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E-Cycle Wisconsin program information

E-Cycle Wisconsin is a statewide, manufacturer-funded program that recycles certain electronics used in homes and schools. Individuals and K-12 schools can use E-Cycle Wisconsin to save on electronics recycling. Others may use the program to find responsible recyclers. Manufacturers, recyclers, collectors, retailers, local governments and others have important roles to play in making E-Cycle Wisconsin a success.

Program Overview

Electronics recycling law changes

In August 2021, Gov. Evers signed 2021 Wisconsin Act 79, which made several changes to the E-Cycle Wisconsin program. These include:

  • expanding the definition of covered schools to include all public elementary or secondary schools, charter schools, private elementary or secondary schools, and all tribal schools;
  • reducing or eliminating annual registration fees that electronics manufacturers selling fewer than 500 units of covered electronics in Wisconsin must pay to the DNR;
  • requiring manufacturers to report the weight of electronics collected from rural counties separately from electronics collected from urban counties;
  • • requiring the DNR to create a program to provide grants to expand electronics recycling and recovery programs in underserved areas of the state; and
  • creating an 18-month transition period that runs from July 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023, and after the transition year, a program year would run from January 1 to December 31.

The DNR has updated its webpages to reflect these changes, and is in the process of updating guidance documents and other publications. If you have questions, please contact us at

Overview of Wisconsin's electronics recycling law

E-Cycle Wisconsin takes a product stewardship approach to electronics recycling. Each year, manufacturers of products covered by Wisconsin's electronics recycling law must pay for electronics to be recycled. This funding makes it easier for individuals and schools to recycle old electronics.

The E-Cycle Wisconsin program is supported by Wisconsin's electronics recycling law, which bans electronics such as TVs, computers and cell phones from Wisconsin landfills and incinerators.

Who does the law affect?

The law establishes requirements for manufacturers, recyclers and collectors to ensure recycling is done in an environmentally sound manner. There are also requirements for consumers, electronics retailers and local government responsible units (RUs). Find the category that best describes you below to learn more about your role in electronics recycling with E-Cycle Wisconsin.


Consumers are responsible for recycling their used electronics. Individuals and K-12 schools may recycle electronics through E-Cycle Wisconsin. Businesses are not eligible to recycle electronics through E-Cycle Wisconsin. By law, businesses must still recycle, reuse or manage their electronics as hazardous waste.

Electronics manufacturers

An electronics manufacturer is a company that makes one of the items covered by Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law and intends for this item to be sold to Wisconsin households or schools. Manufacturers must register annually with E-Cycle Wisconsin and fund a certain amount of electronics recycling in the state each year.

Electronics collectors

Collectors receive electronics from Wisconsin households or schools and deliver them (or arrange to have them delivered) to an electronics recycler. Collectors participating in E-Cycle Wisconsin must register and report annually to the DNR and follow program requirements.

Electronics recyclers

Recyclers take in electronics from collectors, households or schools and recycle them on behalf of electronics manufacturers. Recyclers participating in E-Cycle Wisconsin must register and report annually and follow certain program requirements.

Electronics retailers

Electronics retailers are businesses that sell electronics covered by Wisconsin's electronics recycling law to households or K-12 schools. This includes retailers that sell through direct sales, sales outlets, catalogs or the Internet. Retailers can only sell registered brands of covered electronics to Wisconsin households and schools and must let customers know about the electronics disposal bans and electronics recycling opportunities.

Local governments and responsible units

Local government recycling responsible units (RUs) must inform their residents about electronics recycling and the electronics disposal bans. The DNR can provide local governments with materials to use in informing the public. Any local government may also register as a collector or recycler under E-Cycle Wisconsin.


Program results

To handle the increasing volume of e-waste, protect workers and the environment and recover valuable materials, Wisconsin joined a growing number of states with electronics recycling laws in 2009. The state’s electronics recycling law set up a product stewardship program in which electronics manufacturers fund a statewide collection and recycling system. The law also banned many consumer electronics from Wisconsin landfills and incinerators.

To evaluate the law's implementation and effects, the DNR has conducted surveys, analyzed information submitted by program participants and gathered stakeholder feedback to produce a series of reports, available below.

2021 report to the governor and Legislature

In November 2021, the DNR submitted its annual report on the electronics recycling law to the Legislature and governor. The report presents results from program year 12 (July 2020 to June 2021), during which E-Cycle Wisconsin collectors received 23.4 million pounds of eligible electronics, or about 4 pounds per capita. Between January 2010 and June 2020, E-Cycle Wisconsin recycled nearly 350 million pounds of electronics from households and schools.

E-cycling infographic

This infographic summarizes the problem of e-waste and results from the first nine years of Wisconsin's electronics recycling law. Individual graphics are available upon request.

Household electronics recycling survey results

The DNR has conducted six statewide household surveys since 2006 asking residents what they have done with unwanted electronics, how many electronics are in their homes, what makes it difficult to recycle electronics and other related questions. The results have been summarized in two reports that focus on the 2018, 2016, 2013, 2011 and 2010 surveys.

Surveys of public lands managers about illegal electronics dumping

In 2011 and 2014, the DNR conducted online surveys of public lands managers in Wisconsin to learn about illegal electronics dumping on their properties. The 2014 survey showed that illegal dumping, especially of old TVs, remains a problem on many public lands.

Surveys of landfill and transfer station operators

In 2012 and 2014, the DNR conducted online surveys of Wisconsin solid waste landfill and transfer station operators to learn about how the electronics disposal ban is working. The 2014 survey showed that some of these facilities continue to find electronics dumped at their sites or arriving in trash loads.

Earlier results summaries and legislative reports

Covered Devices

Devices covered by Wisconsin's electronics recycling law

To encourage recycling, Wisconsin's electronics recycling law makes it illegal to throw certain items into the trash. The law also sets up two categories of electronics that manufacturers, recyclers and collectors must understand.

Items that may not be put in the trash

The law bans the landfilling and incineration of several consumer electronics. These bans apply no matter where the devices are from or who used them — including households, schools, businesses, governments and institutions. Specifically, the bans include:

  • televisions;
  • computers (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet computers);
  • desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy and 3-D printers);
  • computer monitors;
  • other computer accessories (including keyboards, mice, speakers, external hard drives and flash drives);
  • e-readers;
  • DVD players, VCRs and other video players (i.e., DVRs);
  • fax machines; and
  • cell phones.

Get information on how to recycle electronics.

See Guidance on Landfill and Incineration Ban Enforcement [PDF].

E-Cycle Wisconsin Device Categories

Covered electronic devices is the category used to determine which manufacturers must register under E-Cycle Wisconsin and how much they must recycle each year. CEDs include:

  • computers (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet computers, and servers and thin clients if used by households or schools);
  • desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy and 3-D printers); and
  • video display devices, including televisions, computer monitors and e-readers with displays of 7 inches or more in the longest diagonal direction.

Eligible electronic devices is a broader category of devices that manufacturers can count toward their recycling obligation. EEDs include:

  • televisions;
  • computers (desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet computers);
  • desktop printers (including those that scan, fax and/or copy and 3-D printers);
  • computer monitors;
  • other computer accessories (including keyboards, mice, speakers, external hard drives and flash drives);
  • e-readers;
  • DVD players, VCRs and other video players (i.e., DVRs); and
  • fax machines.

EEDs do NOT include cell phones, digital cameras, iPods, etc.

Both categories only cover electronics sold to Wisconsin households, K-12 public schools and Parental Choice Program schools are part of the E-Cycle Wisconsin program.

Recycling Targets, Credits and Shortfall Fees

Recycling Targets, Carryover Credits and Shortfall Fees

Wisconsin's electronics recycling law requires manufacturers of covered electronic devices to recycle a target amount of eligible electronic devices from Wisconsin households and K-12 schools each year. Manufacturers must work with registered E-Cycle Wisconsin collectors and recyclers to accomplish their recycling targets. If manufacturers exceed their recycling targets, they earn carryover credits. If manufacturers do not meet their targets they must pay shortfall fees.

Recycling targets overview

Each program year (July through June), manufacturers must recycle 80 percent of the weight of covered electronics they sold to Wisconsin households and covered schools during the program year two years prior. For example, in the program year beginning July 1, 2021, the targets are based on sales during the 12-month period beginning July 1, 2019.

Manufacturers may estimate the total weight of covered electronics sold based on national sales data or use actual sales data. Manufacturers must provide information on how they calculated their targets to the DNR upon request.

If a manufacturer has only recently begun selling covered electronics in Wisconsin and did not have any sales during the relevant time period, its recycling target is 0.

Manufacturers must report their targets for a given program year on their registration forms for that year (due Sept. 1).

Year 13 recycling targets

For program year 13 (July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022): multiply the total weight of covered electronics sold to the covered groups between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, by 0.8.

Meeting recycling targets

To meet its target, a manufacturer may recycle any eligible electronics of any brand. Manufacturers are not required to accept all eligible electronics or all brands. Manufacturers may work with any registered E-Cycle Wisconsin recyclers to meet their recycling targets.

At the end of each program year, a manufacturer must compare the total weight of eligible electronics it recycled during the program year to its recycling target, and determine whether it can receive carryover credits or must pay a shortfall fee.

Rural incentive

To increase collection in underserved parts of the state, the law allows manufacturers to multiply by 1.25 the weight of eligible electronics collected from households and covered schools in rural counties.

When a manufacturer reports on the weight of eligible electronics recycled during a program year, it should note the weights from rural vs. urban counties.

Carryover credits

If a manufacturer recycles more than its target recycling weight during a given program year, it earns recycling credits equal to the number of excess pounds, up to 20 percent of its recycling target. That is, if a manufacturer's target is 1,000 pounds, it can carry over up to 200 pounds of credits.

Manufacturer may use credits to help meet their recycling target in any of the next three program years, or may sell credits to another manufacturer for use in any of the next three program years.

Manufacturers will report to the DNR on the number of credits earned, used, sold or bought during a program year.

Shortfall fees

If a manufacturer fails to reach its recycling target, it must pay a shortfall fee along with its registration fee for the next program year.

Shortfall fees are based on a graduated scale determined by how far short of its recycling target the manufacturer is for the program year.

The fees are as follows:

  • 50 cents per pound if the manufacturer's total weight of eligible electronics recycled is less than 50 percent of its target.
  • 40 cents per pound if the manufacturer's total weight of eligible electronics recycled is between 50 and 90 percent of its target.
  • 30 cents per pound if the manufacturer's total weight of eligible electronics recycled is between 90 and 100 percent of its target.


Electronics Recycling Law Resources

The following resources provide more details about Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law, requirements for managing used electronics and E-Cycle Wisconsin. You can also find additional resources on the outreach page.

E-Cycle Wisconsin outreach resources

Lists of E-Cycle Wisconsin registered participants
Technical assistance for complying with the electronics recycling law
Text of Wisconsin's electronics recycling law

Stakeholder meeting summaries

The DNR has held several E-Cycle Wisconsin stakeholder meetings since 2014.