City of Madison

City Clerk  | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette



Madison's new Scrap/Recycle License Ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2013. This law requires that Scrap & Recycling businesses, including Motor Vehicle Salvage, Towing & Wrecker Services and Waste Haulers report the purchase of secondhand goods, on a daily basis, through the use of a web-based software called Leads Online. This electronic reporting system will be required in conjunction with the paper records that are currently used to report transactions to the Madison Police Department and will be available at no cost the individual retailer, other than internet access.

Some of the other changes in the new Ordinance are:

•Prohibiting purchases by scrap and recycling dealers from those intoxicated,

  impaired or under the age of 18.

•Forbidding the collection of scrap and recycling left at the curb by unlicensed


•Requirements established for storing combustible scrap & recycling

•Hours of operations are 6:00am-8:00pm except for vehicle towing emergency


 •A 48 hour holding period for non-ferrous scrap


NOTICE: For all license applications we now require a copy of your State Seller's Permit ID certificate.

Are you unsure if you need a license?

Check this guide/ordinance summary to start GUIDE and also this fee chart CHART

Read the Frequently Asked Questions section which highlights some of the changes in this new Ordinance. If you have questions, you may contact the City Clerk's Office at: (608) 266-4601 or at


What are the fees?



Motor Vehicle Salvage


Motor Vehicle Storage


Scrap and Recycling Dealer


Solid Waste Hauler


Scrap and Recycling Collector


 - Single Vehicle


 - Two-Five Vehicles


 - Six or More Vehicles



What is required for the license?

1. Fill out the Scrap/Recycling/Waste Hauler License application.

2. Pay the fee (see above).

3. Your application is checked by the Recycling Coordinator in the Streets Department.

4. After the Streets Department has checked and approved the applications, the          Clerk’s Office will submit the application to the Common Council for approval.

5. After approval, the Clerk will send the license and vehicle sticker(s) to you.

Vehicle Stickers? What are those for?

Any vehicle used by a Waste Hauler, Scrap Collector, a Scrap/Recycling Dealer who also uses vehicles to collect, etc, must have a numbered sticker. These stickers may be placed anywhere on the outside of the vehicle that is visible.  The Streets Department suggests placing the sticker near the rear of the vehicle. The application has a place to list your vehicles.

What are the record keeping requirements?

Records must be kept on paper and electronically.

On paper:

Each scrap and recycling dealer and scrap and recycling collector shall in a bound book keep a daily record in the English language of articles purchased and the name and address of the seller when such person is known to the licensee. When the seller is unknown to the licensee, the licensee shall record the name, age and address, and indicate what identification card was inspected by the licensee, and the identifying number thereof, or if the card bears no number, the certifying officer. Any certified identification card issued by a public agency and giving a description of the person to whom it is issued shall be deemed sufficient to comply with the provisions of this paragraph. When articles are purchased in bulk, they may be designated by a general description of the lot.

Electronic (Leads Online):

*Leads Online is the required method of electronic record-keeping of the Madison Police Department*

A scrap dealer shall electronically submit to the Madison Police Department a report of each purchase of nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles not later than the business day following the purchase, including each seller's or deliverer's name, date of birth, identification number, and address, and the number and state of issuance of the license plate on each seller's or deliverer's vehicle, by electronically transferring it from their computer to the Police department approved data server. All records must be transmitted completely and accurately and in accordance with standards and procedures established by the Police Department.

So what is scrap?

Scrap means old iron, chain, brass, copper, tin, lead, or other base metals, rags, rubber, plastic bulk merchandise containers, recyclable waste defined in Sec. 10.18(7)(e), and all articles and things discarded as manufactured articles including motor vehicles and parts thereof.

What is the holding period for scrap?

48 hours for non-ferrous scrap

Non-ferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles all need to be reported to LeadsOnline – what are they and what’s the difference?

Nonferrous scrap" means scrap metal consisting primarily of metal other than iron or steel, but does not include any of the following:

1. Aluminum beverage cans.

2. Used household items.

3. Items removed from a structure during renovation or demolition.

4. Small quantities of nonferrous metals contained in large manufactured items.

 "Metal article" means a manufactured item that consists of metal, is usable for its original intended purpose without processing, repair, or alteration, and is offered for sale for the value of the metal it contains, except that "metal article" does not include antique or collectible articles, including jewelry, coins, silverware, and watches.


"Proprietary article" means any of the following:

1. A metal article stamped, engraved, stenciled, or otherwise marked to identify the article as the property of a governmental entity, telecommunications provider, public utility, cable operator, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 66.0420(2)(d), or an entity that produces, transmits, delivers, or furnishes electricity, or transportation, shipbuilding, ship repair, mining, or manufacturing company.

2. A copper conductor, bus bar, cable, or wire, whether stranded or solid.

3. An aluminum conductor, cable, or wire, whether stranded or solid.

4. A metal beer keg.

5. A manhole cover.

6. A metal grave marker, sculpture, plaque, or vase, if the item's appearance suggests the item has been obtained from a cemetery.

7. A rail, switch component, spike, angle bar, tie plate, or bolt used to construct railroad track.

8. A plastic bulk merchandise container.