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Learn how to keep more items out of the landfill.  If you know of more recycling opportunities that are not listed, please share that information with the Recycling Department at 715-532-2167.


Motor oil has been banned from the landfill since 1991 and in 2011 oil filters became banned too. Oil is a valuable, reusable material.  By recycling filters, used oil can be extracted and reused.  Filters also contain steel components that can be recycled.  There are many places to bring these items. I did a survey of many Rusk County businesses to see who took what. Here are the results.

Used Motor Oil and Filter Survey


To reduce public health risks, the state adopted rules in 1994 requiring everyone in Wisconsin to manage sharps safely.  IT IS ILLEGAL TO PUT SHARPS IN THE TRASH OR WITH RECYCLABLES.  The best place to take sharps is the hospital lab.  They sell a 2 qt container for $3 and that includes disposal.   View the following survey to learn more about safe sharps disposal including more locations, information for diabetics and sharps from animals.

Sharps Pamphlet


Americans have millions of pharmaceutical and personal care products that are outdated, unwanted, or left-over with few or no viable disposal options.  They resort to flushing or trashing.  Neither of which is an environmentally preferred method of disposal.   In Rusk County, it is easy to dispose of unwanted, expired, or unused medication by bringing them to Cleansweep or by using the MedReturn Drug Collection Unit located in the entrance of the Law Enforcement Center of the Courthouse.  The pharmaceutical collection during Cleansweep accepts prescription or over-the-counter tablets, capsules, syrups, creams, or ointments for disposal. Please try to keep the items in their original containers so they can be easily identified. (Personal information can be blacked out.)  The MedReturn Drug Collection Unit accepts prescription medications and patches, ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets. Neither location will accept radioactive, infectious or blood-tainted items.  Please keep prescription medications away from our children and out of our water supply.

Medication Disposal Flyer


  • North Central Recyclers – no drop off, collections only, 715-322-4043 Email:
  • Northern Metal Recycling 8010 Olson Dr, Eau Claire 715-834-6677
  • First Choice Computer Recycling, Eau Claire 715-833-2005
  • Best Buy, visit Best Buy Recycling website to learn more.


Rusk County Farm Supply takes 20 # and above tanks at no charge.  They do not take the one #  tanks.  Please call them at 715-532-2829 for more information.

Lakes Gas takes 20# and above tanks for free. They do not take the one # tanks. Please call them at 715-532-5593 for more information.

Junk Yard Salvage Yard buys propane tanks, any size, for scrap.  Call them at 715-868-7796 for more information or visit

Rusk County Cleansweep accepts the one # tanks for free.  Cleansweep is usually the 3rd week in June at the Rusk County Highway Shop.

Please do not throw these in with your scrap metal as many scrap dealers do not want them. 


Non-working incandescent (40, 60, 75, 100 watt) and LED bulbs can be thrown away but fluorescent bulbs must be recycled due to containing mercury.  Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s) can be taken to Ace Hardware and the Rusk County Recycling Dept. free of charge.  Tubular fluorescents can be taken either to Rusk County Recycling (small quantities only), Ace Hardware or to the annual Cleansweep program.

Ace Hardware:

  • $.59     4′ and under
  • $.99     5′ and over

Rusk County Recycling & Cleansweep

  • $.65     4′ and under
  • $.85     5′ and over


The following are licensed salvage yards in Rusk County

Survey of scrap dealers and what they take


Most smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material.  On the wall, a smoke detector is safe but if broken open in a landfill, it can pose a health threat.  All detectors that have radioactive component must be labeled as such.  The companies that manufacture detectors accept returned units for disposal as hazardous waste.  First Choice Computer Recycling (1125 Starr Avenue, Eau Claire, 715-833-2005) will accept both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for a nominal fee.

The majority of smoke detectors sold in the United States sold in the United States are made by First Alert.  They will recycle them if you return them at your expense and pay $1.00 for a disposal fee.  In order to use their system, you must call them at 1-800-323-9005 and set up an account to pay either by credit card or check.

Most other smoke detectors are made by a Canadian company called American Sensors.  Call them at 1-800-387-4219.  Here is a list of other company take back programs:  Smoke Detector Take Back Program

Carbon monoxide detectors do not contain any hazardous materials so they can be safely thrown away.  However, they do contain circuit boards and platinum, both of which are worth recycling.


Styrofoam in any form is not accepted by our hauler and can be thrown away even if it has a recycling symbol on it.  The UPS Store in Rice Lake takes used CLEAN packing peanuts.


The Rusk County Recycling Dept. has a “Catch the Fever” mercury fever thermometer exchange program and also accepts mercury thermostats, ballast and switches for FREE from residents.

Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program Flyer


There is a tire collection during the annual Cleansweep Household Hazardous Waste collection which in usually the 3rd week in June.  Prices vary per size.

Rusk County Farm Supply takes tires year round (small quantities) at a price per tire.  Call 715-532-2828 for prices.


Rusk County Recycling accepts the following year-round:

  • Rechargeable batteries and cell phones
  • Mercury thermometers – will exchange for a digital one
  • Ink jet and laser printer cartridges – no toner or re-manufactured ones
  • Button batteries (these are the small round silver ones from watches and hearing aides)