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Recycling Directory

Identify disposal options for a wide variety of items.

Please wait while we gather your results.

A

Image of aerosol can

Aerosol Cans

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart.

Instructions: Empty cans only. OK to leave labels on.

Restrictions: NO needles or "sharps". No gas or propane cans or tanks.

Image of aluminum cans

Aluminum Cans

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart.

Instructions: Please rinse out cans.

Restrictions: NO needles or "sharps". No gas or propane cans or tanks.

Image of anti-freeze bottle

Anti-freeze (used)

Drop Off Centers and Household Hazardous Waste Sites will accept used anti-freeze. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of refrigerator

Appliances

Drop Off Centers will accept appliances. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of ashes

Ashes

Accepted at collection point in green garbage cart or at a Drop Off Center.

Instructions: Double bag all ashes please.

Image of an auto battery

Auto Batteries

Drop Off Centers and Household Hazardous Waste Sites will accept auto batteries. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

B

Image of single use batteries

Batteries

Alkaline (Single Use) Batteries. Single use batteries (A, AA, AAA, C, D, etc.) can be thrown out in your regular garbage or can be recycled for a fee through a variety of mail in programs or local retail drop offs. Recycling these batteries through mail in or retail drop off programs can recover steel and zinc. Never put these batteries in your recycling cart.

Rechargeable Batteries. Rechargeable batteries (NiCd, NiMH, NiZn, Li-ion, SSLA/Pb) are recyclable through a variety of local retailers serving as drop-off locations. For a complete list visit Call 2 Recycle's database. Rechargeable batteries contain toxic chemistries and should be recycled instead of being placed in the garbage.

Vehicle Batteries. Lead-Acid batteries, typically found in cars and other vehicles, must be recycled in the state of Wisconsin. Many stores that sell these batteries accept them for recycling while offering savings on the purchase of a new one. They can also be brought to Milwaukee's Drop Off Centers.

Image of phonebook

Books

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart: paperback books, phone books, hardcover books ONLY if cover and back is removed, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, and mixed paper. Also consider donating.

Consider renting your next book or e-book!

Phone Book Opt-Out. Consider opting out of getting a phone book delivered if you no longer use this resource. Opt out online.

Restrictions: NO tissue paper or wax/foil/plastic lined paper or trash.

Image of branches

Branches & Brush

Accepted at curbside or alley collection point.

Instructions: DO NOT PLACE IN CART. Pile branches and brush at the collection point and request a special pickup online or call (414) 286-CITY (2489). More info.

Restrictions: Up to 2 cubic yards (size of a sofa).

C

Image of a car roter

Car Roters

Take to a Drop Off Center or any local scrap metal yard.

Not recyclable curbside. Do not place in the cart.

Image of a cardboard box

Cardboard

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart: corrugated cardboard and paperboard (cereal boxes), junk mail, mixed paper, beverage carrier packs, paperback books, newspapers, magazines, and phone books.

Restrictions: NO tissue paper or wax/foil/plastic lined paper or trash.

Pizza boxes accepted if NO food or grease.

Image of cartons

Cartons

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart. Acceptable cartons include those used for shelf-stable and refrigerated food and beverage products.

Instructions: Please empty and rinse.

Image of a CD

CDs and DVDs

Accepted at collection point in green garbage cart. Also consider donating.

Image of three cell phones

Cell Phones

Cell phones are banned from Wisconsin landfills. Many retailers collect cell phones for recycling. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Lithium ion batteries that power smartphones and tablets pose a significant fire risk at our recycling facility if damaged.

Learn more about cell phone recycling options here.

Image of metal chain

Chains

Drop Off Centers will accept metal chains and chain links. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of a spruce tree

Christmas Trees

Accepted at garbage collection point.

Instructions: DO NOT PLACE IN CART. Place tree at the collection point next to garbage cart. Trees can also be taken to Drop Off Centers. Remove all decorations prior to dropping off the tree.

Image of a bottled cleaning agent

Cleaners

Household Hazardous Waste Sites will accept: garage, auto, and toxic workshop cleaners. PRODUCTS NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of t-shirt, jacket, and jeans

Clothing (Textiles)

Accepted at collection point in green garbage cart. Consider donating if in good condition.

Image of two-by-fours

Construction Debris

Several locations take renovation materials as donations. Very small amounts accepted curbside in green garbage cart. Larger amounts require a special collection (for a fee) or must be taken to the Drop Off Centers.

Restrictions and fees apply.

Image of cooking oil bottle

Cooking Oil (used)

Place at collection point in garbage cart or Drop Off Centers will accept cooking oil for recycling.

D

Image of squirrel

Dead Animals

For animals in the public right of way call (414) 286-CITY (2489) to request a pickup.

E

Image of various electronics

Electronics

Drop Off Centers will accept electronics. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Drop Off Centers will accept up to three TVs per visit with a recycling fee of $5 per TV. All other electronics listed on the Drop Off Center website are accepted free of charge.

Electronics are banned from Wisconsin landfills. Learn more here.

Image of push lawn mower

Engines (small)

Consider donating items such as lawn mowers and snow blowers. Even if they are not in working condition, many people and organizations are interested. If donating is not an option, drain all fluids (oil, gasoline, etc.) and dispose of properly, then take the item to a Drop Off Center.

F

Image of EPS foam cooler

Foam (EPS containers and coolers)

EPS foam containers and coolers should be placed in your green garbage cart.

Photo of aluminum pie tin and graphic of blue recycling cart

Foil and Foil-like Containers

Foil and foil-like containers such as aluminum trays, are accepted at collection point in blue recycling cart.

Instructions: Containers and foil must be clean and free of food waste.

Image of apple core

Food Scraps

Learn how to reduce the amount of food you put in your trash, including using in-sink food disposals and backyard composting.

Image of recliner

Furniture

Many organizations collect furniture for reuse. If reuse is not an option, place item(s) at your collection point. If it is less than the size of a recliner it will be picked up with your regular garbage. No special request is needed. If it is larger than a recliner there is a fee for collection. Request a pickup online or call (414) 286-CITY (2489). For disposal of items larger than a recliner, take items to a Drop Off Center for a lower fee than scheduling a collection.

G

Image of glass bottles and jars

Glass Bottles and Jars

Accepted at your collection point in blue recycle cart.

Instructions: Any color. Please rinse out. OK to leave labels on.

Restrictions: NO window glass, light bulbs, ceramics, drinking glasses, china, or Pyrex.

Image of two window panes

Glass windows

Accepted in green garbage cart or at Drop Off Centers.

Image of grass clippings

Grass Clippings

Consider leaving grass clippings on your lawn to return the nutrients to your soil or composting. If these options won’t work, grass clippings must be brought to a Drop Off Center.

Restrictions: It is illegal to put grass clippings in your garbage cart.

H

Image of a metal hanger

Hangers

Many stores and dry cleaners will take back hangers for reuse. If reuse is not an option, metal hangers are scrap metal and can be taken to a Drop Off Center.

Plastic hangers that cannot be donated should go in the garbage.

Image of holiday lights

Holiday Lights

The City does not have a program for recycling holiday lights. They cannot go in the curbside recycling bin nor do we accept them (for recycling purposes) at the Drop Off Centers. There is an option to recycle old holiday lights in SE Wisconsin through a program run by sellers of LED lights.

Image of garden hose and graphic of green garbage cart

Hoses

Garden hoses should be placed in your green garbage cart. Consider donating if in good condition.

I

Image of paper ice cream container

Ice Cream Containers (paper)

Accepted at collection point in green garbage cart.

Image of several ink cartridges

Ink

Check with your local office supply and inkjet cartridge stores or search at earth911.

L

Image of compact fluorescent lightbulb

Light Bulbs (Fluorescent)

CFL and fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, which is a hazardous material, and must be disposed of properly. Do NOT place fluorescent bulbs or tubes in your trash or recycling carts. CFL bulbs can be taken to many retail outlets, such as Ace, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Target, and True Value. Batteries Plus Bulbs accept residential fluorescent tubes for a very small fee. Call individual stores to verify their participation.

Household Hazardous Waste Sites also accept these items, but the cost of processing CFLs through this site is very costly so retail sites are preferred. Learn more about CFLs from the EPA.

Image of incandescent light bulb and garbage cart graphic

Light Bulbs (Incandescent and Halogen)

These bulbs are not considered hazardous and can be placed in the garbage.

M

Image of stack of magazines and recycling cart graphic

Magazines

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart: magazines, newspapers, phone books, paperback books, corrugated cardboard, junk mail, and mixed paper

Restrictions: NO tissue paper or wax/foil/plastic lined paper or trash.

Image of various pills and graphic of garbage cart

Medication

Do not flush old medication!

Over the Counter (OTC) medication can be thrown away in your green garbage cart.

Prescription medication should be returned through a drop box location or the envelope mail-back program for safe disposal.

Image of microwave

Microwave Ovens

Drop Off Centers will accept microwave ovens. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of oil filter

Motor oil and filters

Drop Off Centers will accept motor oil and filters. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

N

Image of hypodermic needles

Needles, Syringes, Hypodermic

It is illegal for needles and syringes to be put in garbage or recycling carts/bins. Needles and syringes must be taken to a sharps collection station or check with your local pharmacy about their disposal options. Learn more here.

P

Image of paint can and graphic of garbage cart

Paint (latex)

Consider donating unopened paint to charity. Accepted curbside in green garbage cart or at Drop Off Centers.

Instructions: Dry paint in the container.

Image of oil-based paint can

Paint (oil based)

Consider donating unopened paint to charity. Household Hazardous Waste Sites will accept oil-based paint. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of various paper products and graphic of recycling cart

Paper

Accepted curbside - Recycle Cart: Newspapers, magazines, phone books, corrugated cardboard and paperboard (cereal boxes), junk mail, mixed paper, beverage carrier packs, and paperback books

Restrictions: NO tissue paper or wax/foil/plastic lined paper or trash.

Photo of shredded paper and graphic of blue recycling cart

Paper (shredded)

Accepted at collection point in blue recycling cart.

Instructions: Shredded paper should be contained in a sealed paper bag before placed in recycling cart. Only shred when necessary.

Image of a paper plate and paper coffee cup and graphic of garbage cart

Paper Plates and Cups

Accepted at collection point in green garbage cart or at a Drop Off Center.

Not recyclable. Do not place in the recycling cart.

Image of a pesticide spray bottle

Pesticides

Empty: Accepted in green garbage cart or at Drop Off Centers.

Full: Household Hazardous Waste Sites will accept pesticide. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of kitten and puppy and graphic of garbage cart

Pet Waste

Accepted in green garbage cart or at Drop Off Centers.

Instructions: Double bag all pet waste please.

Image of plastic bag and graphic of garbage cart with note on special drop offs available

Plastic Bags and Film

Not accepted for recycling curbside. Do NOT put plastic bags or plastic film in your recycling bin. Learn more here.

Keep recyclables loose in cart.

Image of plastic container and graphic of recycling cart

Plastic Containers

Accepted at collection point in blue recycle cart.

Instructions: Please empty and rinse out. Lids should be screwed back on prior to recycling.

Restrictions: Only plastic containers with a #1, #2, or #5 symbol.

Bulky plastics such as five-gallon buckets, laundry baskets, or cat litter buckets may be recycled curbside or at a Drop Off Center.

Image of empty plastic flower pots

Pots (flower, plant containers)

Plastic or ceramic plant and flower pots should be placed in your green garbage cart. Consider donating if in good condition.

Image of metal pot and graphic of recycling cart

Pots and Pans

Accepted at collection point in blue recycling cart or at a Drop Off Center.

Image of propane tank

Propane or Gas Cylinders (empty only)

Check with locations where you purchased the propane tanks. Contact retailers of initial purchase before returning or refilling empty tanks. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Restrictions: Propane tanks can not go into your garbage cart or recycling cart. They are very dangerous in the trucks and at the Materials Recovery Facility.

R

Image of a rope and graphic of green garbage cart

Rope

Rope and cords should be placed in your green garbage cart. Consider donating if in good condition.

S

Image of scrap metal

Scrap Metal

Drop Off Centers will accept scrap metal. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of roofing shingles

Shingles (Asphalt Roofing)

Drop Off Centers will accept asphalt roofing shingles. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of a tennis shoe

Shoes

Find recycling drop off locations and learn more here.

Must be paired (tie shoe laces or bind with rubber bands). No damaged, wet, single shoes, metal spikes, flip flops, slippers, dress boots, winter boots, or skates/ roller blades.

Image of several food products in spiral wound containers

Spiral Wound Container

Spiral wound containers (fiber body, metal bottom) should be placed in your green garbage cart.

Examples of food/ beverage items found in these containers may include, but are not limited to, juice concentrate, Pringles, cookie dough, Crescent Rolls, oats, dried fruits, bulk coffee, and bulk hot chocolate.

Image of a tin can and graphic of a recycling cart

Steel Cans

Accepted at your collection point in your Recycle cart. Please rinse. OK to leave labels on. CLEAN foil and pie tins OK.

Restrictions: NO needles or “sharps”

Image of a Styrofoam container

Styrofoam

Styrofoam, including packing peanuts and foam egg cartons should be placed in your green garbage cart. These items do not belong in your recycling cart. Some UPS stores may collect foam packing peanuts.

T

Image of a television

Televisions (TVs)

Drop Off Centers will accept up to three televisions per visit with a recycling fee of $5 per TV. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Electronics are banned from Wisconsin landfills. Learn more here.

Image of several tires

Tires

Drop Off Centers will accept up to five tires per visit with a recycling fee of $3 per tire. NOT ACCEPTED CURBSIDE.

Image of a tissue paper in box

Tissue Paper (Kleenex)

Tissue paper, Kleenex, napkins, and toilet paper should be placed in your green garbage cart. These items do not belong in your recycling cart.

Image of a paper to-go container

To-Go Container (paper, plastic, or Styrofoam)

Paper, plastic, or Styrofoam to-go or take-out containers should be placed in your green garbage cart.

W

Image of a wheelchair and graphic of a garbage cart

Wheelchairs

Life Nets matches unwanted wheelchairs with those in need.

Y

Image of dandelion on a piece of sod

Yard Waste

Yard waste can be composted in your back yard or Drop Off Centers will accept garden debris. From Oct 1 - Nov 15 place on top of leaf piles for collection and composting. DO NOT PLACE IN GARBAGE OR RECYCLING CART.

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