Chemical Recycling and Disposal
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.
Household chemical drop-off is offered on event days only, by appointment only. We require appointments to prevent traffic jams. In addition to blocking a major county road and causing frustration, a jam made up of vehicles loaded with chemicals would be especially dangerous. A traffic bottleneck could also block emergency vehicles in the case of a chemical spill or fire.
We generally hold three events each year, one in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall.
Our 2022 events have wrapped up for the year. 2023 dates should be available by January.
What can I bring?
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:
- NO explosives and ammunition. Call the State Police at (231) 347-8101 for information on disposing of these.
- 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:
- Acids & bases
- Adhesives & sealers
- Aerosol cans
- Automotive products (polishes, fluids, paints, etc)
- Cleaners and polishes
- Oil-based paints and finishes
- Paint thinner
- Unidentified chemicals
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. We accept latex paint for recycling at the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center, April 1st-November 1st and charge $2 per gallon can. See our paint disposal page for more information.
Note: Collected Daily
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.
Is there a fee?
There is no charge to Emmet County households to use Household Chemicals Drop-off Days. The program is covered by what 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 $2 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:
- Cheboygan County: call 231-627-7051
- Charlevoix County: call 231-547-0080
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 $2 per gallon can. See our paint disposal page for more information.
Less Toxic Alternatives
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 or contact a library or bookstore for one of the many books containing suggestions.
Business Chemical Drop Off
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:
- Never accumulate more than 2,200 pounds of material at a time.
- Produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste a month
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:
- Aerosol Cans
- Computer Equipment
- Contaminated Materials
- Cyanide Wastes
- Developing & Fixing Solutions
- Dry cleaning
- Filtration Residue
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fluorescent Light Bulbs
- Heavy Metals/Inorganics
- Ignitable Wastes
- Paints & Paint Wastes
- Petroleum Products
- Silver/Silver Solutions
- Spent Plating Wastes
- Television Sets
- Used Oils/Filters
- Waste Inks & Ink Sludges
- Wood Preserving Agents
Clean Sweep Program
Pesticides – The DPW accepts pesticides FREE while funds last annually 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 while funds last annually 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.