RECYCLING programs VARY DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE.
SELECT YOUR LOCATION ON THE MAP TO LEARN MORE.

Sadly, not everywhere has a recycling program.
If your location isn't linked on our map, we do not have any information regarding programs in that area.

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To learn more about what kinds of recycling are offered in your area, check with your local Solid Waste Management District (SWMD). Solid Waste Management Districts are the local government entities responsible for managing local trash and recycling programs, as well as managing recycling drop-off sites and education. SWMDs are often set up by county, but some cover multi-county regions. To find what SWMD serves your county, use the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management District (AISWMD) directory and search by county.

WHY RECYCLE

Arguments for the importance of waste reduction fall into three categories, known as the three “E’s” of sustainability: economy, environment, and equity.*

 

ECONOMIC

  • Prevents valuable commodities from being lost forever to landfilling or incineration

  • Using recycled feedstock in manufacturing offers significant energy and cost savings over virgin materials

  • Strengthens domestic resource recovery infrastructure which creates green jobs
     

ENVIRONMENTAL

  • Minimizes water, land, and air pollution related to the harvest, extraction, and or processing of raw materials

  • Cuts greenhouse gas emissions like carbon and methane contributing to climate change

  • Conserves natural resources like freshwater, trees, minerals, precious metals, land, oil & natural gas
     

EQUITY

  • As we address waste reduction in a more holistic way and move towards a circular economy – the result will be healthier people living in healthier communities.  Less waste will produce less litter, less exposure to unhealthy packaging, and more thoughtful design – all of which will have positive effects on mental health and physical well-being.

  • Waste reduction & recycling cuts greenhouse gas emissions like carbon and methane that contribute to climate change – the effects of which are felt more pointedly by certain communities.

  • The waste reduction & recycling industry offers stable, entry-level employment to many individuals who might encounter barriers when applying for service-sector jobs (i.e. many recyclers actively employ formerly incarcerated individuals and others).
     

*This is not an exhaustive list.

HOW TO RECYCLE

Recycling is complicated—and there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Know what to throw: Always check with your recycling provider to find out what types of items they accept for recycling and how to do it correctly. Don’t know your hauler? Find your recycling program above (only available on the desktop version of our website)!

When in doubt, throw it out: Unsure whether something is recyclable? Then throw it out! Placing items you wish are recyclable but actually aren't in your recycling bin is called “wish-cycling,” and it causes big problems for recycling facilities. Wish-cycling causes contamination for recycling sorting centers, who have to spend time and money to sort out everything that isn’t recyclable. Contamination can damage sorting machines or even cause things that are actually recyclable to be thrown out.

 

Empty, Clean, and Dry: Remember, your recycling is made into new products. You wouldn’t want a new pizza box with the remnants of someone else’s greasy pizza - neither does your hauler! Therefore, you should always make sure everything in your recycling is fully empty, clean, and dry - just a quick rinse is fine for most items, no need to use soap. Wet/soiled items can cause mold and attract pests, and nobody wants that!

Don’t bag it: Plastic bags are one of the worst contaminants and can cause damage to sorting machines. Make sure to keep your recycling loose in your bin!

METHODS

CURBSIDE:
What a curbside recycling program will take varies between counties. Check with your hauler, municipality, or SWMD. Plastic #1-2 bottles and jugs (check locally for #3-7s), Glass food jars and bottles, metal cans and containers, paper and cardboard; NO: plastic bags/film, electronics, hazardous waste, and scrap metal are generally recyclable in most curbside programs.

DROP OFF BINS:
Drop-off bins vary from place to place. It’s important to always check with your hauler, municipality, or SWMD.

IN-STORE DROP OFF:
Many retail stores have plastic bag drop-off areas. These places usually accept plastic film (think stretchy plastic materials) as well.

SPECIALIZED MATERIAL locations:
Check with the company’s website or your SWMD.

MAIL IN PROGRAMS:
Some materials may not be recyclable through the above methods. Thankfully, mail in programs commonly accept materials like cartons, plastic #5, and other Terracycle programs.

WHAT TO DO WITH OTHER WASTE MATERIALS

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HAZARDOUS
WASTE

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CONSTRUCTION
WASTE

SELECT A BIN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH OF THESE MATERIALS

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E-Waste

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PAPER/Fiber

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GLASS

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PLASTIC

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METALS

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ORGANICs

KEY ORGANIZATIONS IN INDIANA RECYCLING

Operates county recycling centers, public drop offs, & education programs.

Collects house hold hazardous waste through tox-drop programs and tox-away days.

Permitting, reporting, education, & regulatory body.

Cities, towns, & municipalities - check locally (Departments of Public Works, Offices of Sustainability, etc)

Haulers - Republic Services, Ray’s Trash & Recycling, Rumpke, Waste Management, Quincy Recycle, & Best Way are Indiana’s main waste & recycling haulers.

INDIANA'S RECYCLING PERFORMANCE

Indiana has a 50% recycling goal, but our current recycling rate is only 19.1%. Each year, the recycling rate increases a little - every Hoosier can increase this by improving their recycling habits.