The annual “fall back” time change and smoke detector battery replacement ritual comes up on Nov. 4. Thanks to Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction, Porter County residents can recycle smoke detectors they determine no longer function properly or are 10 years old or older.
Porter County Recycling partnered with a number of fire and EMS departments to offer residents a number of locations to bring their unwanted smoke detectors: Chesterton Fire Department, 702 Broadway; Porter Fire Department, 550 Beam St.; Valparaiso Fire Department Station 2, 2605 Cumberland Dr.; Ogden Dunes Fire Department, 111 Hillcrest Rd.; Lakes of the Four Seasons Volunteer Fire Force Inc., 10645 Randolph St., Suite D, Winfield; South Haven Fire Dept., 398 West 700 North, Valparaiso; Hebron Fire Department, 109 North Washington St.; and Porter EMS Station #3, 453 West State Rd. 8, Hebron.
Residents can also recycle smoke detectors at either public compost site: Valparaiso, 2150 W. Lincolnway, or Boone Grove, 546 South 400 West.
Visit www.PorterCountyRecycling.org for additional details on the accessibility of the drop-off sites or call Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction, 465-3694.
Many smoke detectors use small amounts of radioactive material, americium-241, to detect smoke. Porter County Recycling sends the detectors it collects for recycling to Curie Environmental Services, where the americium-241 is segregated and sent to a special waste fill. The hard plastic case and remaining metals are recycled and diverted from the solid waste stream.
The recycling program ensures the radioactive material is managed properly without any potential negative effects to humans or the environment.
The Porter County Fire Association and the National Fire Protection Association recommend replacing smoke detectors every 10 years. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.
Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.