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Basic Recycling Grant to responsible units

The 2022 Recycling Grant Application Period is Open!  The application deadline is October 1st, 2021.

Recycling grant awards are made to responsible units (cities, towns, villages, counties, tribes or solid waste management system) 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.

Grant Eligible Recyclables: 1995 items banned from landfills, including yard waste, collected from single-family and 2-4 unit residential housing.
Containers Paper and Cardboard Yard Waste Materials Vehicle Tires
#1 and #2 plastic bottles & jars Corrugated cardboard Grass clippings No farm equipment tires
Aluminum containers Magazines, catalogs, and other materials on similar paper Debris and brush under 6" in diameter May be burned in a solid waste treatment facility with energy recovery
Bi-metal cans Newspaper & newsprint materials Leaves For recycling only - not stockpiling
Glass containers Office paper    
Steel (tin) cans      
Do not include the costs you may incur for materials collected at a clean sweep event. Do not include scrap metal, heavy equipment tires, sharps, pharmaceuticals, major appliances or electronics, lead-acid vehicle batteries, oil absorbents, waste oils or used oil filters.

Notify the DNR of RU contact changes

If your RU’s authorized representative, primary contact or the person filling out the recycling reports has changed or has updated contact information, notify the DNR by submitting the updates so that we can make sure you receive timely information when the recycling grant application and annual report periods are open.

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.


Application process

Our recycling grant application is available online from July through October each year. Responsible Units will receive an email notification with recycling grant application instructions in early July each year.

Note: The grant application is an online report filled out and submitted electronically.

To access the electronic grant application, you will need to have a personally registered WAMS User ID (commonly referred to as a WAMS ID) and Password. If you do not already have a User ID and Password, please go to the DNR Switchboard to:

  • create your WAMS ID and Password; and
  • request access roles.

Please refer to the Switchboard Instructions, FAQ and Troubleshooting site for further information. Step by step directions can also be found on the Switchboard website.

If you already have a WAMS ID for doing other types of electronic reporting with the state but not as a Responsible Unit Recycling Authorized Representative, Primary Contact or Report Preparer, then you will need to update your WAMS ID account profile to include Recycling - Responsible Unit Report Submittals and the role(s) of Authorized Representative, Primary Contact or Secondary Contact.


Grant related statutes and administrative codes


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