Become a Certified Master Recycler

The City of Madison Streets Division is proud announce the inaugural Master Recycler Program . The program was developed in close partnership with Sustain Dane, who will be administering the courses. Sustain Dane also obtained a grant from the Carton Council to make this program available.

Individuals who sign up to become a Master Recycler  will learn the intricacies of our local recycling program. You will learn not only how to be a better recycler at your home, but you will have the tools to go out and teach your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers how to improve their recycling habits.

When will the classes take place?
There will be two opportunities to become a certified Master Recycler 2021 .

Each session will meet twice virtually at the dates and times below.

Session 1
Class 1: Wednesday, April 7, 12PM—1:30PM
Class 2: Wednesday, April 14, 12PM—1:30PM

Session 2
Class 1: Tuesday, July 13, 6:30PM—8:00PM
Class 2: Tuesday, July 20, 6:30PM—8:00PM

What do I have to do to become a Master Recycler ?
Certified Master Recyclers  must attend both classes of a session and complete an outreach project to share your recycling knowledge with your community.

Projects can take any number of forms. It could be guiding a recycling information meeting with your colleagues, or completing a project like setting up a recycling info station at your apartment, or other innovative ideas on how to help spread information on how to recycle more and recycle right.

Certified Master Recyclers  and their projects will be recognized at Sustain Dane’s annual Summit.

Is there a fee to attend a session?
The Sustain Dane tuition to become a Master Recycler is $15. If you are a Sustain Dane member or partner, your registration will be complementary. Full or partial scholarships are available from Sustain Dane.

Where to sign up?
You can register to become a Master Recycler at the Sustain Dane website .

More Information
Additional information about Sustain Dane can be found at their website, .

Additional information about the City of Madison’s recycling program can be found at

Street Sweepers Working Overnight Hours Starting March 7

Spring cleanup begins! Starting the evening of March 7, 2021, Streets Division street sweepers will operating on Madison roadways 16-hours a day collecting the sand, salt, and other accumulated grit from the roads.

Sweepers will be working during the overnight hours while cleanup from winter is ongoing. One shift of operators will be sweeping from 10:00pm to 6:00am. And another shift of operators will be sweeping from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Crews will be working these hours for up to six weeks, depending on weather conditions.

Sweepers can only collect what they have access to along the curb.

Parked vehicles and collection carts in the street block sweepers from collecting the debris in the gutter. And it can be weeks until crews can rotate back to neighborhoods for another pass to collect the missed grit.

Remember to follow all posted parking restrictions, and please choose off-street parking options at night. Also, avoid placing your refuse and recycling carts in the street gutter for pickup.

As a reminder to all roadway users, street sweepers are very slow vehicles. When they are actively collecting debris, they move at a top speed of 5 MPH. If you encounter a street sweeper while traveling through the city, please be patient and give them plenty of space to do their work safely.

For more information about the Streets Division sweeping operations, go to

The Recycling Truck Fire: Why You Need to Follow Recycling Rules

Recycling Truck Fire

From the City of Madison Website

On January 14, 2021, a load of recyclables within a Streets Division collection truck burst into flames. Thankfully, the operator was able to act fast to keep herself safe and unload the burning recyclables into the street to save the vehicle from burning. The Madison Fire Department responded swiftly to extinguish the fire. The burnt and ruined recyclables were sent to the landfill.

The exact cause of this fire is unknown.

However, lithium-ion batteries, the same ones used to power cell phones, vape pens, laptops, electric bicycles, and many other electronics, are very often the reason  for these incidents. Fires at recycling facilities  and within recycling trucks from lithium batteries are a worldwide  problem.

What should you do with lithium batteries?
Never place batteries, particularly lithium batteries, into your recycling carts at your home.

The City of Madison Streets Division offers battery recycling for Madison residents at the drop-off sites.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also has additional information on how to handle batteries on their website. 

What can you put into your recycling cart?
For residents of the City of Madison, you have an abundance of resources to learn what you can place into your green curbside recycling cart. You can check the websitecheck your recycling cart lid PDF , check your Recyclopedia booklet, or maybe even check your refrigerator if you have requested a free recycling magnet.

Contamination within our recycling is at an all-time high. Nearly 19% of everything placed into our recycling carts does not belong. While not all contamination is as physically dangerous as lithium batteries, all of it hurts the system, increases costs, and can damage or jam sorting equipment .