Air Quality:
Milly Zantow Memorial

Milly Zantow Memorial

Harvest Park - 265 Railroad Street

Artist/Designer's name: Vicki Wildes

Builder's name: Gawronski Signs

How/why/who:  Created by a Sauk County Institute of Leadership Group to honor Milly Zantow.  

Who is Milly Zantow and why is she important?  Milly was a Sauk County resident that was inspired during a trip to Japan in 1978.  She witnessed a system of recycling that would change everything. People would set out sorted waste materials every day.  Upon returning to Wisconsin, Milly learned that the county landfill was closing early. She studied the landfill and discovered that a lot of the waste materials were plastic.  Through research, Milly figured out a system to recycle plastic. She and her friend, Jenny Ehl started a recycling collection center in Sauk County. Milly helped write Wisconsin’s first mandatory state recycling law, which passed in 1990 and developed the system that is used worldwide to identify and separate seven different types of plastics (look at the triangle at the bottom of plastic products).  Milly passed away in 2014. Her passion and determination continue to inspire people around the world.

SCIL Group members:  Morgan Tribbey, Vicki Wildes, Pam Thompson,   Laura McArthur Rossiter

Month and year it was installed? August 2015

Where it is installed: the Northest corner of Harvest Park

Other info that you think is important/relevant:  Milly was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame on April 22, 2017.  In 2016 author Elise Moser released a children’s book “What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling”.  The art piece is made of recycled machinery parts in the shape of the universal recycling symbol and the bench is made of recycled plastic – a fitting tribute to Milly.