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County Executive's Office

Dane County Executive Parisi Announces County to Open New Wood Waste Recycling Center Due to Emerald Ash Borer

June 20, 2016
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the County will soon begin recycling clean wood waste at the Dane County landfill. Currently, municipalities are overwhelmed with clean wood waste due to the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is a tiny beetle that has killed millions of Ash trees in North America. Due to the Emerald Ash Borer local private and public facilities have become overwhelmed and have stopped taking wood waste.


“This is a common sense solution and we are uniquely able to recycle wood waste” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Opening up the recycling facility to process clean wood will help local municipalities, businesses and residents in Dane County with a need no other entity is filling.”


Once the program starts in late July, the County will charge $40/ton for wood waste. The County will work with the current operators of its recently opened Construction and Demolition Recycling Facility and expand the partnership to include wood recycling. Quality logs will be made into urban lumber, so it can be used for flooring, furniture, or art, and  the rest will likely be recycled for mulch or biomass fuel. 


There are an estimated 2,112,000 Ash Trees in Dane County that are going to die in the next 10 years as a result of the Emerald Ash Borer.  1,760,000 Ash trees are outside of the city of Madison and have no other option for recycling. Dane County was the first Wisconsin county to develop a comprehensive plan to battle the emerald ash borer. It includes detailed recommendations for homeowners and communities to consider prior to the beetle’s arrival in Dane County and options for what to do when ash trees in the county become affected. 


Just this February, Dane County Executive Parisi opened the new Dane County Construction and Demolition Recycling facility.  This new recycling center separates waste from construction and demolition projects and recycles it. This new facility saves Dane County taxpayers over $600,000 per year because previously these items were hauled out of the county to be recycled. 


It is an innovative public-private partnership. The County owns the facility and a private contractor operates it and markets the recycled products. This facility also saves valuable landfill airspace which extends the life of our existing landfill.


An ordinance was introduced Thursday June 16, 2016 at the Dane County Board to create a tipping fee for the purpose of clean wood waste recycling.  It will need County Board approval before Dane County can implement the new clean wood recycling program. If approved, this new wood recycling program could start as soon as July 18, 2016.