Make sure you’re recycling responsibly in Madison

From takeout containers to unwanted clothes, here are a few tips and tricks to recycling in the 608.

608 garbage truck

Go green, but follow the rules. | Photo by City of Madison

The Cap Times spoke with Madison’s recycling coordinator about going green in the 608. Here are a few recycling dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


Empty packing boxes | Online shoppers are encouraged to recycle their cardboard shipping boxes, but be sure to remove any packing material beforehand.

Use clear bags | If you use an opaque bag to toss your recycling, workers have to err on the side of caution and assume it’s trash.

Check for numbers | On most plastic containers, you’ll find a small triangle with a number inside somewhere on the item. Any item numbered 1-7 can be recycled.


Take off caps | Water bottle caps are not to be tossed into the recycling bin on their own.

Clog the machines | Items like clothes, cords, and ropes will cause issues with the recycling systems.

Recycle dirty materials | The Streets Department doesn’t want your dirty takeout boxes.