Chemical Recycling and Disposal
- Antifreeze Recycling
- Motor Oil and Oil Filter Recycling
- Drop Off Other Household Chemicals
- Drop-off Other Chemicals from Business
- Clean Sweep Program for FREE Disposal of Business’ Pesticides and Mercury
- Ethylene glycol-based antifreeze
- Propylene glycol-based antifreeze
Antifreeze is accepted at the Drop-off Center in the Hazardous Materials Recycling area.
- Motor Oil
- Brake Fluid
- Automatic Transmission Fluid
- Diesel Fuel
- Hydraulic Fluid
- Lube Oils
- Oil Filters
- NO transformer oil
- NO gasoline
- NO gasoline/oil mix
- NO 2-stroke oil
- NO water
- Fuel Oil
Motor oil and oil filters are accepted at the Drop-off Center in the Hazardous Materials Recycling area.
- All of these fluids are collected together in one tank, so you can take your container home to use again.
- There is a cart for oil filters near the oil tank.
- Please drain as much oil as possible from oil filters before putting them in the cart.
Clean up. Green up. Free up! Thank you for your interest in doing the right thing with your waste chemicals. If throwing them out in your garbage or pouring them down the drain didn’t feel like the thing to do, you were right. A surprisingly small amount of some common household chemicals can pollute a lot of soil, air, and water. The DPW’s hazardous waste programs are here to make “the right thing” as safe and convenient as possible.
When, Where, Who? We accept some of the most common hazardous materials daily at the Drop-off Center. Most other chemicals can be managed through our Household Chemical Drop-off Days. We are even able to accept hazardous wastes from some businesses.
Cost? Disposal of most of these materials is FREE if they come from your home in Emmet County. Businesses, institutions, and individuals from other counties are charged our cost. Details are found in each section below.
Household chemicals are accepted for disposal, reuse, or recycling on Household Chemical Drop-off Days (HCDD’s). We hold three HCDD’s every year, one in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall.
Just call 231-348-0640 to make an appointment on a Drop-off Day. We require appointments for everyone’s convenience and safety. Without appointments, we find that too many people arrive at once. People get frustrated waiting and, with cars loaded with everything from lighter fluid to pesticides, a traffic jam could be dangerous – even blocking the way for emergency vehicles in the case of a spill or fire.
Household Chemical Drop-off Days
Upcoming Drop-off Events
Household chemical drop-off is offered on event days by appointment only. In 2019 we will be holding Household Chemical Drop-off events on the following Saturdays
Call 231-348-0640 to schedule your appointment.
If you would like to be notified of future Household Chemical Drop-off events as they are scheduled, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Click on the puppy in the navigation bar at right to access the sign up form.
The simpler question for us to answer is, “What can’t I bring?” There are only two kinds of chemicals we will NOT take through the Household Chemical Drop-off program:
1. NO explosives and ammunition. Call the State Police at (231) 347-8101 for information on disposing of these.
2. NO radioactive materials. Radioactive materials are found in small quantities in some brands of a few household items (smoke detectors, clocks, lantern wicks, dishes). At present, there is no proper method for disposing of radioactive materials. You may be able to return these items to the manufacturer. If that isn’t possible, please store them until a proper disposal method becomes available.
Some common examples of materials people bring to drop-off days include:
- Pesticides, including weed killers
- Cleaners and polishes
- Oil paints, other finishes, and their thinners
- Adhesives, sealers, and tar
Note: Motor oil, antifreeze, electronics, and batteries are all hazardous. For your convenience, they are collected for recycling at the Emmet County Drop-Off Center during their regular hours of 8-4 weekdays, and 8-3 Saturdays. Visit our Recycling Guide page for more information.
For search purposes, examples of chemicals accepted include: acids, acetone, adhesives, aerosols, ammonia, ant traps, arsenic, art supplies, automotive products, banned chemicals, bases, bleach, brake fluid, car wax, cleaners, corrosives, contaminated oil, cyanide, deck stain, dyes, epoxy, fire extinguishers, flammables, foggers, formaldehyde, fuels, fungicides, furniture stripper, gasoline, herbicides, Kilz, lead paints, lighter fluid, mercury, moth balls, mysteries, nail polish remover, oil-based paints, oxidizers, paint stripper, pesticides, photographic chemicals, polishes, polyurethane, pool chemicals, reactives, Roundup, sealers, shellac, solvents, turpentine, unidentified materials, varnish, wood preservative
There is no charge to Emmet County households to use Household Chemicals Drop-off Days. The program is covered by the charges Emmet County residents pay to dispose of their garbage, whether through a private waste hauler or at the Emmet County Transfer Station.
Residents of other counties and qualifying businesses may use the service, however, we charge $1 per pound to cover our costs. This applies to civic and religious organizations and owners of rental housing too. We recommend that residents of other counties use their county’s household hazardous waste program first:
- Charlevoix County: call 231-547-7221
- Cheboygan County: call 231-627-7051
Latex Paints are Less Hazardous: Latex paint is less toxic than other paints and most of it can safely be disposed of through simpler means than hazardous materials. We accept latex paint for recycling April 1st-November 1st and charge $1 per gallon can. See our paint disposal page for more information.
Emmet County is committed to handling collected materials in the most environmentally sound manner possible. However, even the best available options are extremely expensive and far from ideal.
The best solution to the problem of disposing of hazardous waste is to avoid buying toxic products. If you must buy toxic chemicals, try to buy just the amount you need and use it up.
There are also many less toxic alternatives to commonly used chemicals. If you would like more information search the internet, ask us about pamphlets, or contact a library or bookstore for one of the many books containing suggestions.
Here are a couple of books we recommend:
- Clean House, Clean Planet: Clean Your House for Pennies a Day The Safe, Nontoxic Way by Karen Logan, Pocket Books, 1997
- Common-Sense Pest Control: Least-toxic solutions for your home, garden, pets, and community by Olkowsi, Daar and Olkowski, Taunton Press, 1991 (available at public libraries in Emmet County)
The saying, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure,” is true of household hazardous waste. Many of the materials we receive are “waste” only because they are not of use to the original owner. So, alongside the drop-off, we give away the “treasures” people bring in. We call the program the Waste Exchange and the materials are offered for personal, professional, or organizational use on a firs-come-first-serve basis.
We offer the Exchange because incinerating or landfilling hazardous waste (in a special toxic waste facility) is extremely expensive. In many cases, it costs more to dispose of the chemicals than it did to purchase them. By properly using materials up, you can help us control disposal costs.
Hazardous Waste Doesn’t Have To Be A BIG DEAL for small business.
Collection of Mercury and Pesticides is funded by grants from the State of Michigan. For additional information in the proper disposal of these items, please refer to the Clean Sweep program.
We want to make it simpler for you to dispose of hazardous wastes properly!
Small businesses with small amounts of hazardous wastes may find themselves in a logistical and financial bind: in general, the hazardous waste disposal industry is geared to serve medium and large businesses, regularly removing many drums of hazardous wastes. Smaller businesses don’t qualify for the industry’s volume-based price breaks and so end up facing high per-unit fees on top of prohibitive pickup and transport costs – if they can obtain service at all.
The Emmet County Department of Public Works (ECDPW) can help many small businesses avoid this bind. Our Household Chemical Drop-off Program can take hazardous materials from businesses and organizations which meet both of the following limits:
- Produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste a month
- Never accumulate more than 2,200 pounds of material at a time.
Call the Emmet County Department of Public Works for more information at 231-348-0640.
All businesses are legally responsible for proper disposal or recycling of all of their hazardous waste materials, including:
Developing & Fixing Solutions
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Paints & Paint Wastes
Spent Plating Wastes
Waste Inks & Ink Sludges
Wood Preserving Agents
Pesticides – The DPW accepts pesticides FREE from any user* in Michigan, thanks to a Clean-Sweep grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture. This encompasses households, but also all kinds of businesses, except retailers selling pesticides. Farmers, landscapers, and businesses using pesticides on their buildings and grounds are all welcome to use this free service.
Mercury – The DPW accepts mercury FREE from anyone in Michigan, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, while funding lasts annually.
An appointment on a Household Chemical Drop-off Day is required to drop off your mercury or pesticides. Please call 231-348-0640 for more information and an appointment.
* Retailers are not included in this program. If you are a retailer with pesticides to dispose of, we may be able to help you identify other options. Call the DPW at 231-348-0640.