City of

On average 18.9% 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 thousands of dollars.

Please use any of the information available to be sure you, your roommates, and coworkers are recycling right.  (And you may want to check out the video that shows how your recycling is sorted to understand these rules better.)




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, plastic sheets and plastic film should be returned to the reailers.



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.


Other items that do not belong in the recycling cart

  • Water filters
  • Single-use paper coffee cups
  • Empty ice cream tubs
  • K-cups or other coffee pods
  • Clothing
  • Diapers
  • Flexible packaging, like the metallic pouches for tuna
  • Ropes
  • Hoses
  • Bear paws