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Business & Apartment Recycling

Owners of commercial buildings or residential buildings with 5 or more units are required by state law to provide an adequate amount of recycling collection service to their tenants and inform their residents about the program. Education should include 1) what materials are accepted for recycling and 2) where and how to sort them. Education should occur once at the time of leasing and then semiannually in an ongoing fashion to promote proper recycling.


Landlords and Property Managers

Need help starting or improving your recycling program? Contact the recycling office at (414) 286-2349 and review the resources below.

Program Basics

Follow the 4 C's:

  • Convenient - Locate your recycling containers next to garbage containers for easy sorting. 
  • Clear - Label bins with an accepted materials list. 
  • Color - Use garbage and recycling containers that are different in color. The city uses green garbage and blue recycling carts. 
  • Capacity - Ensure you have appropriate container sizes so overflow of materials aren't placed in the wrong bin. Call our offices for assistance on determining size.


  • Remind tenants about your program at least semi-annually. Remind them what materials are accepted, where containers are located, and which container is for recycling vs. garbage. 
  • Share fun facts and special reminders to encourage recycling. Follow Milwaukee Recycles' social media accounts for easy sharing of readily-available content
  • Download and share a copy of the City of Milwaukee's annual Waste Reduction and Recycling Fall Mailer

Additional Resources


  • Template 1 - Recycling Yes & Nos Poster Word
  • Template 2 - Recyclables Poster B&W Word  
  • Template 3 - Recyclables Poster B&W (no cartons) Word  
  • Template 4 - Recyclables Low Text Word

City of Milwaukee Recycling and Garbage Pamphlet

Choosing a recycling hauler guide

List of Milwaukee Area Haulers

Recycling laws and ordinances


If your building doesn't have a recycling program or has bins that are often overflowing, contact your landlord or property manager for assistance.

If the problems aren't resolved, you can place an anonymous complaint by calling (414) 286-CITY (2489).