Madison Sets Waste Diversion Record

February 10, 2011

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced today that Madison had diverted over 66% of its waste stream from the landfill, compared to the national average 33.8%. The material is diverted as either recycling, composted or reused.

"The fact that Madison diverts two-thirds of its waste from landfills makes us a national leader in recycling," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "I want to thank the residents and businesses of Madison, as well as the Streets Division for continually improving this important basic service."

The national recycling rate is 33.8% and the Environmental Protection Agency has set a goal of 35%. Madison set a goal of 65% diversion for 2010 with an ultimate goal of achieving Zero Waste.

"In 2010, we launched two new recycling programs, one for plastic bags and a much larger program for construction and demolition waste," Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said. "These new programs were very important in reaching our ambitious goal for 2010."

In recent years, Madison has expanded its recycling program to include mixed paper, computers and electronic scrap, rigid plastics, cooking oil, athletic shoes, and the Madison Stuff Exchange in addition to the plastic bag and construction waste programs. The Mayor also led the switch to the automated single stream recycling program which resulted in a 30% increase in the curbside recycling program.

"While we are proud of our success, we have more work to do," Cieslewicz said. "In June, we will launch a pilot program for the collection and composting of household organics. If the program proves feasible, we could have the potential to drive our diversion rate up as high as 80%."

Also on tap for 2011 is a pilot drop off program for polystyrene foam packaging (Styrofoam), and the return of plastic dairy tubs and lids to the curbside recycling program.

Contact:
  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson, 608-266-4611