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 to Do With Household Hazardous Wastes

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).  All Elkhart County residents are welcomed to drop off HHW generated from their homes at HHW Drop-Off Days, which are held on the first Saturday of every month from 8 am to 3 pm at the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on County Road 7 just north of County Road 26. For more information about HHW Drop-Off Days please call the Solid Waste Management District at 574-293-2269 or visit their website.

Additional disposal information can be found at earth911.com.

How to Dispose of HHW

Elkhart County’s Solid Waste Management District (574-522-2581) has monthly drop offs for HHW on the first Saturday at the Elkhart County Correctional Facility. 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). Medicines (pills only: no liquids, aerosols, or syringes) can be delivered to local police stations for safe disposal.

Bristol Police Department: 574-848-4464

Elkhart City Police Department: 574-295-7070

Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department: 574-891-2100

Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District: 574-293-2269

Goshen Police Department: 574-533-8661

Middlebury Police Department: 574-825-9111

Millersburg Police Department: 574-642-4500

Nappanee Police Department: 574-773-4111

Wakarusa Police Department: 574-862-4200

Items accepted at the monthly HHW Drop-Off Days:

  • Antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline, kerosene, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, used motor oil
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s)
  • Floor care products, furniture polish, metal polish
  • Fungicide, insecticide, weed killer, rat/mouse poison
  • Glue, mineral spirits, oil-based paint, aerosol paints, paint thinner, paint stripper, rust remover, varnish, wood preservative
  • Household cleaners, gun cleaning solvent, moth balls, lighter fluid, swimming pool chemicals
  • Mercury
  • Nail polish and polish remover
  • Oil based paints
  • Rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries, car batteries (the SWMD will take car batteries but these may also be sold to a local scrap dealer)
  • Unused or expired medications (you may also drop off any sharps but they must be in a puncture-proof container)
    • Medications may also be dropped off at the City of Goshen Police Station lobby 365 days a year.
    • Please DO NOT dispose of medications in any form in the trash or down the drain!

Items NOT accepted at the monthly HHW Drop-Off Days:

  • Batteries:
    • Alkaline batteries can be disposed of in the trash. If you would prefer to recycle them earth911.com has some great information and battery recycling options.
  • Electronic Waste (click on the links below for more information):
  • Latex Paint:
    • Absorb paint with shredded newspaper, kitty litter, sand, sawdust, or another absorbent, and dispose in your trash. Aerosol cans can be emptied of their contents and disposed in the trash. Oil-based paint may be taken to any HHW Drop-Off Day.
  • Microwaves:
  • Refrigerators & Freezers:
    • OmniSource
    • Goshen residents may place one or two large items per month with their regular weekly trash for removal. (This does not include electronics, old tube-type televisions or any cooling appliances containing Freon.)  For details of the year-long, large-item disposal, contact Allied Waste at 574-522-1331.
  • Tires:
    • Return to a store that sells tires.