Innovation Pushes Madison Recycling to New Highs

February 2, 2007

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said today that innovative new programs such as automated recycling and a new initiative to recycle waste wood have pushed recycling rates in the City of Madison to new highs. In 2006, Madison diverted over 57% of its waste stream from the landfill.

"Madison residents should be proud of their recycling and composting efforts," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "Madison is well ahead of both state and national recycling rates."

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the statewide recycling rate is 36%. According to the Government Accounting Office, the national rate is 32%. Madison's diversion rate had hovered near 51% for the past five years.

"What pushed us to new heights was the automated recycling program which increased recycling tonnage by 4,065 tons," Cieslewicz said. "Another important factor was the 1,000 tons of wood waste that was converted to mulch and path material."

"The new wood waste program enabled us to convert old lumber and furniture to a useful product," Madison Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said. "The wood was shredded and used for park paths, road material at the landfill and compost sites, and as mulch."

Both the automated recycling program and the wood waste recovery effort are part of Mayor Cieslewicz's Taxpayer Relief through Innovative Measures (TRIM) program. The automated recycling program has increased curbside recycling by 35% and is saving taxpayers $400,000 per year.

Contact:
  • George Twigg, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611
  • George Dreckmann, Streets Department, 608-267-2626