Recycling Rules, Costs and Best Practices

Recycling Rules, Costs and Best Practices for the Town of Brooklyn

Our Town works with Wisconsin DNR to develop the means to dispose of material in the most responsible way possible and at the lowest cost to taxpayers. Our Recycling Center runs close to a fiscal break even. Our objective is to not impact your property taxes and to encourage preservation of our beautiful community. Your participation in our best practices ultimately helps us serve you and keeps costs low. Please consider the least use of packaging and waste when making purchases. Reuse is always preferred followed by recycling for the least use of landfills.


The Town of Brooklyn charges a usage fee on non-recyclable trash and garbage and other items for which the Town must pay for disposal to upstream recyclers.  For the convenience of residents, punch cards can be purchased from attendants good for disposal of 10 bags.

  • Solid Waste/Trash/Garbage (per 32 gallon bag or equivalent)………………………$4.00
  • Attendant will charge for carpets, furniture, bedding, non-commercial construction waste, etc. according to volume equivalent to a 32 gallon bag.  Please see attendant for large furniture items and do not attempt to place these in trash bins yourself.

If you have the ability to take your materials to Madison, Reynolds Urethane Recycling accepts memory foam type mattress material (this does not include mattresses with metal or other fibers) free of charge and carpeting at 10 cents per pound which may be less than what we may charge you for disposal. We encourage you to explore this option to keep such materials out of landfills. Reynolds is located at 2701 Progress Road in Madison and is open to receive carpeting and urethane mattress materials during their business hours (8 AM-4PM; M-F).  Check their website for more information.

Polystyrene is accepted as garbage but the Town encourages residents with large amounts of polystyrene to find other recyclers outside the Town that accept this material for responsible recycling. Check online for locations such as UPS. Reynolds Urethane Recycling (see above) also has recycling bins on site for #5 polystyrene and the type of packing material one may find with computers or other appliances.

Garden Hoses, Plastic Feed, Plastic Salt or similar plastic bags cannot be placed in recycle bins and are considered trash.

  • Appliances w/ refrigeration units (with or without refrigerant)……………...…..$25.00/unit

Note: Doors on refrigerators or freezers must be removed.  Dehumidifiers and air conditioners include refrigerants.

  • E-waste (TV’s, Computers, Printers & Other Electronics) ………$0.50/Pound  $1 minimum

Notes on E-waste: Town of Brooklyn Recycling Center is a registered E-Cycle Collector with the Wisconsin DNR.  Electronics are secured in our facilities until it is turned over to a registered recycler who handles in accordance with State regulations, e-steward and ISO guidelines.  This ensures any personal data stored on memory devices will not be compromised.  Residents can be assured hazardous materials in E-waste are properly handled and materials that can be reused, will be.  Cellular phones or other devices using Lithium Ion batteries should never be disposed in trash as they have been known to start fires in bins or landfills. Broken CRT or TV tubes are a lead hazard and can only be received by the center in a closed container.  Many flat screen TV’s, if broken contain mercury and are also considered hazardous waste and must be contained so as not to aerosol.

Tires:  Fees below will be doubled the tire is mounted on wheel. Tires with ballast will not be accepted.  It is illegal to dump tires in the Town and dumpers are subject to fines.  Dumped tires damage the environment by creating chemical runoffs to surface and ground waters, and have the potential to fuel fires that burn and are difficult to extinguish.  Tires gather water and are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, vermin and disease.  Please recycle.

o    Auto Tires…………………………………………………………….$3.00

o    Truck Tires or Skid Steer Tires…………………………………...$5.00

o    Semi-Tractor Tires…………………………………………..…….$10.00

o    Farm Tractor Tires...................................................................$25.00

Items accepted at no charge:

The Town of Brooklyn collects recyclable materials, as indicated below, at no cost to residents in an effort to encourage responsible recycling and reuse.

We accept recyclable materials in single source recycle bins indicated with signs at the Recycling Center. This means our recycler, Pellittieri, allows us to mix the materials which they sort at their plant. So Town residents should separate recyclables from trash but do not have to sort different types of recyclables. Pellittieri has provided us with best practices that helps keep their costs low and can thus keep prices lower for our Town, which we have noted below. While these best practices are not mandatory, we encourage residents to adopt them whenever possible:

Single stream recycle bins (marked “Recycling Only”)

  • Paper/Cardboard:  This includes newspaper, catalogues, magazines, phone books, office paper, rinsed milk or juice cartons and cereal type boxes. Boxes should be free of food and flattened to save space. Do not bundle paper with twine or tape as this causes problems with recycling equipment. Best practice, per our recycler, is to place paper in a brown paper bag before placing in bin. It is preferred for shredded paper to be placed in a paper bag and stapled shut. Post it notes should be put in junk mail envelopes to prevent them from contaminating other materials in recycling process.


  • Cans:  Rinsed and tin/steel cans and empty aerosol cans. Attendants supply separate bins for aluminum cans which we recycle separately to save the recycling program money and to keep costs low. If you know the can is aluminum, we appreciate your assistance in placing these in the separate container provided. Cans containing liquid paint or other liquid products will not be accepted. It is best not to completely flatten cans as recycling equipment can pick them up paper and contaminate the paper. Best practice is to place can lids inside can and crimp the end of the can. Metal bottle caps are best handled if placed in a metal can and which is then crimped to contain them during recycling process.


  • Glass: Bottles and jars should empty and rinsed. Light bulbs (lamps) should not be put in recycle bins and should be given to attendants (see below). Window glass from construction or vehicles should be treated as trash and not put in recycle bins. Jar lids can be included in recycle bin with other can metals.


  • Plastics:  Clean/rinsed #1 though #7 plastic containers. Plastics not marked or #8 or higher should be disposed as part of your trash. Pelliteri suggests you keep plastic caps on empty plastic bottles after crushing bottles to save some space. Plastic bottles must be empty before placement in the recycling dumpster. Plastic bags are NOT accepted at the Recycling Center. Most retailers and grocers have recycling bins near the entrances or exits from their store and Wisconsin DNR encourages you to take your plastic bags to those stores as part of your shopping routine. In summary, if the plastic item does not have a #1-#7 recycling symbol on it, it cannot be placed in the recycling bin and it must be included with your trash.


Other free recycling collected outside single stream recycling bins by our attendants:

  • Aluminum:  As mentioned above, the Town of Brooklyn asks you to voluntarily place aluminum cans in a separate container provided near our large recycling dumpsters to offset costs, these can provide some revenue for the Town. We will also accept aluminum pie plates and foil only if free of food. If you have large aluminum items, such as bike frames or motor components, check with attendants to see if we can include in our aluminum program.


  • Lamps:  This includes incandescent, florescent, compact florescent and other light bulbs.  These should not be included in trash since broken lamps pose mercury environmental hazards and must be treated with care. Give lamps to attendants who have storage bins made for shipping safely to our responsible recycler.


  • Batteries:  To save Town of Brooklyn costs, we separate alkaline batteries from other batteries containing more hazardous such as Lithium (Li), Cadmium (Ca), Lead (Pb) which can usually be identified on the sides of the batteries. We also accept ‘button’ batteries like the kinds used in watches and other devices. We will accept mixed batteries but separating them saves us time and is appreciated. Please give batteries to attendants and let them know if they are already sorted. Button or watch batteries are a fire hazard and should not be put in garbage bins at home or at our site. When recycling a number of these it is best to stick to a strip of electrical tape to prevent fires at home or when you bring to our Recycling Center. We accept lead, wet cell, vehicle batteries which are also taken by retailers of such products. Electrical tape should be put on the posts of car batteries to prevent accidental discharge.


  • Microwave Ovens: Our Recycling Center charges $6 for disposal of microwave ovens, regardless if they are working or not. Microwave ovens include some hazardous materials and must never be placed in a recycling or trash dumpster. Please see the attendant if you wish to dispose of a microwave oven.


  • Appliances and other metal:  The Recycling Center charges $5 per unit for non-Freon appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher etc.) and yard and garden equipment.  Smaller scrap metals can be disposed of in the metal dumpster and are accepted at no cost.  Please check with the attendant before unloading such items to see if the material is eligible for this container as it may require some disassembly.


  • Egg Cartons: Being a rural community, we have a unique demand for clean egg cartons which are reused by local growers. See attendant to either drop off or pick up egg cartons.


  • Little Free Library:  Gently used reading material can be donated to our registered Little Free Libraries in front of our Recycling Center (see photos in other tab on this site).  Outdated manuals or reading material that is dated or would not be an interest to most people is still best to be put in our recycled bins during normal business hours. We will remove and recycle books that are not used by others periodically to make room for new donations, so check our libraries often. We also encourage you to take advantage of used book shops where you may receive some money for your old books.


  • Used Oil Filters:  Do it yourselfers can bring their uncrushed used oil filters to our attendants who will store these in steel barrels for delivery to our recycler. Used oil and other automotive fluids are not accepted. See below for suggestions on recycling locations.


  • Free Area: Occasionally Town residents may have a gently used item that is still useful for someone else. We highly encourage residents to take such items to charitable organizations such as Goodwill or St. Vincent DePaul since there are tax benefits in making such donations. To encourage reuse, we have a Free Area for such items when making a trip to charity is not convenient. Please check with attendants before placing an item in this area to see if it has a reasonable expectation of being reused. Any item placed in the Free Area is still subject to any applicable disposal fees since we find many of these items are not reused and ultimately put into a garbage dumpster for which the Town pays for disposal. We do NOT accept used bedding, upholstered furniture or cloth items in this unsheltered Free Area. Appliances should also not be placed in the free area. Items left in this area are NOT eligible for tax deductions and no receipts will be given.


Items NOT accepted at the Town of Brooklyn Recycling Center

  • Used Oil:  The Town has a reciprocal agreement with the Village of Brooklyn to accept used motor oil from our Town residents. You may take your motor oil to the Village of Brooklyn waste water treatment plant, off State Highway 104 south of Brooklyn at 102 Windy Lane. Hours of operation are 6 AM to 2 PM Monday to Friday. There is no charge for this service but motor oil must not be diluted with other materials such as antifreeze


  • Styrofoam: Formed or as beads or peanuts. These items are NOT accepted by Pellettieri, the Town waste removal contractor. Even though those products may be marked as recyclable, these cannot be recycled at the Town's transfer station because they will be rejected by Pellettieri which, in turn charges the Town a non-recyclable service fee.


  • Plastic Bags: As mentioned above, Wisconsin encourages recycling of plastic bags at retailer and grocer sites.


  • Ag Plastics: Deliver used Ag plastics to the Green County Landfill, W2002 County Highway SS, Brodhead between 7 AM and 3 PM weekdays.


  • Yard and Food Waste:  Residents of our rural community are encouraged to compost.  Yard waste is not accepted at our Recycling Center.


  • Hazardous Materials: Asbestos bearing material, medical waste and other hazardous materials are not accepted at the recycling center.


  • Construction Waste/Commercial Businesses:  Our facilities are designed and sized for residential use and cannot accept building demolition, construction or large amounts of commercial business waste.


Please ask attendant if you have questions regarding any materials or particular items.


Alternative considerations for furniture & mattress recycling click here.