Automated Refuse Program Kicks Off Monday

Thursday, September 6, 2007 - 8:46am

Madison - Madison residents will be able to use their new tan refuse carts when the automated refuse program begins this Monday, September 10th.

"Madison's new automated refuse collection program will be a major step forward for our city," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "The new program will reduce our labor costs by over $150,000 in 2008. Combined with the savings from the new recycling program, automated collection will save taxpayers over $600,000 annually.

"In addition to saving money in the near term, the new automated collection programs will allow the Streets Division to serve our growing community without significant added costs," the Mayor said.

Madison residents will no longer be able to use their old traditional garbage cans. The Streets Division will collect old metal trashcans at the curb as part of the large item service. Residents who want to recycle their old plastic trash cans must bring them to one of the City's three drop off sites: 1501 W. Badger Rd. (south), 4602 Sycamore Av. (east) or 402 South Point Rd. (west). Details on the recycling program are contained in the Cart Chronicle that was distributed with each new refuse cart.

Residents who have questions about the new program should visit or call the Streets Division at 246-4532 (east) or 266-4681 (west).

The automated refuse and recycling programs are part of the mayor's TRIM program (Taxpayer Relief through Innovative Measures). TRIM is a citywide initiative focused on making city government more efficient, using innovation and technology to provide quality services for a growing community while controlling costs to taxpayers.

More information about the automated refuse program is included in the "Top 10" list of questions.

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About the Automated Refuse Program

1) When does the new program start?

The program begins on Monday, September 10th.

2) How often will my material be collected?

Refuse will continue to be collected every week. Recycling will be collected every other week on the same day as your refuse.

3) Why is this change being made?

The new program will improve efficiency and reduce worker injuries. The new trucks can collect from 250-300 more households per day than the old manual system. This means fewer trucks and employees assigned to the service which will save taxpayers $600,000 per year when the new system is fully implemented.

4) What do I do with my old garbage can?

If you have plastic garbage cans, you must rinse them out and bring them to one of our drop-off sites for recycling. The sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd. on the south side, 4602 Sycamore Ave. on the east side, and 402 South Point Rd. on the west side. The drop-off sites are open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. On Tuesday and Thursday they will remain open until 8:00 p.m.

We can only accept plastic garbage cans for recycling until Friday October 12th so don't delay.

We will recycle metal garbage cans as part of our large-item metal collection. This is our current practice. Place your old metal can at the curb and attach a note/sign that says "Please Recycle" and we will collect it the same day as your regular trash or the following two working days. If you do not want to recycle your old garbage can, you can place it inside your tan refuse cart. Do not put old garbage cans in your green recycling cart.

5) Can I use my old garbage can for other things?

Old garbage cans can be used to make rain barrels, compost bins, and pet waste digesters. They also make excellent storage containers for bird seed, lawn implements, or other items in your garage.

6) What do I do with trash that doesn't fit in the cart?

The Streets Division will NOT collect regular refuse that does not fit in your tan refuse cart. This restriction does not apply to large items such as furniture, appliances, mattresses, box springs, etc.

We do make exceptions for "major clean up projects" and "move outs" only. "Major clean up projects" and "move outs" are defined as those times when a household generates six or more 30-gallon bags of refuse.

If you have less than six 30-gallon bags of refuse that will not fit in your cart, you have several options:

1) Hold the material until the following week.
2) Ask a friend or neighbor if you can put your extra material in their cart.
3) Bring the extra material to our drop off sites at 1501 W. Badger Rd. (west) or 4602 Sycamore Ave. (east).
4) Purchase an additional refuse cart(s).

7) How do I purchase an extra cart?

You can purchase an extra cart by contacting the Streets Division at 246-4532 (east) or 266-4681 (west). A 95-gallon cart costs $50, a 65-gallon cart is $45 and a 35-gallon cart is $40.

8) How do I get a different size cart?

You will need to use the cart you ordered until after the first of the year. If you still want to exchange your cart at that time, you should contact the Streets Division at 246-4532(east) or 266-4681 (west) and we will arrange an exchange.

9) Where should I put my cart at the curb?

• Always place your cart so that the white serial numbers are facing the street. This places the lid opening in the proper position for emptying.
• Place your cart in your driveway or next to it so that it is four (4) feet away from obstacles such as parked cars, mailboxes, and utility poles.
• Another option: place your cart in the gutter right next to the driveway. This works very well in areas with lots of parked cars.
• Place your tan-colored refuse cart on the opposite side of the driveway from your recycling cart.
• Alley placement: carts must be placed at the alley edge. Carts on private property or by the garage will not be collected.

10) What about putting my cart out in the winter?

• The best placement is on your driveway after you have cleared it of snow.
• It can also be placed on a cleared area of your terrace, or
• After your street has been plowed, place it in the gutter right next to your driveway.
• Do not leave your cart on the sidewalk or on top of a snow bank.
• Improperly placed carts will not be collected.

Number 11: Always bag your trash before you put it in the tan cart.


  • George Twigg (Mayor's Office)(608) 266-4611
  • George Dreckmann (Recycling Coordinator)(608) 267-2626