News & Events

Recycling drop-off at Sam's Club to relocate

Please be patient with us as we relocate the Sam’s Club Community Recycling Drop-off Site at 6736 Lima Road. ACDEM will release the new location to the public as soon as it is secured. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve this service.

Final drop-off date at Sam’s Club: Friday, Jan. 31, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Find other drop-off locations in Allen County: https://bit.ly/2Tsy8YS


Christmas tree recycling begins December 26

Allen County residents may drop off live Christmas trees at various locations free of charge, starting Wednesday, Dec. 26. Drop-off dates vary depending on the location.

Trees will not be picked up with regular trash. Ornaments, lights, tinsel, and plastic bags must be removed from trees prior to dropping them off at any tree recycling location. Wreaths and artificial trees are not accepted. Trees will be recycled into mulch at a later date.

Allen County residents may drop off their live trees at the following locations:

Fort Wayne

Allen County Highway Dept. (North Facility)

2234 Carroll Road

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 18

Biosolids Handling Facility

6202 Lake Ave.

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 18, Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed New Year’s Day.

Metea County Park

8401 Union Chapel Road

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 18, Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

New Haven

City Hall— North Side

815 Lincoln Highway E. (North Parking Lot)

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 12

Jury Park Pool

1702 Glencoe Blvd.

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 12

Career and Technical School

(Meadowsbrook Parking Lot)

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 12

Monroeville

Monroeville Water Works

200 Utility Drive

Drop-off dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 12

For questions or concerns regarding live tree recycling, contact Allen County Department of Environmental Management at 260-449-7878 or info@acwastewatcher.org.


Tox-Away Tuesday closed Christmas Eve

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management’s Tox-Away Tuesday program will be closed for the Christmas holiday Tuesday, Dec. 24.

The program will resume as usual Tuesday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Allen County residents are encouraged to review the fees and guidelines for household hazardous waste drop off prior to making the trip to ACDEM’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Residents can review guidelines at acwastewatcher.org.

Contact Allen County Department of Environmental Management for questions at 260-449-4433 or info@acwastewatcher.org.


Local Guide to Zero-waste Gifting

The holiday season is here, which means shopping, spending, gifting, and unfortunately, contributing to the single-use waste crisis.

Of the $1,048 the average person will spend during the 2019 holiday shopping season, $659 of that will be spent on gifts for family, friends or co-workers, according to the National Retail Federation report. This holiday let’s change the game and consider spending money on locally-made, secondhand, and experiential gifts to reduce our community’s waste footprint in the landfill, streets, and waterways.

Below are several examples of how you can support a reuse and repair economy and environmentally-friendly business practices in Allen County during the holidays (and save money too!).

Give Second-hand Items

Home decor

Check out your local second-hand stores like Goodwill for gifting home decor that is timeless and trendy. Shopping vintage is also an environmentally sustainable and (sometimes) affordable option.

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana

Clothing

High-quality clothing can be expensive. Visit your local second-hand stores or online stores like Poshmark for gently-used clothing. You might be surprised by what you find!

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana

Give an Experience

Gift certificates

From maker spaces like The Build Guild that provide spaces to craft and repair items to the Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot that encourage residents to get outside, giving gift certificates that support a reuse culture is a more environmentally-friendly option.

The Build Guild

Need a gift for a book lover? Give the gift of wonder and knowledge at a locally-owned book store like Hyde Brothers Booksellers. Gifting gently-used books will save you money and millions of trees–it’s a win-win for all!

Hyde Brothers Booksellers

Other Ideas:

  • Farm-to-table restaurant gift certificate
  • Farmers Market gift certificate
  • Local concert tickets
  • Annual pass to Allen County Parks
  • Museum and zoo pass

Eco-friendly & Reusable Items

House plants

Shopping for the green thumb in your life? Consider gifting a house plant that will last them for months or years to come! Buy from a locally-owned plant shop like Honey Plant for all your house plant needs. Many plant shops like Honey Plant and other garden centers will take back your plastic containers to be reused.

On a tight budget? You can propagate a plant you already own.

Honey Plant

Reusable water bottles

Humans buy approximately 20,000 plastic bottles every second, according to Euromonitor. Recycling single-use water bottles is a great practice, but it’s not the best option for conserving resources, preventing waste from entering the environment, and protecting our health.

Research released in 2018 found that more than 90 percent of bottled water from the world’s leading brands was contaminated with microplastics. If plastic water bottles don’t get recycled, they end up in landfills, oceans, or rivers and sidewalks, slowly turning into microplastics which can have detrimental effects on wildlife and human health.

Solution: Use a reusable–preferably stainless steel or glass–water bottle! Reusable water bottles save energy and money and reduce single-use plastic waste. You can purchase a reusable water bottle at most local grocery stores, but if you’re looking for something more unique, check out a locally-owned boutique like The Find.

The Find

Reusable food containers

Many disposable takeout containers made of polystyrene are not accepted in curbside recycling bins or ACDEM’s Community Recycling Drop-off Sites. Disposable containers that are lined with plastic can also leech chemicals into your food if hot, which has been proven to be linked to a variety of health issues. Gross.

Solution: Give the gift of health by buying a set of reusable, plastic-free food containers for the foodies in your life.

The Find

Reusable straws

According to the Trash Free Seas Alliance, the average American uses 1.6 straws per day. In the U.S. alone, that’s enough to circle the equator two and a half times. Plus, plastic straws are not recyclable locally and they will never biodegrade.

Solution: Say “No straw, please” when you go out or bring your own reusable straw with you on the go! Stainless steel, glass, silicone, and disability-friendly straws can be purchased locally at some grocery stores and boutiques.

The Find

Eco-friendly notebooks

Looking for a gift for the writer in your life? Give a unique journal or notebook made from recycled materials from a locally-owned store like Creative Women of The World.

Creative Women of the World

Other Ideas:

  • Beer growlers from a local brewery
  • Honey, jams, syrups, mustards, and kimchi from local producers

Reusable Gift Packaging

Once you’ve finished shopping for gifts plan out the kind of gift packaging you will need. Choose reusable or eco-friendly gift packaging.

You can find eco-friendly packaging that is reusable at locally-owned stores like Creative Women of the World. Reuse gift bags, scarves, T-shirts, magazines and newspapers for wrapping and packaging presents.

Here are some examples for inspiration:

Creative Women of the World
Creative Women of the World

Composting for the climate can be easy

By Jodi Leamon, ACDEM’s Sustainability Coordinator

Sometimes news about climate change can feel overwhelming, but there is something we can all do at home to make a difference. One of the simplest climate-positive habits to implement in the average person’s life is to start composting.

Let’s take a quick look at the science:

Organic material includes anything that decomposes like leaves, yard waste, food scraps, and paper products. Organics that are thrown in the trash end up in the landfill, where they make up the largest part of the waste stream nationally. Once buried in a landfill, these types of material decompose without oxygen to release methane gas which is a major contributor to climate change.

Composting is the decomposition of organic materials in the presence of oxygen. This process does not produce greenhouse gasses but creates a nutrient-rich product that can be used to improve soil fertility and grow plants that help clean and cool our environment.

Almost anyone can start composting using one of several methods. It can be a complicated process or one that is hassle-free, depending on how involved you want to get. The internet has thousands of resources for all kinds of situations including apartment dwellers.

The following items can be composted:

  • Yard waste
  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Fresh food scraps
  • Old leftover food
  • Coffee and tea grounds
  • Filters
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Pet fur
  • Hair

I prefer what I call lazy composting. I have a mesh barrel-sized container just outside my back door where I chuck most of my organic waste and leave it to do its decomposition thing. Some people prefer to be diligent about balancing carbon (brown materials) and nitrogen (green materials) containing inputs. There are some who use red worms to accelerate the decomposition of materials, especially in small indoor spaces. There are some expensive compost bins and thousands of DIY versions that cost almost nothing.

There are also resources available if you need to outsource your composting. Yard waste that is too bulky for your home bin can be dropped off at Fort Wayne’s Biosolids Handling Facility. Allen County is also lucky to have some businesses starting up that will offer pick-up services for your compostable waste.

Any organic material kept out of landfills is a step in the right direction toward mitigating climate change and creating a resilient community. Taking on this relatively small change in lifestyle can make a big difference while giving you the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something to help the entire planet. ACDEM can help you get started composting or provide more information on other services available. Contact us for more information.


Sustainability Awards Nominations are Open!

Nominations are due by November 15

  • You may nominate an Allen County business, organization, person, or yourself! Please provide as much detailed information as possible. Winners will be chosen by ACDEM staff based on innovation, outreach, quantities of material, creativity, or other outstanding circumstances. Awards will be presented at a future Commissioners' Legislative Session.
 

Verification


Tox-Away Tuesday closed September 17 for staff training

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management’s (ACDEM) Tox-Away Tuesday program for household hazardous waste (HHW) disposal will close Tuesday, Sept. 17 for staff training. ACDEM’s Household Hazardous Waste facility, located at 2260 Carroll Road, Fort Wayne, will continue regular Tox-Away Tuesday hours Tuesday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The HHW drop-off facility is open to the public every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and select Saturdays (September 7 and October 12) in partnership with the City of Fort Wayne. Allen County residents are encouraged to review the fees (cash or check only), guidelines of the items accepted, and directions here in advance. Residents can also find the facility by searching “ACDEM’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility” in Google Maps.


Tox-Away Saturdays

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management and the City of Fort Wayne have partnered to expand ACDEM’s weekly “Tox-Away Tuesdays” collection of household hazardous waste (HHW) products for Allen County residents to Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on the following dates:

  • September 7
  • October 12

ACDEM’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility is a place for Allen County residents to safely dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste. These materials, if not disposed of properly, can be dangerous to our health and the environment.

Please consider the following options before taking your household hazardous waste to the HHW Facility:

  • Reduce waste by buying only what you need
  • Purchase less toxic options
  • Share leftovers with family, friends, and neighbors who need them

Review product guidelines, fees (cash or check only), and directions here: https://bit.ly/2lO5RK4

Drop-off Hours: Saturdays (select dates) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: 2260 Carroll Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Please enter the facility from Fort Recovery Road via Lima Road.

Cost: Minimal fees and material limits will apply (review fees here: https://bit.ly/2lO5RK4)

Contact ACDEM at info@acwastewatcher.org or 260-449-7878 if you have any questions.


Ready to Rescue Food?

40% of food is wasted in the US, while 1 in 7 people are food insecure. You can help by downloading the Food Rescue US app and registering to be a food runner! We have donations that need to be delivered every day of the week and could use your help. It’s easy! Review simple instructions here, then claim a rescue!


Recycling Drop-off sites closed July 4

Our offices and Community Recycling Drop-off Sites in Allen County will be closed Thursday, July 4. All drop-off sites will reopen July 5 for your after-party recycling needs!