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Madison + Dane County public services you should know about


Madison Public Library, home to many public services. | Photo by @smiesphotography

In a city as happening as ours, things fly under the radar from time to time. So when a Reddit thread tracking lesser-known city services you should know about came into our inbox, we felt inspired to keep the conversation going.

Discover a new public service, save time and money + go green in the process as we explore some of the best city services you should be taking advantage of.

Energy-saving packs + high-efficiency thermostats from Focus on Energy

The statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program provides local residents with free energy-saving kits including LED light bulbs, a high-efficiency showerhead, water-saving faucet aerators, and an advanced power strip. Plus, you can shop a selection of the best digital thermostats with sizable savings through an instant rebate + manufacturer discount.
I got a smart thermostat from focus on energy for $5. The Google one. Normally $200.”Anon.

Online subscriptions via Madison Public Library

The library subscribes to a plethora of digital publications + gives card holders direct access to all of them through its online eResources portal. Users can access a mix of magazines, encyclopedias + online news publications like The New York Times — typically a $75/year subscription — for free.
“Don’t forget these online subscriptions available through the library including full New York Times web access, genealogy info, newspapers, magazines, and auto repair procedures.”City_of_Edgerton
“And for anyone with an e-book, you can take out books without ever leaving your home!”shhansha

Public sand pickups for extreme weather from the City of Madison

With our recent winter weather advisory, this service feels particularly relevant. The City of Madison offers over a dozen locations to pick up sand intended to combat ice + keep your property safe during the winter — don’t forget your shovel and pail.
“The free sand piles in the winter, offered to help reduce the use of salt on sidewalks and driveways. I think it has some salt mixed in to keep the sand from freezing in the cold. I haven’t bought salt to melt ice in years. Bring a 5 gal bucket with a cover and a shovel.”BalderSion

✅ Dane County Clean Sweep

Long time residents of the 608 know that our city has an infatuation with leaving garbage and furniture streetside. The Dane County Clean Sweep facility operates year round to collect and manage county waste in clean, environmentally friendly ways. Be sure to check out the updated listing of currently accepted items — both personal + business waste accepted.
“Dane County Clean Sweep is a (literal?) lifesaver, and is open to all Dane County residents. Household chemicals, oils, herbicides/pesticides, old paint - they take it all.”bajakirch2

✅ Greater Madison Emergency Ride Home

The ERH program works to protect commuters and ensures safe, affordable transportation in case of emergency. Work in Dane County + register with RoundTrip to receive up to six Union Cab vouchers per year worth up to $75 per ride.
“I didn’t know about it and could have used it a few years ago when I biked to work and had to come home fast to take my husband to the ER. It turned out alright but it was very scary at the time.”simpleandfree