Recycling - It's the Law

Wisconsin's recycling law passed in 1990 and bans a variety of materials from landfills. They must be reused, recycled, or composted. Different levels of local government take charge of implementing this law. Sometimes a county or a village takes responsibility. In the City of Milwaukee's case, the City acts as the Responsible Unit. Read the City Ordinance about Recycling in Chapter 79 Subchapter 2. The City provides recycling services to all 1 - 4 family residences and some condominiums. Businesses, organizations, churches, institutions, and apartment buildings with 5+ units must provide for their own recycling collection and processing. The City has a wide variety of resources to help everyone recycle better in different venues.


#1 & #2 plastic bottles, jugs, and jars

Aluminum containers

Bi-metal cans and containers

Glass containers

Steel (tin) cans and containers

Paper and Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard

Magazines, catalogs, and other materials on similar paper

Newspaper and newsprint materials

Office paper

Yard Materials

Grass clippings

Debris and brush under 6" in diameter


Automotive Items

Lead-acid vehicle batteries


Used oil filters

Waste oils


Air conditioners


Clothes dryers

Clothes washers






Stoves and ovens

Water heaters


Cell phones

Computers - desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet

Computer monitors and mice

Computer keyboards

Computer scanners

Computer speakers

Desktop printers (including those that fax and scan)

DVD players, VCRs, DVRs, and all other video players

External hard drives

Fax machines

Flash drives/ USBs

Other items that plug into a computer


Learn more about the state law from the DNR with links to the law or an easy to read PDF summary of the law.

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