Column: Portage County solid waste FAQs
By Amanda Haffele
Portage County Solid Waste is located at 600 Moore Rd. in Plover. We have two full-time county employees and five full-time contracted employees. We are here Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and again on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. We have strict cut off times so please make sure to plan your arrival accordingly. We do not pick-up trash or recyclables curbside, but we do receive and process those materials for most of the county.
Residents may recycle the following automotive materials at the Transfer Station year round for no fee; antifreeze, car batteries, and motor oil. Used oil and antifreeze do need to be placed in 2.5-gallon containers or smaller with a lid on top. Oil filters and absorbents are accepted for a small fee.
Fluorescent tubes, CFLs, incandescent, LED, halogen, HID, and sodium bulbs are accepted year round at the Transfer Station. Large volumes of bulbs, 100 or more, need to call ahead and make an appointment with the site coordinator at 715.346.1931. Do not shrink-wrap or tape bulbs together. Neon lights or signs can be taken to Rapids Sign in Wisconsin Rapids for proper disposal; call 715.424.2566. Light fixtures with or without ballasts are accepted for a fee as well.
The Transfer Facility accepts large bulky items such as toilets, boats that are 16-feet or shorter, riding lawn mowers, mattresses, furniture, cabinets, sheds, hot tubs. Some of these items have a per item fee associated with it, others are included in the per ton fee.
Compressed Gas Cylinders
Compressed gas cylinders should not be placed in your trash, recycling bin, or in scrap metal bins. Due to their pressurized nature, if they become compacted by heavy machines, in a compactor, or a shredder they can and have been known to explode and cause fires. Ideally, these cylinders should be recycled at the Transfer Facility. We cannot, however, accept two-part expanding foam tanks, fire extinguishers, or industrial cylinders. Please call the manufacturer for a take-back program.
Full, outdated, or empty fire extinguishers may be brought to Summit Companies in Stevens Point; 4916 Kirschling Ct. Please call 715.342-8876 with questions.
Rid your home of hazardous materials such as pesticides, herbicides, cleaners, paints, chemicals, gas, and aerosols. The Hazardous Waste Collection program runs March through November by appointment only. Call 715.346.1931 to schedule an appointment. Fees do apply.
We will hold a special collection for farms and other agribusinesses in 2024. Until then, businesses, farms, and other agribusinesses may inquire about their disposal options by calling 715.346.1931. We offer one day each year that we stay after hours to collect materials.
Only county residents may participate in this event. This year it will be held on Tuesday, May 23 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Latex paint is not hazardous, but it must be solid before throwing it away. Fill a half empty can with OilDri or cat litter. Mix completely, it should look like lumpy oatmeal. Leave the lid off and store it in a well ventilated area for two to four days until solid. Throw it into the trash, keeping the lid off. Latex paint may also be properly disposed of at the Transfer Facility for $1.50/lb. March through November, by appointment only. Call 715.346.1931.
The minimum charge to dispose of most items at the Transfer Facility is $20. For 2023, this is for the first 560 pounds of garbage, if you bring in more than 560 pounds than the fee is prorated at $70.10 per ton. Per fee items will be charged on top of the minimum charge if bringing in both.
For example, if the solid waste director brings in a mattress and two bags of trash, she’ll be charged $20 for the trash (as long as it weighs 560 pounds or less) and $15 for the mattress for a total of $35. The minimum charge to recycle is $5 for the first 140 pounds; clean cardboard is free. The recycling fee is market based and may fluctuate from month to month, however the minimum charge will not go below 140 pounds for $5.
The county has a secure load policy that staff do enforce when coming to our facilities. An unsecured load has not been fastened in or attached to the vehicle with tarps, ropes, winch straps, netting, or chains, so as to prevent any part of the load or the covering from becoming loose, detached, or leaving the vehicle while the vehicle is moving. Unsecured loads may be refused or subject to a surcharge. Even large or heavy items such as appliances, mattresses, or boats need to be secured to the vehicle or trailer. For our purposes, a closed trunk or fully enclosed trailer counts as securing your item(s).
For the safety of the public and the waste handlers, appropriate storage containers must be used to properly dispose of sharps. Use sharps containers or empty plastic detergent bottles for syringes, needles, lancets, EpiPens, etc. Once filled, residents may bring these containers to Metro Market Pharmacies in Stevens Point and Plover, Hometown Pharmacies in Stevens Point and Plover, or Portage County Solid Waste in Plover. There are no fees associated with disposing of sharps at any of these locations.
Funding for this program is meant for individual residents of Portage County. The program is not intended to subsidize sharps containers or disposal for businesses such as: nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, assisted living homes, treatment centers, restaurants, or spas. These entities need to call a service provider for pick-up and disposal.
Amanda Haffele is the Portage County Solid Waste Director and she works at the Material Recovery Facility, 600 Moore Rd., in the Plover Industrial Park. It can be reached at 715.346.1931 or www.co.portage.wi.us/department/solidwaste.