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.


Curbside recycling partnership seeks grant proposals

The Curbside Value Partnership has announced its 2015 funding opportunity for counties, municipalities and solid waste authorities seeking to improve their residential curbside recycling infrastructure. The grants will provide funding for cart procurement and education/outreach. Final proposals must be received by 4 p.m. on April 15.

Policy news

No recent policy updates to report

There are no recent policy updates at the time. Please check back at a future date.

Recycling news

UW-Oshkosh implements single stream recycling system

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Sustainability Office has made recycling on campus easier for students, staff and visitors with a new single stream collection system.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

Wisconsin recycling and waste reduction efforts honored

At the 2015 Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference, the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin presented four awards for outstanding recycling and waste reduction efforts.

Read the full story at [exit DNR]

UW-Superior research leads to nationwide reduction in microbead waste

Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping to keep plastic microbeads from soaps and shampoos out of state waterways.

Read the full story from the Duluth News Tribune [exit DNR]

Recycling in Appleton saves $47,000

New curbside recycling bins in Appleton have led to big increases in both the amount of recyclables collected and the amount of money saved in landfill tipping fees.

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: the village of Bayside’s Clean Up Days

Several dozen paint and solvent cans
At some Bayside Clean Up Day events, residents could deliver their used paint and solvent cans.

Despite being the second-smallest municipality in Milwaukee County, a series of collection events has led to big recycling numbers in the village of Bayside. In 2014, the people of Bayside collected 606 tons of recyclable material, which is roughly an average of 5.4 pounds per resident each week.

Village Manager Andy Pederson attributes much of this success to village-wide “Clean Up Days” scheduled throughout the year. During Clean Up Days, residents are able to bring items for recycling and disposal to one convenient drop-off location. There, vendors like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Verlo Mattresses, Batteries and Bulbs, Dream Bikes, SecurX and others come together at the same place and time to ensure the items are properly reused, recycled or otherwise handled.

While 2014 was only the sixth year of Clean Up Days in Bayside, the events have already collected more than a million pounds of materials. Meanwhile, the village has saved more than $35,000 in landfill fees and increased its recycling diversion by more than 11 percent in less than 10 years.

To participate in Clean Up Days, residents need only make a donation. Pederson notes that in 2013, for instance, “approximately 4,500 pounds of food was donated to the Hunger Task Force and $3,731 went to local charities, including Make-A-Wish, the MACC Fund, the Red Cross and a Bayside family who suffered a house fire.”

Yellow collection bin with old furniture piled nearby
Having large collection bins on-site helped Bayside Clean Up Day workers to easily sort the collected materials.

In addition to Clean Up Days, Bayside residents can bring certain items to Bayside’s Village Hall for recycling and proper disposal. These items include batteries, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, printer cartridges, cell phones and electronics.

In 2014, Bayside residents at Clean Up Days and Village Hall collected, recycled and disposed of:

  • 11,883 pounds of electronics;
  • 57 mattresses/box springs;
  • 17 car batteries;
  • 8,225 pounds of paper for shredding;
  • 187 cell phones;
  • 667 ink cartridges;
  • 844 light bulbs and fluorescent tubes;
  • 52 bikes for donation to DreamBikes;
  • 76 pairs of shoes;
  • 6 trailers of donations for Goodwill; and
  • 589 pounds of textiles for Better Earth Textile Recycling.

For its work, the village of Bayside was recognized with a 2014 DNR Excellence in Wisconsin Recycling award in the Overall Program category.


Report details changing aspects of curbside recycling

The American Chemistry Council has compiled a report on recent changes to the mix of materials commonly collected in curbside recycling carts. The report analyzes how those changes have affected recycling infrastructure and how recycling industry is adapting.

U.S. EPA helps classrooms and community groups reduce, reuse and recycle

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides many online links, activities and resources for teaching about reduction, reuse and recycling.

Home and garden waste reduction tips from U.S. EPA online

As the spring cleaning and gardening season approaches, families around Wisconsin can use waste reduction tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center provides overview for stakeholders

The UW-Extension’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center overview, compiled in 2014, explains the many services SHWEC provides to serve Wisconsin stakeholders and meet stakeholder needs.

Program guide for public space recycling now available

Keep America Beautiful has compiled a detailed guide to help promote and improve recycling efforts in public places, businesses and other public facilities.

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.

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.


Upcoming recycling webinars, workshops and conferences

Event: Food Scrap Management — Models for Replication
Date & time: April 14, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Online
Sponsors: Northeast Recycling Council
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: Friday March 20 2015