Elkhart County residents can help divert waste from landfills by increasing their recycling rates. Explore the Elkhart County Landfill website to learn more about how you can be a well-crafted recycler!
What is Household Hazardous Waste?
Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic or reactive ingredients are considered to be “household hazardous waste” (HHW). HHW includes products such as oil-based paints, cleaners, oils, Ni-Cad/Lithium batteries, unused or expired medications, pesticides, or other items that contain potentially hazardous ingredients. These products are safe to use when you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but they require special handling when you are ready to dispose of them. If disposed of improperly, these wastes can pollute the environment and they can pose a threat to human health. HHW should not be poured down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers.
What should I do with HHW?
Any household hazardous waste should be saved and brought to one of the monthly Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Days sponsored by the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District (SWMD).
HHW Drop Off Days:
When: The first Saturday of every month
Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm, Eastern Time
Where: Elkhart County Correctional Facility on CR 7 just north of CR 26
For more information about HHW Drop-Off Days please call the Solid Waste Management District at 574-293-2269 or visit their website.
What items are accepted at Drop Off Days?
Items accepted at the monthly HHW Drop-Off Days:
- Floorcare products, furniture polish, metal polish, nail polish & remover
- Antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline, kerosene, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, used motor oil
- Glue, mineral spirits, oil-based paints, aerosol paints, paint thinner, paint stripper, rust remover, varnish, wood preservative
- fungicide, insecticide, weed killer, rat/mouse poison, household cleaners, gun cleaning solvent, mothballs, lighter fluid, swimming pool chemicals
- unused or expired medications, sharps (only if they are in a puncture proof container)
- You can also drop these off at any local police station (except Millersburg) 365 days a year
- You may also add water to pills, seal the lid tightly, and seal the whole container in a resealable plastic bag and soak up liquid medications with sand or kitty litter, secure the lid tightly, and seal the whole container in a resealable plastic bag. Both may be disposed of in a landfill in that condition.
- Details on the proper disposal of unwanted medications and Elkhart County Drug Free Partnership are available at: http://www.elkhartdrugfree.org/
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries, car batteries
What items are NOT accepted at Drop Off Days and what do I do with them?
Items NOT accepted at the monthly HHW Drop-Off Days:
- You can bring these to the landfill for a fee
- You can also return tires to stores that sell them
- Electronic Waste
- These can be taken to Omnisource, 574-534-3455 or 574-295-4657
- Latex Paint
- Absorb the paint with shredded newspaper, kitty litter, sand, sawdust, or other absorbant material and dispose of in your trash
- Aerosol cans can be emptied of their contents and disposed of in the trash
- Oil-based paint is accepted
- Alkaline Batteries
- Dispose of in your trash
- To recycle, visit earth911.com
The Indiana State Chemist hosts a “Clean Sweep” program, and once a year they collect unwanted pesticides from farmers and others who use large quantities of products.
For more information on the Clean Sweep Program click here or call the Elkhart County Ag/Natural Resource Educator at Purdue Extension (574-533-0554).