Recycling, Waste Disposal, and Clean Sweep Hazardous Waste Reduction

Trying to find an outlet for an unwanted refrigerator that still works?

refrigerator recycle

Check out the Wisconsin Focus on Energy’s Appliance Recycling program.  This program offers free pick up and recycling of old, working refrigerators and freezers in communities where the utility participates in the Focus on Energy program.  Click the link to see if you qualify.

Many products contain hazardous materials.  Improper disposal of these products can cause harm to humans and the environment.  This guide will help you identify hazardous products around your home.  Keep your home and the environment safe by disposing of hazardous products properly!

Hazardous wastes are products whose labels include the words: caution, poison, combustive, danger, warning, flammable hazardous wasteand corrosive.  Unwanted, unused, or damaged products with these words on the label that are stored in your business, barn, garage, basement, kitchen, storage room, or craft/hobby room can be brought to one of Calumet County’s clean sweep sites. Acceptable materials include, but are not limited to: solvents, pesticides and herbicides (including DDT and chlordane), rodent baits, lead and oil based paints, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, bug sprays and auto products such as old gasoline, transmission fluid and antifreeze.   LATEX PAINT  IS NOT ACCEPTABLE .

Calumet County businesses that are very small quantity generators (VSQG’s) of hazardous waste are eligible to participate in the Clean Sweep program, but must pay their own disposal costs.  Click here for a definition of VSQG and more information on the program.


Wisconsin’s recycling law bans certain materials from being thrown away in landfills or incinerators. This includes most types of paper and containers, including newspaper, cardboard boxes, magazines, office paper, aluminum containers, steel containers, glass bottles and jars, plastic containers with the numbers 1 and 2, steel cans, and tires. Other items that must be recycled are vehicle batteries, household appliances, motor oil, and yard wastes like grass clippings and leaves.  More recently, the list of banned items has been extended to electronic wastes and oil filters.

Recycling programs in Calumet County are managed by local units of government, most of whom contract with Veolia Environmental Services for recycling collection.  Specific questions about recycling pick up and service should be directed to local government officials, or to Veolia’s customer service staff at 888 688 4005.  The entire City of Appleton receives recycling services from the Outagamie County Recycling Program, while the City of Menasha is served by the Winnebago County Recycling Program.

Recycling Publications   To find local outlets for hard-to-manage items, see these publications.

Used TV and Electronics Recycling
Used Fluorescent Bulb Recycling
Used Oil & Oil Filter Recycling
Used Appliances Recycling 
Propane Tank Handout

Safe Medication Disposal  

Waste Disposal
Veolia Environmental Services is the refuse collector in most of Calumet County, and can be reached at 888 688 4005.  City departments in Appleton and Menasha are responsible for refuse collection in those communities.  Some Calumet County communities hold special clean up days when residents can dispose of these items at no cost.  For the materials that must be specially handled, there are other options.  For details, contact your local community or the Hickory Meadows landfill at 920 853 8553 to determine if they will accept these items.


Composting is a natural process in which organic materials decompose into a humus-like material that can be used as a natural soil enhancement. There are a number of methods for producing finished compost at home, including composting in a backyard compost bin and using red worms to eat food wastes. For more information, a good place to start learning is to check out the link for DNR’s website, which contains a number of resources.
Home Composting