Wisconsin. The board anticipates awarding $115,000 for general environmental education grants, $95,000 for forestry grants and $95,000 for school forest grants. Proposals submitted for the 2015-2016 grant cycle must be postmarked by Feb. 14, 2015.

For details and contact information, visit [exit DNR].

Policy news

E-Cycle Wisconsin 2014 report available

The DNR's annual report on the implementation of Wisconsin's electronics recycling law is now available online. The report includes results from the most recent program year, along with a discussion of challenges and options for addressing challenges.

Recycling news

Recycling expansion brings opportunity to Wisconsin counties

The 2014 expansion of the Tri-County Recycling Center means residents in Brown, Winnebago and Outagamie counties can now put juice and milk cartons, deli containers and dairy tubs in their curbside recycling bins.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Beloit to welcome cardboard recycling plant and 140 jobs

Pratt Industries Inc. plans to build a $52 million cardboard recycling plant in Beloit this year. The company expects the facility to be fully operational by January 2016 and estimates it will employ 140 workers.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Textile recycling is a great opportunity for waste reduction

While upwards of 85 percent of household textiles currently end up in landfills, items like old shirts, pants and towels can be recycled in a number of ways.

Read the full story at Nature's Pathways [exit DNR]

Americans can reduce food waste

More than 30 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten and a few simple steps can help avoid that food waste.

Read the full story at National Geographic [exit DNR]

Food waste recycling is a growing industry

With growing demand and improving technology, composting food waste is the next big waste recycling initiative in many U.S. cities.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Food waste reduction begins at home

As food waste recycling and composting industries grow, consumers can take the first steps toward waste reduction in their own homes and kitchens.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Appleton middle school students learn about e-cycling

Kaukauna’s Pilgrim Recycling partnered with Appleton’s Roosevelt Middle School and Kaleidoscope Academy to teach students about e-cycling before a January e-cycling event.

Read the full story from Post-Crescent Media [exit DNR]

UW game day recycling efforts reach all-time high in 2014

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s athletic department set records for recycling tonnage and waste diversion at Camp Randall Stadium during the 2014 football season.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Community spotlight

Recycling Updates Community Spotlight

The Community Spotlight recognizes innovative and exciting recycling and waste reduction efforts by local and tribal governments, businesses and other groups in Wisconsin.

Spotlight on: Dunn County’s ReCyclone mascot

ReCyclone sits on a recycling bin
The combination of public involvement and a bright blue costume made ReCyclone difficult to ignore.

At a time when costumed superheroes have never been more popular, Dunn County’s official recycling mascot, ReCyclone, is raising awareness on what, where and how residents can help recycle.

In 2013, the Dunn County Solid Waste Division saw that even in communities that have promoted recycling for decades, there was new information to spread, with new recyclable items and new ways to reduce waste. The key to spreading this news was gaining the public’s attention and getting community members involved.

To do so, Dunn County Solid Waste held a contest, inviting community members to name a new county recycling mascot. The division received more than 70 contest submissions by mail, email, phone and social media. Finalists were put to a public vote, and the public chose ReCyclone, “A Force of Nature for Nature,” as its champion. Contest winners received gift certificates to local businesses, and a local costume designer helped create the mascot’s new look.

ReCyclone debuted at the 2013 SummerDaze parade and has since appeared at fairs, festivals, libraries and schools. Residents and businesses can contact Dunn County Solid Waste to schedule an appearance by Dunn County’s very own recycling superhero.

With fun and highly visible outreach efforts like ReCyclone, Dunn County has inspired the community to get involved and stay involved in waste reduction efforts. For its work, Dunn County was recognized with a 2014 DNR Excellence in Wisconsin Recycling award in the Overall Program category.


Food waste reduction toolkit online

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance has published a free booklet on best practices for food waste reduction in restaurants and retail environments.

Video helps explain paper recycling

A new Web page and animated video from the American Forest & Paper Association explains what paper products are recyclable and how consumers can help improve paper recycling quantity and quality.

Aluminum recycling trivia included in Recycling Tidbits

The latest issue of Dunn County’s Recycling Tidbits newsletter is full of interesting facts about aluminum and aluminum recycling.

YouTube video series describes benefits of scrap recycling

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has produced a series of short videos describing the economic and environmental benefits of scrap recycling. The videos are also available through links on the DNR recycling outreach Web page.

E-cycling guide for RUs and local governments online

A new guide from the DNR provides recycling responsible units and other local governments information on electronics recycling outreach and collection options.

Streaming webinar provides green products and services buying guide

The U.S. General Services Administration’s “Buy Green Products and Services” webinar is now available online and viewable at any time.

Best management practices guides for electronic & universal waste now online

Print versions of the DNR’s Collector Best Management Practices for electronic waste are now online.

Tax bill inserts available for community outreach and education efforts

The DNR has several 1/3-page fliers available in bulk orders. Available publications include:

To order these or any DNR recycling publications, contact Elisabeth Olson or call 608-264-9258.


Upcoming recycling webinars, workshops and conferences

Event: Deconstruction Training
Date & time: Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee
Sponsors: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: New Recycling at Work Research on Bin Type and Placement
Date & time: Feb. 4, 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: Keep America Beautiful
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Recycling Right: Tactics and Tools for Effective Residential Outreach (Part Two)
Date & time: Feb. 12, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Connecting Rural HHW Program Managers to Manufacturer-Funded Take-Back Programs
Date & time: Feb. 12, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: The Product Stewardship Institute
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Wisconsin Master Composter Program
Date & time: Feb. 21
Location: Iowa County
Sponsors: Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Construction & Demolition Waste Recycling Training Workshop
Date & time: Feb. 24, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Oconomowoc
Sponsors: Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference
Date & time: Feb. 25-27
Location: Oconomowoc
Sponsors: Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Badger Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America and Wisconsin Counties Solid Waste Management Association
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Wisconsin Master Composter Program
Date & time: March 21
Location: Ashland⁄Bayfield County
Sponsors: Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Wisconsin Master Composter Program
Date & time: May 2
Location: Waukesha County
Sponsors: Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Last revised: Thursday January 29 2015