Waukesha County

Waukesha County Recycling Program Receives DNR's Recycling Excellence Award for Innovation

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use the 2020 Recycling Excellence Award for Innovation for the creation of a mobile application to address contamination in residential curbside recycling bins.


“We are very pleased to be recognized for this innovative project,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “The collaboration among County programs and our hauling contractors produced a valuable tool to address recycling contamination at the source.”


The County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff worked with the Recycling Program to identify how GIS technology could help reduce contamination rates in residential recycling. Using a tool called ArcGIS QuickCapture, a mobile application was developed to allow truck drivers to record contamination in recycling carts during the collection process. If a driver recognizes visible contaminates during pick-up at a residence, they simply tap a button on the mobile app from their truck. A GPS location is then recorded and used to collect a mailing address. A contamination notice postcard is sent the next day to the resident with information on how to improve their recycling efforts.


By utilizing the app, haulers save time and remain safer within their vehicles while still providing important, individualized feedback to educate residents on acceptable materials to recycle. Improving the quality of recyclables collected allows the County to obtain better pricing for the material in the current highly competitive recycling markets.


The DNR Recycling Excellence Awards Program is designed to encourage and reward communities for outstanding efforts, innovation, and performance in recycling. For more information about the DNR Recycling Excellence Awards Programs, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/recycling/Awards.html


For more information about recycling in Waukesha County, visit www.waukeshacounty.gov/recycling, call 262-896-8300 or download the free Waukesha County Recycles mobile app in Google Play and Apple App Stores.  Like Waukesha County Recycles on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!