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Landfills

3/26/20: COVID-19 UPDATE

Thank you for your patience during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As state agencies continue operations, please understand that most of our staff are teleworking and may have limited access to files and delayed online connectivity.

With this in mind, we ask that our customers:

  • Use email whenever possible to communicate with staff.
  • Set up conference calls or Skype meetings in lieu of in-person meetings.
  • Request electronic public records online using our standard system, whenever possible.
    • State staff are not currently available to access physical files and no staff are available on-site to allow physical inspection of files by the public until the Governor's COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
  • Submit documents electronically, preferably via a download link (ftp servers, DNR system, etc.). Note: If that option is not available to you, DNR staff can receive emails up to 20 MB.

Staff will keep their voicemails and out-of-office messages up to date and will respond as they are able.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 information webpage. For program-specific information, please search keyword "COVID19."

Additional COVID-19 Resources

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Waste disposal practices have changed substantially over the past 40 years. Much of the unwanted material households and businesses produce returns to productive use through recycling and composting and beneficial use. Hazardous wastes are carefully separated for special handling. Businesses have reduced the waste they generate. Still, it is necessary to landfill solid wastes for which no recycling or reuse is currently available.

Today, solid waste landfills in Wisconsin are professionally designed, constructed and operated to minimize the risk of pollution. There are now fewer than 80 active landfills in the state, compared to thousands of town dumps and other disposal sites a few decades ago. The DNR regulates landfills to prevent negative impacts to people and the environment. Landfills must collect and treat liquids and gases they generate before releasing them to the environment. Landfill operators must monitor their facilities to detect any contamination, report monitoring data to the DNR and respond quickly to any problems. Money is set aside during landfill operation to ensure that monitoring and maintenance continue after the landfill closes. DNR staff inspect landfills regularly.

Last Revised: Monday March 23 2020