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Tri-County Partnership

Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties signed an agreement in 2007 to develop a single-stream recycling facility for operation over 15 years. These three counties have enjoyed a partnership that has created landfill and recycling efficiencies for the benefit of all residents.

A centerpiece of Wisconsin’s recycling industry; the Tri-County partnership creates jobs, protects the environment, conserves resources, provides renewable energy and encourages everyone to “Recycle more … landfill less.”

Single-Stream Recycling Facility

The state-of-the-art Tri-County Recycling Facility, operated by Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste, was completed in 2009 and is one of the largest publicly owned and operated, single-stream recycling facilities in the United States. The facility is capable of processing up to 100,000 tons of material each year, so the facility’s service area could be expanded in the future. The facility not only serves all Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago communities, but we also serve most of Northeast Wisconsin, nearly 16% of the state’s population.

When recycling trucks leave our neighborhoods, they travel to our facility where the recyclables are:

Single-stream means all recyclables can be placed into one recycling bin or cart. Using one collection bin or cart makes recycling easy and convenient. The single-stream method also offers communities the option to move to an automated cart system.

The Tri-County Single-Stream Recycling Facility is equipped with specialized equipment called “disc screens” that separate the paper from the containers. Even though machines do much of the separating, there is still a need for manual sorting.

What Happens To Your Recycling Once It Leaves Your Curb?


Have You Ever Wondered How We Separate Your Recycling?


Regional Landfill

The Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste Department has a successful and storied history of providing residents of Outagamie County with efficient and economical means of a solid waste disposal by providing extensive landfill operations management for over 40 years.

The site encompasses 450 acres of existing and future landfill development potential. In 2001, a bold and pioneering step was undertaken by Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties to regionalize landfill operations.  In 2012, Outagamie County became the host regional landfill with the creation of the Northeast Landfill. Annually, the Northeast Landfill safely and responsibly services the needs of over 200,000 households and manages over 500,000 tons of municipal solid waste from the Tri-County region and has a capacity to hold over 7 million cubic yards of refuse. The landfill employs state-of-the art compaction and alternative daily cover methods to insure the value of the air space is maintained allowing the landfill to maximize its capacity over its 10 plus years of site life.

Our landfill operations team is committed in providing the best level of service from the scale to the working face of the landfill to insure all of your disposal needs are met.

Northwest Landfill Project Fact Sheet

Transfer Station

Opened in March 2005, the Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste’s transfer station was built to handle 600 to 700 tons per day of residential, commercial, industrial and construction solid waste. Located on the same 450-acre site as the Tri-County Recycling Facility and regional landfill, the 19,600-square-foot building is used to unload municipal solid waste from collection vehicles and then reloaded the waste into larger, long-distance transport vehicles for shipment to one of the Tri-County active landfills.

The building is constructed with two floor levels. Incoming trucks unload on the upper level (or tipping floor), and two front-end loaders, operated by the county, move waste to semi-truck transfer trailers parked in two loading docks on the lower level.

Resource Recovery Park

On October 15, 2020 the Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste’s Resource Recovery Park (RRP) was opened to the public. The expanded RRP features a total of 30 source separated bins that are all colorfully coordinated to their designated materials. The source separation focuses on 8 different material outlets: Clean Wood, Construction & Demolition, Metal, Recycling, Rigid Plastics, Furniture, Mattresses & Box Springs, and Trash.

The placement and design of the bins have been ergonomically designed for customers’ ease of use to safely unload their materials. All customers will be provided new handouts at the scale guiding them to the new location with clear information on how to source separate their loads based on the colored bins that are now in place. The recovery area features two lanes of one way traffic to encourage continuous flow of customers with 15 mirrored bins on each side of the lanes.

The goal of the RRP is to create higher recovery rates of valuable resources, while creating longer term landfill airspace for our municipalities in Outagamie County. After 9 months of designing and constructing this expansion to our previous Residential Drop-off Site, OCRSW along with Outagamie County Executive – Thomas Nelson were excited to introduce and welcome the general public to their Resource Recovery Park.

The Grand Opening of the Resource Recovery Park


Landfill Gas to Energy

In 1984, Outagamie County was the first landfill in Wisconsin to beneficially re-use landfill gas (methane) by pumping it to a furnace that heated a service building. In, 1991 Outagamie County built and operated a full-scale cogeneration system, pumping landfill gas to engines that produce electricity. The heat created from the engines is then used to heat the county highway building. This system was one of the first landfill gas cogeneration systems in the United States.

In 2007, Outagamie County sold the co-gen facility to a private business that invested in new engines. Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste maintains the gas wellheads on each landfill site to ensure that the landfill gas being delivered to the engines has a proper vacuum. The electricity generated from the landfill gas is sold to WPPI (Wisconsin Public Power Inc.) and distributed through Kaukauna Utilities to nearby homes and businesses. Approximately 3,500 households can be serviced daily from the amount of electricity that is generated from our landfill sites.

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