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Basic Recycling Grant to responsible units

 The 2023 Grant application period will open August 15, 2022! The application deadline is October 3, 2022.

Recycling grant awards are made to responsible units (cities, towns, villages, counties, tribes, or solid waste management systems) for residential recycling and yard waste program costs that are reasonable and necessary for planning and operating an effective recycling program.

If you are eligible to apply for this basic Recycling Grant you may also qualify for the Recycling Consolidation Grant.

Sign up to follow Legislative proposals related to recycling by going to the Wisconsin Legislature website [exit DNR] and choosing Notification Service.

Annual Report and Grant Materials

The table below lists what to include when reporting tonnage of recyclable material collected. When reporting actual recycling program costs for the previous calendar year, only costs associated with grant eligible materials may be covered by a state recycling grant.

  Required Reporting
(Collection Standard Eligible)
Optional Reporting Do Not Report
Grant Eligible Materials
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Residential mixed paper
  • Aluminum containers
  • Steel/bi-metal (tin) containers
  • Plastic containers #1 & #2***
  • Glass containers
  • Yard Waste
  • Waste Tires (not from heavy/farm equipment)
Grant Ineligible Materials  
  • Electronics
  • Used oil and oil filters
  • Major appliances
  • Used lead acid batteries
  • Rigid plastics
  • Scrap metal
  • Trash
  • Household hazardous waste materials
  • Sharps/pharmaceuticals
***Plastic containers #3-#7 can also be reported, counted toward the collection standard, and are grant eligible, but they are not required to be collected.

Notify the DNR of RU contact changes

If your RU’s authorized representative, primary contact or the person filling out the recycling grant has changed or has new contact information, contact the DNR so the RU can receive importnat updates and timely information. After using the email link below, the RU will be contacted to confirm the updates.

Who can apply

Eligible applicants

Responsible Units (RU): cities, towns, villages, counties, federally recognized tribe or band in this state or a solid waste management system under s. 59.70(2), Wis. Stats. and s. 287.09(1), Wis. Stats.

In order to be eligible for the basic Recycling Grant, RUs must:



Basic Recycling Grant: Responsible Units must have a DNR-approved Effective Recycling Program.

Recycling Consolidation Grant: Responsible Units must meet one or more of the criteria described in s. 287.24 (2), Wis Stats. [exit DNR].

Eligible costs

Residential and 2-4 unit household recycling and yard waste program costs (net of the sale of recovered materials). Examples include but are not limited to:

  • education & outreach materials;
  • collection/transport of residential recyclables;
  • RU employee salary, wages and benefits;
  • utility services;
  • contractual (purchased) services; and
  • rents and leases.

Examples of ineligible costs

Collection of recyclables or yard waste from governmental, businesses and residential housing larger than 4 units and other costs as defined in s. NR 542.05, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR].


Calendar year

Applications are normally submitted from July through October.

Grant award payments are issued no later than June 1 of the grant year.

Actual expenditure documentation is due annually on April 30 for the preceding year by completing the Recycling Activities and Actual Costs Annual Report.

Completed grant applications that are submitted by the due date of Oct. 1 are eligible for full funding. Applications submitted after the Oct. 1 due date are subject to reduced funding as follows in the table below.

Date Submitted Percent Funding
By Oct. 1 100%
By Oct. 10 95%
By Oct. 20 90%
By Oct. 30 75%
Oct. 31 or later 0%

Note: If the grant application due date falls on a non-business day, the due date is moved to the next business day.


Register to use the Online Reporting System

To submit a grant using the online system, a representative from the RU must have a current WAMS ID on file.

You need to register to access the online report if:

  • your RU has submitted an online recycling annual report or grant application in the past, BUT a different person will be submitting the annual report this year; or
  • your RU has not submitted an online recyling report or grant application before.

Note that registration confirmation may take 2 to 3 business days, so please allow enough time for this process before your report is due.


Grant related statutes and administrative codes


Contact information
For information on recycling grants, contact:
Wendy Soleska
DNR Community Financial Assistance