Recycling Rules, Costs and Best Practices

Waste & Recycling Rules, Costs, and Best Practices

The Town of Brooklyn works with the Wisconsin DNR to develop waste disposal and recycling methods that are environmentally responsible and at minimum cost to residents. Our Waste & Recycling Center’s goal is to operate as close as possible to fiscal break-even. Our objective is to minimize the impact on your property taxes and to encourage preservation of our beautiful community. Your participation in our best practices ultimately helps us to serve you while keeping costs low. When making purchases, please consider how items are packaged, and when possible, choose products with the least packaging and waste. In order to prevent items from going to a landfill, reuse items first, then recycle if necessary.

DISPOSAL FEES at the Town of Brooklyn Waste & Recycling Center:

The Town of Brooklyn charges a fee for waste to cover the Town’s cost for disposal and upstream recycling. For the convenience of residents, punch cards can be purchased from attendants that are good for disposal of 10 bags. Recycle items are accepted at no charge.

Solid waste/trash (per 32 gallon bag or equivalent): $4.00

  • Garbage bags and small trash items are to be placed in bins marked “Trash/Garbage”. Residents are encouraged to reuse garbage bags when practical.
  • Attendants will charge for carpets, padding, furniture, bedding, non-commercial construction waste, etc. according to volume that is equivalent to a 32-gallon bag.
  • Please see an attendant if you have large furniture items as there is a separate bin for those items. Do not attempt to place them in the bin by yourself.

Refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers (with or without refrigerant): $25.00/unit

  • Note: Doors on refrigerators and freezers must be removed.

Microwave ovens: $6

  • The fee applies 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 an attendant if you wish to dispose of a microwave oven.

Washer, dryer, dishwasher, other appliances: $5

  • Please ask an attendant for guidance on where to unload such items.

Yard or garden equipment: $5

  • Please ask an attendant for guidance on where to unload such items.

E-waste (TV, computer, printer & other electronics): $0.50/Pound with $1 minimum

  • Notes on E-waste: The Town of Brooklyn Waste & Recycling Center is a registered E-Cycle Collector with the Wisconsin DNR. Electronics are secured in our facilities until they are turned over to a registered recycler who handles these items 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 that 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 TVs contain mercury so if the TV is physically broken, it will also be considered hazardous waste so they must be put into a closed container as well.

Tires (rubber): The fees below will be doubled if the tire is mounted on a rim. Tires with a ballast will not be accepted. It is illegal to dump tires in the Town of Brooklyn, and violators 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 are difficult to extinguish. Tires gather water and are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, vermin and disease. Please recycle.

  • Lawn mower, cart, wheelbarrow, or bicycle tires……………...$1.00/ea
  • Auto or trailer tires……………………………………………………...…..........…...…$3.00/ea
  • Truck tires or skid steer tires………………………………..……........…..…...$5.00/ea
  • Semi-tractor tires…………………………………………………………................…...$10.00/ea
  • Farm tractor tires………………………………………………………...............……...$25.00/ea

Non-commercial construction waste: Variable $

  • Please see attendant.

Furniture: Variable $

  • For large furniture items, please see an attendant as there is a separate bin for these items. Do not attempt to place them in the trash bins by yourself.

Mattresses and Memory foam mattresses: Variable

  • The Town encourages residents with memory foam mattresses to take them to Reynolds Urethane Recycling in Madison. Reynolds accepts memory foam type mattress material (this does not include mattresses with metal or other fibers) free of charge. For alternative considerations for mattress recycling click HERE.

Carpet and padding: Variable $

  • The Town encourages residents with carpet and padding to take them to Reynolds Urethane Recycling in Madison. Reynolds accepts carpet for a charge of 10 cents per pound. Padding is accepted at no charge.

Polystyrene: Variable $

  • The Town encourages residents with large amounts of polystyrene to take it to Reynolds Urethane Recycling in Madison as they have recycling bins at their driveway entrance for #5 polystyrene and the type of packing material one may find with computers, TVs, or other appliances. We encourage you to explore this option to keep such materials out of landfills.

Reynolds Urethane Recycling is located at 2701 Progress Road in Madison and is open from 8 AM-4PM; M-F. Check their website for more information.

REUSE AREA (subject to applicable disposal fee):

Occasionally, Town residents may have a gently used item that may be useful for someone else. We highly encourage residents to take such items to charitable organizations such as Goodwill, Agrace Thrift Store, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent DePaul since there may be tax benefits in making such donations. If this is not possible, we have a Reuse Area for such items to help prevent them from being landfilled. Please check with an attendant before placing an item in this area to see if it has a reasonable expectation of being reused. Any item placed in the Reuse Area is still subject to any applicable disposal fees since we find many of these items are not reused and are ultimately put into a trash bin. We do NOT accept used bedding, upholstered furniture or cloth items in this unsheltered Reuse Area. Fully functional appliances should also NOT be placed in the Reuse Area. Items left in this area are NOT eligible for tax deductions and no receipts will be given.


In an effort to encourage responsible recycling, the Town of Brooklyn collects the recyclable materials listed below at no cost to residents. All recyclables, regardless of material type, are collected in bins that are labeled “Recyclables Only”. Our recycler, Pellitteri, uses their personnel and equipment to sort material types at their plant. All items should be loose and empty. Do not place smaller items inside of larger ones.

Paper & Cardboard: This includes newspaper, catalogs, magazines, paperback books, hard cover books (if hard cover removed), phone books, computer and office paper, envelopes and junk mail, paper grocery bags, note books, gift wrapping paper (no foils), pizza boxes (if no food or grease), rinsed milk or juice cartons, paper cups, and cereal and cracker type boxes.

  • Boxes should be flattened to save space.
  • Do not bundle paper with twine or tape as this causes problems with the recycling equipment.
  • Shredded paper is to be placed in a clear plastic bag (no larger than a basketball) and tied shut.
  • Paper shipping envelopes (that you receive items in) can be checked for recyclability by tearing them. If they can be torn they are recyclable. If they are lined with bubble wrap or plastic, trash them

Cans: Includes rinsed tin/steel cans, and empty aerosol cans. Cans or steel pails containing liquid paint or other liquid products will not be accepted.

  • Cans or pails containing latex paint are to be dried out, and then placed in the trash bin.
  • For disposal of cans containing oil or lead based paints in liquid form, see the guidance under “Items not accepted” below.
  • It is best not to completely flatten cans as recycling equipment can pick round cans up easier.
  • A best practice for can lids would be to place them inside the can, and then crimp the end of the can.
  • Metal bottle caps should also be placed in a metal can.
  • Aluminum cans are recycled separately using labeled containers next to the recycle bins. We do this because there is more overall value by bringing them to a scrap dealer for compensation. If you know a can is made of aluminum, we appreciate your assistance in placing these in the separate container provided.

Glass: This includes bottles and jars.

  • Bottles and jars should be emptied and rinsed.
  • Jar lids should be separated from the jar, but still included in recycle. Metal lids and metal bottle caps should be put inside steel/tin cans, and then crimp the end of the can.
  • Incandescent bulbs are to be disposed of in your regular trash.  All other bulb types must be given to an attendant to be recycled as they contain hazardous materials or heavy metals.
  • Ceramics, glassware, baking dishes, mirrors and window glass from construction or vehicles are NOT recyclable and need to be placed in the trash bins.

Plastics: Empty and rinsed containers having a recycle emblem with a number from 1-7 are recyclable.  Lids are to be kept on plastic tubs.  If possible, plastic bottles are to be crushed, and keeping the caps on is a best practice.


  • Motor oil, gas, chemical or solvent containers.
  • Items the size of 5-gallon buckets or larger are not recyclable due to equipment capability at our recycler.
  • Plastic lids used on drink cups are to be placed in the trash as they are too flat and small to be sorted by our recycler's equipment.

Plastic bags are to be treated as trash.  Most retailers and grocers have recycling bins for plastic bags near their entrances or exits.  Hy-Vee, Festival Foods and Pic-n-Save accept the largest variety of recyclable plastics.  Here's a link to what can be put in their bins:

OTHER recyclable items collected separately by our attendants at NO CHARGE:

Aluminum: As mentioned above, the Town of Brooklyn asks you to voluntarily place aluminum cans in a separate container provided near our recycling bins as it provides more overall value by bringing them to a scrap dealer.

  • We will accept aluminum pie plates and foil in recycle bins only if free of food.
  • If you have large aluminum items, such as bike frames or motor components, check with an attendant to see if we can include them in our aluminum program.

Light bulbs: This includes incandescent, fluorescent, LED, compact fluorescent and other light bulbs.

  • Incandescent bulbs are to be disposed of in your regular trash.
  • All other bulb types must be given to an attendant to be recycled as they contain hazardous materials or heavy metals.

Scrap Metal: Anything that is primarily made of metal is to be placed in the large dumpster labeled "Metals" that is located in the Northeast corner of our complex.  For large or heavy items, ask an attendant for assistance.

Exceptions:  Water softeners are to be treated as trash.  Gas/Propane/Oil/Fuel tanks must be drained, valves removed and depressurized.

Batteries: Alkaline batteries do not contain hazardous materials and have little value for recycling.  Spent alkaline batteries should be put in your trash.  A collection barrel for all other types of batteries is located outside of the Recycling Center building at the Southeast corner.

  • Lithium batteries pose a fire hazard so residents must apply clear tape to the contact points.  Sandwiching flat button-type batteries between two strips of tape works best.
  • Lead, wet cell and vehicle batteries are accepted by attendants, but can also be taken to retailers of such products.  Electrical tape should be put on the posts of car batteries in order to prevent accidental discharge.

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.

Antifreeze: Contact an attendant who will guide you where to place the product

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


  • Used motor oil and other automotive fluids (except Antifreeze): 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 at 102 Windy Lane, Brooklyn, WI. Their 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.
  • Motor oil, gas, chemical or solvent containers of any type even if they are empty.
  • Household cleaning products, insecticides, old gasoline, herbicides, fungicides, paints (oil, lead based, marine, auto), solvents, strippers, and wood preservatives: These items can be disposed of at a Green County Clean Sweep event. For additional information, please check the Green County Clean Sweep web page at: , or call the Green County Landfill at 608-897- 8605.
  • Textiles: We highly encourage residents to take such items to charitable organizations such as Goodwill, Agrace Thrift Store, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent DePaul.
  • Propane tanks
  • Styrofoam: Formed, or as beads or peanuts. These items are NOT recyclable and are to be placed in the trash bins even though they may be marked as recyclable.
  • Plastic Bags and Film: Plastic bags are NOT accepted at the Waste & Recycling Center. Most large retailers and grocers have recycling bins for plastic bags and film. Hy-Vee, Festival Foods, and Pic-n-Save accept the largest variety of recyclables, and all three use the same recycler. Here’s a link to what can be put in their bins:”.
  • 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 as food buried in a landfill creates methane gas due to the lack of oxygen. 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.

If you have questions on how to properly dispose of any item, please ask an attendant. includes an app that can be downloaded on either Apple or Android devices. This app allows one to easily query if an item is trash or recyclable and how it is best prepared for recycling.