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How Do I RECYCLE RIGHT?

In the evolving world of recycling it is more important than ever to recycle right. Together, we are a better, stronger, more vibrant industry capable of doing great things.

Although every Wisconsin community recycles paper, cans and bottles, recycling requirements still vary across the state. This might cause confusion, but by knowing who to ask for clarifications you can rest assured that you are recycling right. If you have a landlord, be sure to ask their process. If you are in a house, call your local recycling authority to find out what materials can be recycled and how to prepare them for collection or drop off. 

Simple guidelines for all recycling programs include:

  • Rinse Your Recyclables (and empty them too!). Food residue and liquids in bottles can cause problems with the sorting equipment, as well as have impacts on other materials like paper and glass. A quick rise is all that is required.

  • Cut the Cups. Single use cups such as paper and foam cups are not recyclable in the vast majority of programs. This is also true for paper plates and Styrofoam to-go containers. These materials have very few markets so, as with all items, check to see if your recycling program is an exception.

  • Don’t Be Flexible. Flexible packaging, such as sandwich bags, frozen food bags, toothpaste tubes, food pouches, zip pouches, and others are typically not accepted in curbside or drop off programs. Many local stores collect plastic bags and wraps. For a list of stores in your area check www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.  

  • Plastic Bottle Caps. Most communities want bottle caps returned to the empty bottle, while some communities need them placed in the garbage. Regardless, bottle caps should never be loose in your cart or bin.

  • Know Before You Throw. Check with your local community to see what’s accepted in your recycling program. Just because an item has a recycling symbol on it does not mean your community accepts it in your curbside or drop off program. 

Scroll down to learn about everyday items we use that are banned from Wisconsin landfills. 

Recyclables Banned From Disposal in Wisconsin

  • Paper

  • Cardboard & boxboard

  • Magazines

  • Newspaper

  • Plastic bottles & containers #1 and #2

  • Aluminum bottles & cans

  • Metal food cans

  • Glass bottles and jars

Other Banned Items

Wisconsin's recycling law also bans the following materials from landfill disposal. These materials usually require a separate collection or drop off program. 

  • Electronics

  • Lead acid batteries

  • Appliances

  • Used oil & filters

  • Tires

  • Yard Materials 

 

 We have compiled a list of AROW Members and/or Municipalites that have requested to be on this list. See the alphabetical search below to find more details on your local recycling programs. Contact Us to get your municipality linked.

Local Recycling Information

 
 
 
Click on the letter that corresponds to your Municipality or County.
For example, City of Milwaukee and Marathon County would be found under the letter M for Milwaukee and Marathon.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Don't see your community listed? Find your local recycling contact through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The DNR database is updated annually. You will first be asked to enter the county you live in and can then locate your City, Town or Village.​Click the button to go to the DNR's page: 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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