Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Lake Michigan Districts' Household Hazardous Waste program is a cooperative effort between the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte County Solid Waste Districts to collect household chemicals.
Lake Michigan Districts' runs a collection and recycling program for household batteries. Automotive batteries can also be recycled; however, they are collected through our mobile collection program.
In addition to the battery recycling program, Lake Michigan Districts' runs a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator program, a mobile collection program, and is part of IDEM's Mercury Awareness Program (MAP). Call the Lake Michigan Districts to find out more on these other programs at 1-800-483-7700 or 1-219-326-1425.
Why Can't I Just Throw My Old Batteries In The Garbage?
Batteries contain several different toxic materials. Lead and mercury are the most notable hazardous metals found in household batteries. But they also can contain cadmium, another highly toxic metal similar to lead and mercury. Alkaline batteries have toxic chemicals and acids which react to produce their power. Even though the battery no longer produces substantial power to run your electronic device, the toxic materials are still present and can be as potent as the day the battery was new.
When you throw out one of these "dead" batteries, you are giving these toxic materials a way into the ground and as a result, a way into our water supplies, including drinking water. Even though batteries represent less than one percent by weight of municipal solid waste, they account for fifty-two (52) percent of all the cadmium and eighty-eight (88) percent of all the mercury found in the municipal waste stream.
What Should I Do With My Old Batteries?
You should recycle your old batteries, which is why the Lake Michigan Districts Household Hazardous Waste program runs a collection and recycling program for household batteries.
What Difference Does It Make If I Don't Recycle My Batteries?
It makes a big difference. We, as Americans, use roughly two billion "disposable" batteries each year. Our program has been in effect since 1996, and since that time, we have collected almost 40,000 pounds of household batteries. In 1998 alone, we collected close to 20,000 pounds. This is a significant amount of which people like yourselves played a very important role.
Does It Cost Me Anything To Use Your Program?
No. The program is free to all residents and there are two different ways to use it; you can either choose one of the following public drop-off sites or the batteries may be brought to one of our mobile collection sites during the outdoor season.
Public Battery Drop-off Boxes: