Recycling Myth: Landfills are cheap
Let’s talk some trash. The average Wisconsinitte creates over 4 1/2 lbs. of trash a day. This is what we put into landfills, and does not include all that we recycle. Despite the fact that we put so much stuff into landfills, most people know very little about them. So here we go: a little bit of info about landfills.
Where is the dump?
Nowhere. There are no dumps in Waukesha County, only landfills. This may seem like picky syntax, but there used to be dumps and now there are not so depending what you are getting rid of, you may have to go to a different location. Do you have something to trash? The first step is to make sure you can throw it in a landfill. According to Wisconsin state law the following items are banned from landfills.
- Lead acid batteries
- Major appliances
- Used motor oil
- Yard waste (Scroll down to ‘Item Questions’)
- Newspapers, magazines, courrugated cardboard, office paper and other recyclable paper
- Glass, aluminum, steel, tin, and plastic (#1 & #2) bottles and cans
Other items can be recycled, such as electronics and textiles. Some harmful substances like paint, chemicals, medical wastes, and antifreeze can also be disposed of in a more proper way than tossing it into a landfill.
If landfilling is the only option, check with your municipality to inquire about how much trash you can put out for curbside collection. Each municipality contracts (or allows their residents to contract) for trash service individually. They may or may not have included bulky items in their contract. If the municipality did not contract for large or bulky item trash pick-up, there may be a drop off site your community pays for, or you may have to call your hauler and arrange for a special pick up.
If you need to take your items to the landfill, there are 2 in Waukesha County. These are privately owned enterprises and you should contact the landfills for information about their fee schedule. Muskego (Emerald Park Landfill) — W124 S10629 S 124th St. — (414)529-1360. They are open Fridays & Saturdays. The other option is in Menomonee Falls (Orchard Ridge Landfill) — W124 N9355 Boundary Rd. –(262)253-8620. They are open Monday through Saturday.
They are going to charge me to throw it away?
Yes. Wisconsin has some of the cheapest disposal rates, but there is a cost to toss. Your contracted collection through your municipality is paid for by your community, some part of which you may see broken out on your tax bill. On average, it costs $35 a ton to throw something away in Wisconsin. This does not account for collection costs.
Isn’t a landfill just a hole in the ground?