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.

Did you know...?

In addition to Recycling Updates, the Wisconsin DNR also provides subscription service emails on specific waste reduction topics, like composting, electronics recycling and hazardous waste management. Anyone interested can subscribe to these lists, as well.

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.


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

The holiday season is an opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than any other time of year. Brown County Resource Recovery offers tips for holiday waste reduction.

Read the full story at the Green Bay Press-Gazette [exit DNR]

Quincy Recycle to open West Bend plant

Illinois-based recycling firm Quincy Recycle has purchased the former Nationwide Recycling building in West Bend and plans to provide jobs in the near future.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Brown, Outagamie & Winnebago counties can now recycle more household plastics

After a recent upgrade, the Tri-County Recycling Facility is now accepting most kinds of household solid plastics, including household plastic containers, tubs and bottles.

Read the full story at the Green Bay Press-Gazette [exit DNR]

String holiday lights collection promotes reuse

Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin is promoting reuse and reducing landfill waste by collecting string holiday lights in working and non-working condition at two dozen sites around the state.

See the Habitat for Humanity website for more information [exit DNR]

Cooking oil and holiday lights collection in Madison

Madison residents can drop off used cooking oil and string holiday lights for recycling during the winter holiday season.

Read the full story at Channel3000 [exit DNR]

American Beverage Association celebrates America Recycles Day

The American Beverage Association celebrated Nov. 15 by looking back on its recycling successes in 2014, including its work with the DNR at Wisconsin county fairs.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Village of Weston holds “Marathon Recycler Event”

To commemorate America Recycles Day, the village of Weston held a weeklong event with random inspections of garbage bins and prizes for residents who sort their recyclables properly.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Advanced Disposal buys Badger Disposal assets

Collection and recycling company Advanced Disposal has purchased assets of the Columbus-based Badger Disposal Inc. and will serve former Badger Disposal customers in Dodge and Columbia counties from its hauling location in Horicon.

Read the full story from Advanced Disposal [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: Eau Claire County’s curbside service audit

Eau Claire County logo: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Eau Claire County's curbside service audit revealed ways recycling service in the city of Eau Claire could be improved.

In 2013, to make sure that everyone was paying a fair price for the county’s waste and recycling services, the Eau Claire County Recycling Program conducted an audit of curbside collection in the region. This single effort gave the program significant insight into the cost difference between its curbside collection and drop-off-only services, enabling the county to set clear goals for 2014 and beyond.

In Eau Claire County, communities include a fee for recycling service—including brush disposal and clean sweep events—on the local tax roll. The one exception was the city of Eau Claire, where this fee was instead collected from customers by waste and recycling haulers and then paid to the county by the haulers each month. By conducting an audit that compared the customer addresses provided by haulers to both Eau Claire County and city of Eau Claire property data, the program found an inconsistency: roughly 4,000 residences in the city of Eau Claire were not provided with recycling or waste services. This raised the question of what was happening to the waste from those residences, and also revealed a loss of roughly $108,000 in potential revenue to the recycling program each year.

Recycling Coordinator Amanda Haffele explains, “The audit demonstrated a need for all municipalities in the county to place a recycling fee on the tax roll, to look into illegal dumping and to review the cost of curbside collection versus drop-off collection.”

After the audit, the county recycling program determined a clear set of future goals. For example, the county encouraged the city of Eau Claire to establish a recycling fee on the tax roll for its residents. The county/city discussions will lead to a restructuring of fees in the coming year.

For its work, Eau Claire County was recognized with a 2014 DNR Excellence in Wisconsin Recycling award in the Projects and Initiatives category.


Winter holiday waste reduction tips online

The DNR’s Recycling for All Seasons Web page offers a variety of ideas for things residents can do to reduce waste during the winter holiday season.

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.

Radio and video documentary series examines food waste

NET Nebraska and Harvest Public Media have produced a half hour video documentary and seven short audio essays on food waste in America.

Plastics recycling terms & tools resource now online has posted a guide to useful recycling outreach terms, free downloadable images, a customizable plastic recycling flier and more for recycling professionals.

Interactive video lets viewers explore the recycling process

Recyclebank’s interactive video, “The Cycle,” explains what happens to recyclable items after they are collected. The interactive format and animation let viewers explore the recycling process at their own pace.

Wisconsin recycling law publication updated

The DNR’s Wisconsin Waste Reduction and Recycling Law publication has been updated and is now available for print order and online. The publication provides an overview of Wisconsin’s statewide recycling program, with references to statute and administrative rules.

Tool lets communities make custom recycling brochures in minutes

The UW-Extension’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center’s newly updated recycling brochure creation tool produces a tri-fold promotional brochure that communities can customize with local information about their own recycling collection programs. Users can save the custom brochure files to their own computers or email them to a printer for high quality printing.


Upcoming recycling webinars, workshops and conferences

Event: Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling Training Two Part Webinar Series
Date & time: Jan 14 & 21, 12 to 3:45 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: WasteCap Resource Solutions
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Event: LEED Materials and Resource Two Part Webinar Series
Date & time: Jan 15 & 22, 12 to 3:45 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: WasteCap Resource Solutions
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

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: 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 (WIRMC)
Registration: Register online [exit DNR]

Last revised: Thursday December 18 2014