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.

Share your updates

Recycling Updates is an email subscription service and web page run through the Department of Natural Resources. Subscribers come from around the state and represent recycling businesses, local governments, and individual citizens interested in recycling. 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.

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News releases

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, flyer or other materials. The most recent releases are listed below.


ShoeBox Recycling offers shoe recycling and fundraising program

Shoe recycling for reuse allows your group to participate in a great cause in a no-cost, feel-good way. ShoeBox Recycling will pay $.50 per pound for paired, secondhand shoes.

ShoeBox recycling fundraising program [exit DNR]

Policy updates

Recycling responsible unit ordinance templates available online

Many Wisconsin RUs have not updated their ordinances since the start of the RU program. The DNR provides sample, fillable ordinance templates online to make updating your ordinances easy and efficient. You can download a sample ordinance as either an Adobe PDF [PDF] or an editable Microsoft Word document [DOC]. Have a recycling ordinance that includes the necessary authority to enforce recycling requirements.

For examples of strategies that work, see University of Wisconsin-Extension'sEnforcing Local Recycling and Solid Waste Ordinances [PDF exit DNR].

Recycling news

New social sharing campaign to spark flexible plastic wrap recycling

The American Chemistry Council's Flexible Film Recycling Group is using tools like Facebook and gift card prizes to spread the word about flexible film recycling across the United States.

Read the full story at Power Engineering [exit DNR]

That's a WRAP

The problems with collection and recycling rates of plastic film are well documented. Nina Bellucci Butler talks about the multi-stakeholder moves happening in Wisconsin and around the country to capture and recycle more material.

Read the full article on [PDF exit DNR]

Drug disposal take back collection event April 26

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration's next free medication collection event will be April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participating local law enforcement agencies will accept unused household medications and the DEA will arrange shipment of the medications to an incinerator permitted to burn them.

This may be the last free collection event the DEA offers, as the agency has said it will stop offering this service after its forthcoming rules take effect. Those rules, expected to be released early this year, are intended to allow pharmacies and other locations to collect unused controlled substances for purposes of disposal.

For more information, visit the DEA's Office of Diversion Control National Take-Back Initiative [exit DNR].


Education & outreach

2014 Green Masters Program application now open

The Green Masters Program is a free, points-based recognition program that enables Wisconsin businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to claim credit for sustainability initiatives. Developed by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council and Wisconsin businesses, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Green Masters Program highlights Wisconsin's sustainability leaders. Any business that has taken at least one action in nine key sustainability areas (energy, climate change, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, community and educational outreach, and workforce and governance) is eligible to apply.

For more information and application materials, visit Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center news [exit DNR].

New pharmaceutical waste resources available

The Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center assembled a variety of resources on its website for addressing the issue of pharmaceutical waste. These include the most comprehensive list of Wisconsin's medicine collection sites, tools and suggestions for reducing pharmaceutical waste, resources for those collecting household medications, and a summary of state and regional efforts to keep pharmaceuticals out of the Great Lakes.

Visit SHWEC Pharmaceutical Waste [exit DNR] for more information.

Registration open for Plastic Film Recycling Challenge

Each year, Trex sponsors the Plastic Film Recycling Challenge in schools and communities across the United States. The challenge brings to life for children the importance of recycling and keeping plastic film out of landfills. Schools compete against each other to collect the most plastic film, such as grocery bags and case overwrap, which will be recycled and made into Trex wood-composite decking and railing products.

Visit the Trex website [exit DNR] and scroll down the page for more information.

Bill inserts available for community outreach and education efforts

The DNR has several 1/3-page fliers available to order in bulk for free. Available publications include:

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

Household hazardous waste informational video

What does water quality have to do with household hazardous waste, recycling and waste reduction? Everything! Take a look at this excellent video produced by the Northwest Regional Planning Commission that reviews what constitutes "hazardous waste," the effect it has on water supplies and Lake Superior, and where/how to safely dispose of common hazardous waste and electronic products.

Household hazardous waste informational video from the Northwest Regional Planning Commission [exit DNR]

Curb to Compost toolkit for including food scrap collection in an existing yard debris program available

This toolkit provides an overview of organics recovery, with basic data and examples of outreach materials to aid in the development of a residential food scrap collection program that will be administered by a city and/or municipal waste management district already collecting yard debris.

Curb to Compost toolkit [exit DNR]

Source-separated organics recycling toolkit available

Georgia's Department of Community Assistance recently developed the Source-Separated Organics Recycling Toolkit, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4. Local governments and other service providers seeking to meet residential waste diversion goals or offer additional collection services for their customers can use this resource to determine the feasibility, associated costs and optimal strategy for collecting organic material. Food residuals and yard trimmings can account for a third of the 'waste' material generated from households.

To view the toolkit, visit Georgia DCA [exit DNR] and scroll down to the links for the Source-Separated Organics Recycling Toolkit.


Upcoming recycling webinars, workshops and conferences

Event: PET Thermoform Recycling: A Progress Report
Date & time: April 22, 12:30 to 2:45 p.m., online
Location: Online
Sponsors: National Recycling Coalition & Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Waste Streams: What Are Your Options
Date & time: April 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Comfort Inn & Suites/Northstar Conference Center, DeForest
Sponsors: Federation of Environmental Technologists, Inc. – SEWI Chapter
Registration: Register online [PDF, exit DNR]

Event: Wisconsin Master Composter Program
Dates & locations: May 3 in Douglas County, July 9 in Dodge County
Sponsors: University of Wisconsin-Extension's Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: APR's New Tool for MRFs: Sort for Value Matrix
Date & time: April 23, 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: online
Sponsors: Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Composting in Schools Workshop
Date & time: April 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Dane County Extension Office, Madison
Sponsors: Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: CURC Webinar: Taking Your Recycling Program to the Next Level
Date & time: May 15, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Location: online
Sponsors: College and University Recycling Coalition
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: CURC Webinar: Recycling Department Training Webinar: Special Event/Fair Recycling
Date & time: May 29, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: online
Sponsors: College and University Recycling Coalition
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Midwest Extension Compost School
Date & time: June 17-19
Location: Madison
Sponsors: University of Wisconsin-Extension
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: Using EPA's Pollution Prevention Greenhouse Gas and Cost Calculators to Measure Environmental Outcomes
Date & time: June 18, 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: online
Sponsors: Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Last revised: Wednesday April 16 2014