Have a question about recycling?

Check out our frequently asked questions first.

Q. What materials can I recycle?

The 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.

At Howard County Recycling District, you can recycle most paper products that you can tear with your hands that are not contaminated by food. Plastic liners and windows from boxes should be removed. Steel, tin, and aluminum cans as well as glass bottles and jars can be recycled, but we ask that you rinse the cans and jars.

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. At Howard County Recycling District, we cannot accept #6 Styrofoam at this time.  Check out the plastic numbers and codes below.

  1. PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Includes beverage bottles (like 2-liter drink bottles).
  2. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) Includes milk jugs, detergent bottles, and bleach bottles.
  3. V (Vinyl) Includes cooking oil bottles, packaging around meats.
  4. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) Includes grocery store produce bags, bread bags, food wrap, and mustard squeeze bottles.
  5. PP (Polypropylene) Includes yogurt containers, shampoo bottles, syrup bottles, and margarine tubs.
  6. 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.
  7. The number “7” is used to represent a group of other plastics or combinations of plastics.

At Howard County Recycling District, 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 sorted by type and cleaned of any food residue before being placed in the recycling bin. 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 be rinsed.

If you have hazardous waste materials, you should 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?

The process to break down plastics is more difficult than some other materials. It takes around 300 years for plastic bags to degrade. And they break down into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the soil and waterways and enter the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.

Some grocery stores may have a collection bin for plastic bags. Howard County Recycling District cannot take your plastic bags. 

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.

Q. Can I recycle electronics such as cell phones and computers?

Howard County Recycling District can accept your electronic materials during regular business hours. Residents of Howard County, Indiana currently have a disposal fee of $10.00 per item that has a screen (televisions, monitors etc.). Businesses are charged for any electronics they bring in to recycling. If you’re a business owner, contact out office 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 appliances, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, or gas motors at this time. Our facility is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8am to 4pm, Wednesday 1pm to 4pm, and we are closed weekends and major holidays. This facility is for Howard County, Indiana households only. Business waste is prohibited.

If you are not sure if your items are acceptable please call us at 765-456-2274 to find out.

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
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Tires
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • 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!

Click here to read more →

We offer special recycling events that you won’t want to miss.

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