Waukesha County

Know Before You Throw!

You can help keep our environment healthy. The health and quality of our recycling stream and community waterways depend upon us all making informed, environmentally-friendly decisions.  Do your part and KNOW B4 U THROW! 

Storm Drains

Keep storm drains clean! Grass clippings, pet waste, leaves, fertilizers, litter and other pollutants wash directly into the nearest waterbody!
These pollutants cause weed and algae growth in our waters leading to Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB), the growth of dangerous bacteria, and sediment laden muddy waters.  Take action to prevent pollutants from getting washed into our waters:

  • Adopt a Drain!  If you live in the City of Waukesha, Oconomowoc or Pewaukee or the Village of Sussex, Pewaukee or Mukwonago. 
  • Pick up after your pet and dispose of the waste in the trash
  • Sweep leaves and grass clippings out of the street and back onto your yard or compost pile
  • Reduce the use of chemicals on your lawn
  • Wash your car at the car wash or on the grass—not the driveway
  • Fix cars that leak oil (dispose of oil at these locations)


Recycled material is sorted by people and machines. 
Once sorted, it is sold to a remanufacturer to be turned into something new! 

Recycling right is important to ensuring the quality of our community's recycling stream.  Please review the Waukesha County recycling guide for information about what belongs in your bin.  Remember, when in doubt - throw it out!


Once items are placed in the trash and taken to the landfill - that is the end of their journey.
No sorting.  No recovery.  No reuse.  No purpose.
It is a common misconception that items decompose quickly in a landfill.

These carrots were found as part of a study through the University of Arizona.  They were found to be in the landfill for 10 years!

It is also imperative that Household Hazardous Waste is not included in your trash or recycling cart.  Find out more about disposing of HHW items.

Recyclables need to be empty, clean, and dry before they are thrown loose in your recycling cart. Items that are filled with liquid or dirty with food residue are not acceptable in your bin because the liquid and food can damage other recyclables, attract rodents, and cause the sorting equipment to incorrectly sort the material.

For these reasons, it is impearative that recyclables are:

Empty, Clean & Dry

It is also imperative that Household Hazardous Waste is not included in your recycling cart.  Find out more about disposing of HHW items.

Is salt going to work?  If it is colder than 15 degrees, the salt will not be effective.  Mechanical removal is always the best option, but if you must use a product—use the right product at the right amount.  A single 12oz. cup of salt is enough to cover 10 sidewalk squares or a 20-foot driveway. Extra salt is swept into our waterways damaging the health of our lakes and streams.   

Learn more about smart salt use at: https://wisaltwise.com/

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