In Dane County, three initiatives took diverse approaches to engage specific communities with education, engagement, and access to reduce waste, with resulting tools useful in other communities to increase broader engagement in recycling efforts.
In the spring of 2023, the Latino Academy of Workforce Development launched a bilingual Recycle Better Program in collaboration with Sustain Dane. In Spanish and English, it is culturally relevant to the Latinx community. Empowerment is a central theme of the program. The 13 bilingual Recycle Better leaders teach additional family, friends, and community members recycling knowledge, creating a ripple effect of over 1,000 people.
Collaborating with school districts involves diverse teams: district board, administration, custodians, principals, food staff, teachers, students, and volunteers. After piloting and securing support, Madison School District sped up recycling in 2023-24 across elementary and middle schools. The program aims to extend beyond initiation, striving to educate and empower staff and students for waste reduction and recycling habits at home and in the community.
Recycling food scraps and keeping them from landfills has been a priority in Madison. Sustain Dane coordinated two free farmers’ market food scrap drop-off sites over the past two years. Experiences in launching the program, educating the public on allowable food scraps vs contamination, and tracking the success of over 25,000 lbs. of food scraps kept from the landfill will be shared. Food scrap collection is more accessible to community members in Madison through education and engagement.
Learn more at the 2024 Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference when Chris Jimieson co-presents “Engaging New Strategies and New Audiences to Increase Waste Reduction” with Samantha Worden of Sustain Dane and Baltazar De Anda Santana of Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Inc.
Meet Project Manager Chris Jimieson at WIRMC or contact him at or on LinkedIn. Mr. Jimieson has over 20 years of experience as a geological engineer and hydrogeologist on a wide variety of civil and environmental engineering projects. He manages environmental compliance projects as well as municipal solid waste and sustainable materials management projects.
It’s been 10 years since the first Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) Plans were approved allowing liquids to be applied to municipal solid waste landfills in Wisconsin. What have we learned?
Under an approved RD&D Plan, landfill operators can apply liquids other than recirculated leachate to the waste at municipal solid waste landfills. The RD&D Rule was published by US EPA in 2004, and states had the option of adopting the rule and issuing RD&D approvals. Wisconsin was an early adopter, and 13 of the approximately 30 landfill sites in the US with RD&D approvals are in Wisconsin.
This presentation will look at data from the Wisconsin landfills with RD&D Plans. Each site is required to report annually on a very detailed basis. For this presentation we will zoom out and look at the data on an aggregated basis to address big-picture questions. What are the trends in volumes applied for leachate recirculation versus RD&D Liquids? How do these volumes compare with precipitation? What liquid waste streams have been accepted and how have they been applied? How has RD&D liquid application affected landfill gas generation?
We will also provide an update on the regulatory status of the RD&D rule. On May 10, 2016, a final federal rule was published that revised the maximum permit term from 12 years to 21 years; however, WDNR will have to adopt this change in order for it to be available to Wisconsin landfills.