Food Scraps Returns to South Madison Farmers’ Market Today, Recycling Updates, and More!

Hello, Madison Recyclers

Here is a roundup of exciting recycling related updates:

Food Scraps Recycling Returns TODAY to South Madison Farmers’ Market!

Our second farmers’ market food scraps drop off gets underway this afternoon (May 21) at the South Side Farmers’ Market.  It is located right at the corner of South Park Street and West Wingra Drive.  It’s actual address is 1602 South Park Street.

This site is open from 2:00pm to 6:00pm on Tuesday evenings, just like last year.

There is plenty of free parking available, so if you have some acceptable scraps ready for composting we would love to see you on the south side.  And you can stop by the farmer’s booth who accepts the scraps for composting and say hello to him as well.

Details are available at

The market location at the Eastside Farmer’s Market has collected over 1,000 pounds of food scraps already – and it took five weeks last year to reach this number, and this year we did it in three.  Participation numbers have been higher, too.  We’re off to our best year yet for sure.

And, yes, we do have a third site coming this year.  Details on this third site are pending, so stay tuned.

Recycling Mistakes Website Refresh…And Cart Inspections?

The common recycling mistakes website was recently revamped.  We don’t have a brand new website quite yet (we’re working on it) but hopefully you will find this recycling mistakes page and the extra details here a bit more enlightening.

And besides finding that charming frowny face image, you will see a reference to some curbside recycling cart checks coming soon.

Yes, Streets will have some of our staff working ahead of the recycling truck collectors looking for problem materials in recycling carts.

Now, recycling operators have been checking for problems in carts for years and that won’t change.  However, within the next couple weeks, you might see Streets Division lifting the lid on recycling carts, peeking inside, and then walking to the next cart and doing the same.  So it might look a little different than what you have seen in the past even though it’s an old practice. 

We’re looking for the five most common problems we’ve noticed in recycling carts that should not be in there.  They’re listed on the mistakes page in more detail, but I’ll list them for you here:

  • Bad bags
    • Most recyclables should not be bagged. If you absolutely must bag your recyclables, then the only acceptable option is a clear plastic bag.  If you are using black bags or gray bags, these bags are being discarded as trash at the sorting facility.
  • Clothes & other textiles
    • Never put clothes, bedding, curtains, or other material like this into the recycling cart.
  • Styrofoam
    • Never put styrofoam in the recycling cart.
  • Tanglers
    • Loose plastic bags, plastic film, plastic wrap, hoses, ropes, and similar tangly items do not belong in the recycling cart.
  • Wood / lumber
    • Never place wood or lumber into the recycling cart.

Crews will also be on the look out for other problematic items that obviously do not belong in the recycling cart that they stumble across.

When our operators find one of these problem items in a recycling the cart, our crew member will leave behind card on the cart lid informing the resident of the mistake.

If the cart at your home is carded, you just have to remove the problem items and give the Streets Division a call and we will come back as soon as we can to empty the corrected recycling cart.  Easy peasy.  We’re trying to make this a learning opportunity more than anything else.

Ultimately, we just want this contamination out of the recycling where it does not belong.


Recycle Better Course Returns in July!

Speaking of recycling better, back on Friday, May 17 Sustain Dane in partnership with the City of Madison will put this year’s first Recycle Better course.  What?  You missed it?  Hey, no problem!

There is another opportunity coming in July where it will be held online in the evening where it may be more convenient for your work schedule so you can become a Certified Recycling Steward and help teach your communities how to recycle better.

Details and sign up about the course can be found on the Sustain Dane website.

Free Recycling Resources

The City’s recycling information has always been free.

If you want the latest copy of the Recyclopedia, head over to your public library location to pick one up or contact the Streets Division to have one mailed to you.

We have fridge magnets we can send you.  We also have 8” x 11” stickers that can go onto the lid of the recycling cart if your cart doesn’t already have instructions about recycling already placed there.


2025 Recyclopedia? Website Feedback?

What?! 2025 already!! Believe me, I know.  But, I do have to think ahead.  It takes a long time to pull together the Recyclopedia booklet after all.

In planning ahead, are there topics or items, or other things you would like to see in the Recyclopedia that haven’t been covered before that you’ve been needing?

There is a website redesign for Streets underway, too. At the end of it, many of our resources should be easier to find, and the days of a very thick Recyclopedia may be behind us. 

If you have ideas about what you’d like to see in a 2025 Recyclopedia, or things you wish were just a little bit easier on the website, let me know.

And, yes, already know about how much of a pain it is to enter your address into the forms we have for your collection schedules. That is the first thing we want to fix, too. Fingers crossed we’re able to address that issue.

In conclusion…

There’s always plenty going on here at Streets, so there will be plenty more updates yet to come. And if you have any questions, please let us know.  Thank you all for your time and attention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *