The DNR Regulates Your Christmas Trees

Out of the thin, frosty air, the DNR is now saying Christmas trees can no longer go in the state’s landfills, WILL is seeking more answers

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) is calling on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reverse its recent policy change regarding the classification of Christmas trees. DNR decided to re-classify Christmas trees from “household decorations” to “yard waste,” therefore further regulating where they may be disposed.
The Quote: Lucas Vebber, WILL Deputy Counsel, stated, “The bureaucrats at DNR have struck again, this time making it more difficult for Wisconsinites to celebrate Christmas. The simple truth is that state agencies like DNR cannot just change policies impacting Wisconsinites without following the long-standing, transparent rulemaking process governed by state law. These kinds of behind-closed-doors regulatory decisions certainly lack transparency, but we will not let them avoid accountability. We have requested all records related to this change, and we call on DNR to make those immediately available for the public’s review.”
Additional Background: WILL first became aware of this policy change after news reports that the City of Milwaukee will no longer collect Christmas trees at the curb. According to the Milwaukee DPW, the Wisconsin DNR has “recently revisited its longstanding interpretation that previously deemed Christmas trees as a household decoration” and now considers them “to be yard waste and thus subject to the State’s yard waste landfill ban. DNR should immediately release all records related to this change.”
The result of this “reinterpretation” by the state is that the City of Milwaukee will no longer be picking up trees after the Christmas season, and residents will instead be required to drop their tree off at a City-designated location.
WILL is Taking Action: WILL has requested all records related to this re-classification from DNR. We will leave all legal options on the table to ensure the law has been followed.
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Lucas Vebber

Lucas Vebber

Deputy Counsel

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