City of

On average 8.3% of the material that is put in Madison's green recycling carts cannot be recycled. This material is removed at the recycling plant and sent to the landfill. This misplaced trash costs Madison taxpayers $89,000 to toss out in 2006.

The Streets Division recently sorted through recyclables we collected looking for some of the common mistakes Madison recyclers make. Here are the most common items that residents put in their recycling carts that should have been put in the trash.




Broken drinking glasses, light bulbs, mirrors and windows should go directly into your tan refuse cart.



Plastic Film

Loose Plastic Bags and Film

Plastic bags, sheet plastic and plastic film should be placed inside a plastic bag before going in your green recycling cart. Loose bags jams our sorting equipment.



At this time we can only recycle #1, and heavy duty #2 and #5 cups. Light weight cups that are not a #1, such as the popular "Solo" cups cannot be recycled. We cannot recycle other plastic cups or paper cups of any kind.

 Hard Plastic Rigid Plastic

Rigid Plastics

Hard, rigid plastic should not be put in your green recycling cart.