May 19 Collection Event to Accept Appliances, Electronics, Household Hazardous Waste and Tires

By: Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County Last Updated: May 2, 2012

recycleThe Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County will help Porter County residents with their spring cleaning by providing a One Stop Drop collection event that will accept old and unwanted appliances, electronics, tires and household hazardous waste.

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the Porter County Expo Center/Fair Grounds, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso.

Restrictions or fees may apply. For more information, call the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, 465-3694, or visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org to learn more.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission also will be on hand to present new environmentally friendly 2.5-gallon gas cans to residents who bring their old gas cans in for disposal at the collection. Limit one new gas can per vehicle/family, while supplies last.

The One Stop Drop is an opportunity for residents to properly discard materials that are harmful to the environment. Appliances accepted include refrigerators, stoves, dish and clothes washers, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, freezers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, furnaces, and just about anything metal. Water softener holding tanks will not be accepted.

Not only do old appliances contain hazardous components, including used oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury, they are much less energy-efficient. In addition, the refrigerant used in refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, water coolers and air conditioners is extremely harmful to the environment and must be extracted safely.

Many companies certified to remove refrigerants from appliances often charge for the removal of this toxic substance, leaving residents to dispose of the remaining appliances. Once old appliances are brought to the One Stop Drop, the refrigerant is extracted and properly discarded. The appliances will ultimately be taken apart and recycled.

According to Indiana law, households can no longer mix unwanted computer monitors, computers, televisions, printers, computer peripherals (such as keyboards and mice), DVD players, video cassette recorders, or fax machines with trash that is intended for disposal at a landfill or intended for disposal by burning or incineration.

Electronics can contain lead and other toxic materials that pose serious threats to human health. Porter County residents can bring their old electronic devices to the May 19 event for safe disposal. Accepted items include anything with electrical cords or run by batteries.

Porter County residents also can drop off electronics at the Valparaiso and Boone Grove compost sites any time during their hours of operation. Additionally, Porter County residents can drop off their electronics at the following locations: Portage Street Department: 2302 Hamstrom Road, 762-4564; Valparaiso Public Works: 406 Don Hovey Drive, 462-4612; Porter Street Department: 550 Beam Street, 926-2771. Residents should call the departments to determine hours of operation. Visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org for more information, or call 465-3694.

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients are considered to be “household hazardous waste” or “HHW.” Products, such as oil-based paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when they are discarded.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash, which can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.

HHW items accepted at One Stop Drop include aerosols; anti-freeze; oil; batteries (household and automotive); corrosives; mercury containing products (fluorescent tubes, CFLs, thermometers, thermostats, etc.); oil-based paint, thinners and solvents; pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and other poisons; diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, other flammable liquids; ammunition and expired medications. Explosives, commercial hazardous waste, radioactive materials (like smoke detectors) and Latex paint will not be accepted. Old smoke detectors should be sent back to the manufacturers for recycling. Latex paint can be discarded with regular trash, provided the paint in the can is dry.

Approximately 300 million used automobile and truck tires are discarded by Americans every year. At landfills, tires take up large amounts of space due to their size and have been known to damage landfill linings. Around town, discarded tires become prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents, which carry diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis.

Tire storage piles pose fire hazards that are extremely difficult to extinguish. Burning tires release toxic gases into the air and leave behind a hazardous oily residue that pollutes streams and ground water. Once recycled, the rubber in tires can be used for paving material, fuel, mulch, floor mats, drain pipes, and more!

Porter County residents can dispose of their first four tires up to 20 inches for free at the One Stop Drop. The disposal fee for each additional tire up to 20 inches is $3. Residents can dispose of tires from 20 to 25 inches for $5 each, and tires over 25 inches for $15 each.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County offers many other opportunities for residents to make the right environmental choices when disposing of materials. Visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org for more information or call 465-3694 to learn more.