Have a question about recycling?
Check out our frequently asked questions first.
Q. What materials can I recycle?
Plastic materials that can be recycled vary depending on your local recycling program. Common materials that can be recycled include paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal.
In Howard County, you can recycle most paper and cardboard products that you can tear with your hands that are not contaminated by food. Plastic liners and windows should be removed. Steel, tin, and aluminum cans as well as glass bottles and jars can all be recycled. We just ask that you rinse the cans and jars. These materials can be placed in the bins located here. Residents that live inside the city limits of Kokomo or Greentown and have curbside recycling should check with their local street departments for guidelines for recycling there.
Plastics are a little more complicated. Plastics typically have a Resin ID Code inside the recycling symbol to let consumers know what type of plastic it is. These codes are not meant to provide guidance on the safe or appropriate use of any plastic item, but they can act as a guide to help you know what your recycling center can manage. In Howard County, we cannot accept Styrofoam in the bins. Plastic bags and plastic films damage normal recycling equipment and should not be placed in the bins or curbside totes, but can be returned to most grocery stores around Kokomo.
Here are the plastic numbers and codes commonly found on items.
- PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Includes beverage bottles (like 2-liter drink bottles).
- HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Includes milk jugs, detergent bottles, and bleach bottles.
- V (Vinyl) Includes cooking oil bottles, packaging around meats.
- LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) Includes grocery store produce bags, bread bags, food wrap, and mustard squeeze bottles.
- PP (Polypropylene) Includes yogurt containers, shampoo bottles, syrup bottles, and margarine tubs.
- PS (Polystyrene) Plastic ONLY (We cannot accept the #6 Styrofoam-TM at this time) The number 6 plastics include: aspirin bottles, CD cases, etc. Look for the recycling symbol on the bottom or side of your plastic items.
- The number “7” is used to represent a group of other plastics or combinations of plastics.
At Howard County Recycling District office, located at 4102 Cartwright Dr. in Kokomo, you can even recycle specialized wastes like electronics, automotive wastes, batteries, and more.
Q. How do I prepare my recyclables for recycling or pickup?
Materials should be cleaned of any food residue before being placed in the recycling bin or totes provided for curbside recycling in Kokomo or Greentown. Cardboard boxes should be flattened and plastic liners and windows should be removed. Steel, tin, and aluminum cans as well as glass bottles and jars should all be rinsed.
Hazardous waste materials should never be placed in the bins or totes, but should be placed in boxes or containers where they remain upright and brought to our facility at 4102 Cartwright Dr. Kokomo. Check out our Resources page to find out more about what we accept and how to prepare those materials.
Q. Can I recycle plastic bags?
Plastic bags and films are more difficult than other materials to process and can damage recycling equipment. Most grocery stores have special collection points for those items in the front of their stores. These items should never be placed in the recycling bins or curbside totes, and are not accepted at the District Office.
Q. What should I do with hazardous materials?
Hazardous materials, such as chemicals or batteries, should not be placed in the recycling bin. These materials may cause damage to equipment at recycling facilities or harm to workers. At Howard County Recycling District, we specialize in hazardous materials. Contact us at 765-456-2274 for more information.
Q. Can I recycle take-out containers?
Some take-out containers, such as those made of aluminum or plastic, can be recycled. However, containers that are lined with wax or have food residue cannot be accepted. Containers should be rinsed well and placed in the recycling bins or your curbside totes.
Q. Can I recycle electronics such as cell phones and computers?
Residents of Howard County, Indiana can recycle their electronics at the Howard County Recycling District office, located @ 4102 Cartwright Dr. in Kokomo, IN. during our normal business hours. There is a small charge for TVs, monitors, and all-in-one computers excluding laptops. The current disposal fee is $10.00 per screen. All other electronics are free of charge for residents. Businesses located in Howard county and considered small quantity generators may bring items for a fee. Contact our office @765-456-2274 for pricing.
Some of the items we accept include:
CD ROMs – DVD ROMs – PDAs – VCRs – Audiovisual equipment – Calculators – Cell phones – Circuit boards – Computers – Consumer electronics – Copiers – Disk drives – DVD players/writers – Fax machines – Flashlights – Gaming hardware – Laptops – Mainframes – Modems – Monitors – Network hardware – Pagers – Peripherals (keyboards, mice, etc.) – Printers – Small household appliances – Tape drives – Telephones – Televisions – Typewriters – Wireless devices – Workstations – Video recorders
We do not accept major appliances, dorm refrigerators, air conditioners, or gas motors at this time. Our facility is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8am to 4pm, and Wednesday 1pm to 4pm. We are closed weekends and major holidays.
If you are not sure if your items are acceptable, please call us at 765-456-2274.
Q. What is open or illegal dumping?
Open dumping is the improper and illegal disposal of regulated sold waste at an unpermitted solid waste site.
Are you breaking the law?
Indiana Regulation 329 IAC 10-4-2: “No person shall cause or allow the storage, containment, processing, or disposal of solid waste in a manner which creates a threat to human health or the environment, including the creating of a fire hazard, vector attraction, air or water pollution, or other contamination.”
What is proper disposal?
Regulated solid waste can only be discarded at a state permitted solid waste land disposal facility, state permitted transfer station, state permitted incinerator, or recycling facility. Most communities are served by a private or municipal waste hauling service.
Can you afford to break the law?
If you illegally dispose of solid waste, state law provides that you can be fined up to $2,500.00 per day per violation. Please note that this does not include any fines or penalties that local and federal agencies, may assess against you.
What activities are not prohibited?
The following solid waste items are commonly excluded from solid waste regulation and are not therefore required to be disposed of in a permitted disposal site:
- Uncontaminated rocks, bricks, concrete, road demolition waste materials, or dirt
- Uncontaminated and untreated natural growth solid waste including tree limbs, stumps, leaves and grass clippings
- Sawdust, which is derived from processing untreated natural wood
See 329 IAC 10-3-1 for additional information on solid waste activities excluded from regulation.
List of Prohibited Wastes
- Household building debris
- Construction and demolition waste
- Household garbage
- Hazardous waste
Also see additional solid waste items that are prohibited from an illegal dumpsite in 329 IAC 10-2.5.1 (b) – (64). If you are dumping or burning the above referenced materials, you ARE breaking the law.
Illegal Dumping (BCC Ord. 1993-24, passed 6-28-93)
For some reason some people believe that throwing trash, tires and appliances along roadsides and into waterways is a cheap way to discard their waste. Actually, this is the most expensive method of disposal. You, the taxpayer, end-up paying to clean someone else’s mess. Please report illegal dumping acts to this office and/or the Howard County Sheriff.
Try to get evidence such as: pictures, license plate numbers, even video of the act in progress if possible. Successful prosecution of an illegal dumping act not only saves tax dollars and keep Howard County beautiful, but it could also net you with a $2500.00 reward.
If you wish to report and illegal dumpsite or if you would like to report an illegal dumper please go to Indiana Illegal Dumpsite or contact us at (765) 456-2274.
Q. I've heard about composting. Is it the same thing as recycling?
Composting is not the same thing as recycling, but it’s another great way to reduce your carbon footprint!