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. 

2018 Schedule of Household Hazardous Waste mobile collections
9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Download this handy flyer! 

  • Saturday, July 28 -- Kouts Middle/High School Campus, 502 E. College
  • Saturday, Aug. 4 -- Portage High School 6450 US Hwy 6, Portage
  • Saturday, Oct. 6 -- Porter County Expo/Fairgrounds, 215 E. Division, Valparaiso

Old gas cans will be exchanged for new environmentally friendly 2.5-gallon gas cans. Supplies of these cans are 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, where It All Adds Up To Cleaner Air.

Products accepted at our sponsored events include:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Alcohol-based lotions
  • Ammonia-based cleaners
  • Ammunition
  • Antifreeze
  • Auto body filler
  • Auto paint
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Batteries (household and automotive)
  • Car wax with solvent
  • Cooking oil
  • Corrosives
  • Diesel
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain cleaners
  • Driveway sealant
  • Dry cleaning solvents
  • Expired medications – in original containers (controlled substances not accepted)
  • Fiberglass tubes
  • Lighter fluid
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flares (roadside)
  • Floor care products
  • Fuel-oil based
  • Fungicides
  • Gasoline
  • Gun cleaning solvents
  • Helium tanks (small only)
  • Kerosene
  • 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)
  • Metal polish
  • Moth balls
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Oil
  • Oven cleaners
  • Paint (latex and oil-based)
  • Paint brush cleaner with solvent or TSP
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Poisons
  • Primer
  • Rust remover
  • Sharps (needles) – place in hard plastic bottles, like detergent bottles
  • Septic tank degreasers
  • Solvents
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Thinners 
  • Toilet bowl cleaners

If your material isn't listed? BRING IT OUT! We will let you know if we accept it. 

Items NOT accepted at our sponsored events:

  • Asbestos
  • Commercial hazardous waste
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Containers larger than five gallons 
  • Controlled medications
  • Fireworks
  • Flares (military grade)
  • Grill propane cylinders
  • Medical waste other than medicine and sharps
  • Radioactive materials 

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.