DNR Awards grants to rural communities for recycling electronics

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded more than $85,000 in E-Cycle Wisconsin Electronics Collection Grants for 15 projects in 13 counties that will host an electronics collection site or event in 2022 or the first half of 2023. The grants will help fund three permanent electronics collection sites and up to 16 one-day collection events.

“Our goal is to make convenient, affordable electronics recycling opportunities available statewide,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “These grants will help rural communities that haven’t had the same access to electronics recycling programs as those in other parts of the state. Responsible electronics recycling prevents pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates jobs right here in Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law, which took effect in 2010, includes a disposal ban for certain types of electronics and established E-Cycle Wisconsin, a manufacturer-funded program administered by the DNR that helps support a statewide network of electronics collectors and recyclers. As of 2021, households and schools have recycled more than 350 million pounds of electronics through E-Cycle Wisconsin.

In 2021, the Legislature unanimously passed updates to the law, which Gov. Tony Evers signed as 2021 Wisconsin Act 79. The updates included making all K-12 schools in the state eligible for E-Cycle Wisconsin and authorizing a new grant program to improve access to electronics recycling in underserved areas of the state.

“We know E-Cycle Wisconsin has had some gaps in access. We’re excited to be able to use these grants to help fill those,” said Sarah Murray, DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin Coordinator. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this year’s projects and helping additional communities in the future.”

The grant program gives priority to projects in counties that do not have any permanent collection sites registered under E-Cycle Wisconsin. For this round, the DNR was able to award grants to all applicants. More information about the grant program is available on the DNR’s website.

The 2022 grant recipients are:

  • Crawford County, for a collection event
  • Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, for collection events in Iron and Kewaunee counties
  • Jefferson County Solid Waste, for collection events
  • Marquette County, for collection events
  • Norsec Computer Recyclers LLC, for collection events in Forest, Kewaunee and Marinette counties
  • Village of Paddock Lake, for a collection event
  • Pepin County, to set up two permanent collection sites
  • Polk County Recycling, for a collection event
  • Richland County, for a collection event
  • Village of Ridgeway, for a collection event
  • Riverview Transfer Inc., for improvements to a permanent collection site in Kewaunee County
  • Taylor County Solid Waste Department, for a collection event
     

Money for the grants comes from fees electronics manufacturers pay under E-Cycle Wisconsin to ensure the proper collection and recycling of used electronics. Devices covered include computers, monitors, TVs, printers, DVD players, VCRs and computer accessories.

The DNR maintains an up-to-date, interactive list of E-Cycle Wisconsin collection sites and mail-back programs, which allows residents to map nearby collection sites, look up locations by county, and find free trade-in and mail-back programs. The tool is available in both English and Spanish.