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Volunteer Spotlight, January 2019 - Recycling Rangers

A brief history of the volunteer group:  This group started in 2009, after a Study Circle group showed the need for recycling at local public events. The group Recycling Rangers was created to collect recyclables at public events in the Wisconsin Rapids area. 

Please describe the type of work, kinds of tasks, and/or events the volunteer(s) typically assist(s) with:  Our on-the-ground efforts at community events like the State Water Ski Show and Fourth of July Fireworks have rescued over four tons of recyclables, including cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastic from area landfills. Recycling Rangers also offer a recycling container loan program. This allows residents who want to recycle at their smaller events, such as family reunions, weddings, fundraisers, etc. the opportunity to have collection containers on-site if they aren’t typically. These containers are being made available through generous grants by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids Area and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 101, of Wisconsin Rapids.

How many hours a week does the volunteer(s) invest in your organization?  It's done event by event, so in a year, Recycling Rangers will volunteer nearly 100 hours in total helping at events.

Why do(es) the volunteer(s) choose to work with your organization?  The Recycling Rangers come from all age groups and walks of life. The diversity of volunteers shows the great interest of all ages for respecting and protecting our environment. Volunteers range from high school students to senior citizens. They are members of the League of Women Voters; Clean Green Action; and concerned citizens who want to make a difference. 

Why is your program important to the volunteer(s)?  Recycling Rangers makes a visible difference by showing our - and other - community members that recycling is important in the Wisconsin Rapids area. We estimate that we've kept more than four tons of recyclable materials out of landfills over the past decade. 

What does "volunteering" mean to the volunteer(s)?  Being part of the greater good and making our community a more sustainable place to live.

How can others get involved in your organization?  We would love more Recycling Rangers in the community! You're helping the environment and you get a cool t-shirt. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to join the Recycling Rangers, contact Carol Davis at 715-423-3863; via e-mail at; or contact United Way’s Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390.  If you're interested in joining Clean Green Action, the group meets at 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at McMillan Library in Wisconsin Rapids (no meetings from June-August). All are welcome! Bring your input, ideas and dreams for a sustainable community.


  • Name:  Recycling Rangers
  • Nominator:  Carol Davis
  • Location:  South Wood County
  • When Started:  2009
  • How Many Members:  5-10
  • Ages of Members:  26-65

Photo caption:  Joe Ancel puts recyclables in the proper bins in downtown Wisconsin Rapids on the Fourth of July.  

The Volunteer Center is an internal program of United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties.  It serves as a clearinghouse for volunteers and agencies.  Our mission is to mobilize and inspire people to utilize their talents and enhance the community.