FAQ about Automated Collection

1) How often will my materials be collected?

Refuse will continue to be collected every week. Recycled items will be collected every other week on the same day as your refuse.

2) Why do we use carts and automated collection?

Automated collection improves efficiency and reduces worker injuries. Also, the new trucks can collect more households per day than the old manual system. This means fewer trucks and employees assigned to the service, which saves taxpayers money each year.

3) What do I do with my old refuse can(s)?

We encourage you to use your old refuse cans to make things such as rain barrels, compost bins, and pet waste digesters. They also make excellent storage containers for bird seed, dog food, lawn implements, or other items in your garage.

If you have plastic or metal refuse cans that you need to get rid of, please do NOT put them in your recycling cart. Please rinse them and bring them to the drop-off site for recycling. The site is located at 100 Sixth Avenue and is open year round on the following days and hours: 

Tuesdays: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursdays: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

4) What are the things that will be different from previous pick-ups?

Recycling items that will NO longer be collected are: 

1) Used motor oil will NOT be collected.
3) Lead-acid (vehicle) batteries will NOT be collected.

Because motor oil and batteries need to be handled with care, they will need to be brought to our drop-off center located at 100 Sixth Avenuenue. If you are unable to bring them in, please contact the Streets Department at 715-346-1537.

5) What do I do with trash that doesn't fit in the cart?

The Streets Department will NOT collect regular refuse that does not fit in your brown refuse cart with the lid closed. If this problem occurs, you have several options: 

1) Hold the material until the following week.
2) Ask a friend or neighbor if you can put your extra material in their cart.
3) Pay the fee for use of additional cart(s). Call 715-346-1537.

BULK ITEMS: Items too large to fit into your brown lid refuse cart require a special pick-up tag. Pick-up tags can be purchased at the City Treasurer's Office located at 1515 Strongs Avenuenue. Call the Treasurer's Office at 346-1573 for more details.

6) What items will NOT be collected?

  • Yard waste, which includes: leaves, grass clippings, plant stalks, flowers, and twigs/sticks are NOT collected and are banned from the landfill. Yard waste is collected in the fall. At other times, it must be taken directly to the drop-off site located at 100 Sixth Avenue. Note: Brush is NOT collected curbside.
  • Medical needles/syringes or other sharp items will NOT be collected. Many area pharmacies and clinics dispose of used medical needles for their patients. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they have a program for proper disposal, or call the City Garage at 715-346-1537 for information about the County's sharps disposal program.
  • Debris from major remodeling, construction projects or work done by contractors will NOT be collected. Removal of this material is the property owner's responsibility.
  • Household Hazardous Waste/Infectious Waste/Flammable Liquids/Chemicals will NOT be collected. These items include drain cleaners, paint remover, pesticides, gasoline, etc.
  • Paint and paint related products will NOT be collected. These items include liquid paint, varnish, stains, thinner stripper, etc. However, cans of dried paint and empty paint cans can be placed in your brown refuse cart.
  • Demolition material will not be collected curbside. Please call the City Garage at 715-346-1537 for alternate disposal methods.
  • E-Cycle products including computers, printers, print/fax/copier/scanner combinations, televisions, laptops, monitors, keyboards, mice, hard drives, fax machines, DVD players, and VCRs are NOT collected curbside. Call the Streets Department at 715-346-1537 for a list of E-Cycle drop-off locations.
  • Old organs (the musical instruments) because they may contain capacitors with PCBs in them. Contact the Portage County Solid Waste Department at 715-343-6297 for proper disposal options.

7) Can I get an extra cart?

You can pay the fee for use of additional cart(s) or exchange your cart for a different size cart by contacting the Streets Department at 715-346-1537.

Print a Form to Add or Exchange Carts (PDF)

8) Where should I put my cart at the curb?

See our Cart Placement Page for instructions.

9) What about putting my cart out in the winter?

  • The best placement is in or near your driveway.
  • It can also be placed on a cleared area of your terrace.
  • Do NOT place your carts on top of a snow banks.
  • Improperly placed carts will NOT be collected.
  • Remember to space your cart four (4) feet from obstacles.

10) Do my refuse or recyclable items need to be placed in plastic bags before being put into the appropriate cart?

No, you are not required to bag your garbage or recyclables before putting them into your carts, nor are you required to sort any of your recycled items. Put all recycled items in the cart with the green lid.