HELP! What Do I Do With…?

Written by Meleesa Johnson

As we emerge from our LONG, wintery hibernation — our hands held over our eyes to shade them from the strange brightness of the sun — the reality of all our spring and summer tasks further blind us…

  • The basement corner has cans of old deck stain and driveway sealer to dispose of,
  • The garage has become a staging area for all things unwanted,
  • The garden shed has oodles of items that simply need to GO (to make room for more stuff),
  • The roof needs to be re-shingled, and
  • In just a few weeks, there is that big family reunion for which to prepare!

As the “What Do I Do With…?” experts, the Marathon County Solid Waste Department (MCSWD) has a service to help!

1. Event Recycling-Bin Loan Program

Recycling_BinHave you ever attended an event or party where no recycling bins could be found? Walked around with that plastic water bottle stuffed in your jacket pocket to bring home to your recycling cart?

Recycling is the law. We’re required to do it not only at home, but also at work and at events. Yet, sometimes, it’s harder to recycle than it should be.

For your next party or gathering, don’t make your guests wonder:

“What do I do with my plastic bottle (or aluminum can)?”

The Marathon County Solid Waste Department invites you to pick up our easy-to-spot recycling bins with clear, plastic bags — FREE for event hosts to borrow!

All you have to do is call us in advance of your event to reserve your containers and bags. You pick them up and drop them off at MCSWD (located at R18500 HWY 29, Ringle).

It’s THAT easy to help your guests recycle at your next graduation party, family picnic, or backyard BBQ.

This summer, many of our 75 bins are already reserved for small family gatherings (and all of them are reserved for the week of the Wisconsin Valley Fair). Be sure to make your reservations now before they’re all booked up for the season by calling 715-446-3101, ext. 100.

2. Hazardous Household Waste Program

Open 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year (by appointment only), our Hazardous Household Waste program is available without charge to Marathon County households.

From old paint to that unknown substance suspected to be a pesticide, this program is designed to keep these items from the regular waste stream. Once collected, these items are sent out for hazardous waste disposal (which generally means incineration) and will not pose a risk to the environment. Call 715-446-3101, ext. 100, to schedule your hazardous waste appointment.

3. Choose to Reuse Program

As household hazardous items are delivered, our licensed staff sort through the deliveries. Those items that are still good and within expiration dates are placed in our Choose to Reuse program inventory.

Marathon County residents are able to “shop” the shelves for these FREE products during regular business hours. Items vary from week to week, but generally there are cleaners, paints, stains, pool chemicals, insect sprays, and fertilizers.


4. Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) of Hazardous Waste Program

Our VSQG program focuses on businesses that generate small amounts of hazardous wastes. Businesses that qualify for this program are able to realize significant cost savings for the management of this waste stream.

While some fees apply, by using this service, businesses do NOT have to have a hazardous waste company come to their site, saving upwards of $700.

Call 715-446-3101, ext. 104, to see if your business qualifies for this program.

5. Shingle & Vinyl Siding Recycling Program

Asphalt shingles and vinyl siding have great recyclability, and keeping them out of the landfill ensures these materials will live on in other items. Ground shingles are added to road asphalt, reducing the amount of virgin oil needed to pave our roads. Vinyl siding is chipped and sent off to become new vinyl siding.

If you have a roofing or siding project, please consider recycling. Tipping fees are nearly half that of landfill disposal.

To learn more, call the Solid Waste & Recycling Information Line at 877-270-3989.


Disposal & Recycling Services

If you find yourself cleaning out the basement or garage, with just too much “stuff” for the curbside service, bring it to the “What do you do with…?” experts.

From tire recycling to landfill disposal of waste materials, we’re here to manage what you no longer want or need. Call the Marathon County Solid Waste Department at 877-270-3989 for more information on hours and fees.

Still got a question about what to do with something at your home or business?

 Our toll-free Solid Waste and Recycling Information Line is staffed by experts who can help you solve your garbage and recycling puzzles.  Give us a call at 877-270-3989.

We’ll tell you where to put it!

Meleesa_JohnsonMeleesa Johnson

Director  |  Marathon County Solid Waste Department

Meleesa Johnson has been the Director of solid waste management for Marathon County since 2009. She oversees solid waste programming and facilities serving Central and North Central Wisconsin. Under her leadership, the Solid Waste Department transitioned from primarily a landfill business to a regional resource for residents, businesses, and local governments working on waste reduction and recycling programming as means of creating greater sustainability. Meleesa has been focused on environmental protection issues since starting college in 1996, eventually earning a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning. She is a Morris K. Udall Congressional Scholar for Excellence in National Environmental Policy and was recently named as UW–Green Bay’s Earth Caretaker. Meleesa’s passions are her children and grandchildren, as well as public service, serving as president of the Stevens Point Common Council and on the Portage County Board of Supervisors.  Email Meleesa Johnson.

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