Household Hazardous Waste

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The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average household disposes of one pound of hazardous waste each year. “Household hazardous waste” or “HHW” are unwanted products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients that require special care upon disposal. Examples of these products include oil-based paints, thermometers, car batteries, pesticides, antifreeze, etc.  

Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction sponsors a number of mobile household hazardous waste collection events each year. There is no permanent location in the county that accepts these products on a regular basis. All collection events are from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Download a PDF schedule. 

There will be a gas can exchange at each event. Old gas cans will be exchanged for new environmentally friendly 2.5-gallon gas cans. Supplies of these cans are very limited, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit one new gas can per vehicle/family. Gas cans are compliments of Northwest Indiana Clean Air

2017 HHW Schedule of Saturday Collections (9 a.m.-2 p.m.):

  • July 8, Westchester Intermediate School, 1050 S. 5th St., Chesterton
  • July 29, Hebron Middle/High School, 509 S Main St.
  • Aug. 5, Portage High School, 6450 U.S. Highway 6
  • Oct. 7, Porter County Expo/Fairgrounds, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso

These products are accepted at our sponsored events:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Alcohol-based lotions
  • Antifreeze
  • Auto body filler
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Batteries (household and automotive)
  • Cooking oil
  • Corrosives
  • Disinfectants
  • Mercury containing products (fluorescent tubes – transport carefully by either taping together (one piece of tape will suffice) or place in the packaging of your replacement bulbs; CFLs, thermometers, thermostats, switches, etc. – seal in a bag)
  • Paint (latex and oil-based)
  • Thinners and solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Other poisons
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Other flammable liquids
  • Ammunition
  • Oil
  • Flares
  • Expired medications – in original containers (controlled substances not accepted)
  • Sharps (needles) – place in hard plastic bottles, like detergent bottles
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Driveway sealant
  • Small helium tanks
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Car wax with solvent
  • Fuel-oil based
  • Auto paint
  • Paint brush cleaner with solvent
  • Paint brush cleaner with TSP
  • Paint thinner
  • Paint stripper
  • Primer
  • Rust remover
  • Moth balls
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Septic tank degreasers
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Rat, mouse, gopher poison
  • Weed killer
  • Dry cleaning solvents
  • Fiberglass tubes
  • Gun cleaning solvents
  • Lighter fluid
  • Ammonia-based cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Floor care products
  • Metal polish
  • Oven cleaners

If your material isn't listed? BRING IT OUT!

Items NOT accepted at our sponsored events:

  • Controlled medications
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Medical waste other than medicine and sharps
  • Asbestos
  • Grill propane cylinders
  • Commercial hazardous waste
  • Containers larger than five gallons 
  • Radioactive materials (smoke detectors! To recycle smoke detectors, send them back to the manufacturers.)

Examples of improper HHW disposal methods include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers; burning them; flushing them down the toilet; burying them; dumping them in vacant lots or in ditches; or putting them out with your trash. The dangers of these disposal methods might not be apparent, but improper disposal can contaminate lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater (located below the ground before it goes to a river, stream or well); pollute the air with dangerous fumes; or put your sanitation and landfill workers at risk for serious injury.

About Latex paint:

Though latex paint is not considered to be a hazardous waste, we accept usable latex paint at our household hazardous waste collection events. Please read on.