Hazardous Waste Management

Controlled medications, prescriptions, and over the counter medicines can be disposed of at no cost. Ashland Police Officer Ryan Bybee (L); Christine Dryer, pharmacist at NorthLakes Community Clinic; and Dorothy Tank, Ashland County Emergency Management Department Director, volunteered to accept and sort items brought to the medications table at the 2021 collection event.

Ashland County residents have been participating in annual Cleansweeps events since the regional program started in 1995—that’s 27 years’ worth of hazardous materials kept out of landfills, soil, and water ways!










With the support of Ashland County government and in partnership with the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, the Extension Ashland County office coordinates an annual hazardous waste collection called ‘Clean Sweep.’

Counties in Northern Wisconsin have contracted with the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to offer annual Cleansweep Collections at no or low cost to households, farms, and businesses in a nine-county region since 1995. The program received a Wisconsin Governors Award for Excellence in Solid Waste Reduction by offering almost 400 collection events and keeping 1.6 million pounds of toxic materials from harming our waters, land, and wildlife.

2022 Cleansweeps Hazardous Waste Collection

Save the Date!

Wednesday, June 22nd, from 2:00-6:00 PM at Northwood Technical College south parking lot. 2100 Beaser Ave. Lissa Radke
Ashland County UW Extension
(715) 682-7017



Before Cleansweeps - Informative Webinars

Green Your Life: Reduce Your Use of Hazardous Materials!

Wednesday, June 1 at 4:00 to 5:00 PM

You can view a recording of this webinar on YouTube by following this link

All of us have it stored on shelves in our basements, garages, barns, out buildings, and other places–hazardous materials. Unused oil paint, old farm chemicals, toxic cleaners, burned out batteries and light bulbs. In this one-hour webinar, we’ll learn what happens to those products after you take them to a local Cleansweeps collection. And, we’ll learn how to avoid even using hazardous materials by purchasing safe products instead. The webinar is free and open to the public including members of households, farms, businesses, schools, and municipalities but pre-registration is required.

  • Renee Bashel is the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Manager at the WI DNR’s Environmental Assistance Program in Madison. She will talk about how to read labels to see if something it harmful before it’s purchased. She specializes in helping businesses and farms reduce their wastes, but will also talk about choosing safer household products. Renee shared her PowerPoint presentation so you can learn how to read a product label and access the resource links she recommended to find safe products and items.

  • Two employees with Veolia Environmental Services-North America will describe how the hazardous products brought to Cleansweeps sites are disposed of, whether through reuse, recycling, industrial incineration, or controlled landfilling. Josh Harmelink and Pat Baskfield establish and operate Cleansweeps collection events all over Wisconsin—about 150 events a year!  Veolia is a private company that has been working with municipalities, states, and large corporations to operate Cleansweeps and other events for 40 years. They’ve been contracted by the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to process all 9 participating counties’ Cleansweeps materials since 2020.

The program is co-hosted by UW Madison Division of Extension-Ashland County, the Environmental Assistance Program at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Veolia Environmental Services-North America. 

What’s considered hazardous or not hazardous?

Click here for the 2022 list of acceptable/not acceptable items at a Cleansweeps. From Northwest Regional Planning Commission.

Additionally you can refer to the most up to date UW-Extension Ashland County’s complete Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide.

What was safely disposed of in Ashland County?

In 2021, 104 participants from 5 counties brought the following materials to the Ashland County Cleansweeps:

  • 1 pound of controlled prescriptions and 23 pounds of non-controlled medications
  • 9 pounds of Lithium Ion Batteries 9lb
  • 20 pounds of Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries 20lb
  • 22 pounds of Nickel Cadmium Batteries 22lb
  • 64 fluorescent bulbs under 4-feet long
  • 34 fluorescent bulbs over 5-feet long
  • 537 lbs. of pesticides and poisons
  • 2,040 lbs. of Lead and oil paints
  • 269 lbs. of caustics and corrosives
  • 65 lbs. of reactives
  • 1,396 lbs. of solvents and thinners
  • 899 aerosol cans
  • 12 lbs. of dioxin
  • 219 lbs. of Other contaminants
  • 5,437 lbs. Total

Additional Resources