February 20, 2019 - Residents in need of more opportunities to safely dispose of expired or unwanted household hazardous waste will get their wish under a proposal being submitted to the Allen County Commissioners for a vote on Friday. 

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management (ACDEM) today announced it has a deal in place with the City of Fort Wayne to expand its successful “Tox-Away Tuesday” program. If approved, the program will operate on six Saturdays in addition to the regular weekly Tuesday schedule. The dates for the expanded service would be:

• April 6 
• May 4 
• June 1 
• August 3 
• September 7 
• October 12 

There would be no Saturday program in July. The Saturday hours would be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ACDEM’s HHW facility at 2260 Carroll Road and fees would remain the same. 

“A focus of the Allen County Department of Environmental Management is to insure that we advocate for environmentally friendly practices,” Commissioner Nelson Peters said. “Our partnership with the City of Fort Wayne in developing the flexibility to accommodate more citizens to utilize our Tox-Away program helps us to achieve that focus.”

“I’m encouraged that our citizens are requesting more Tox-Away days and partnering with ACDEM will help us provide those additional opportunities more efficiently,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “Respecting and caring for our planet is an essential part of sustaining a healthy community.” 

Under the terms of the agreement, the City will provide three workers to cover the Saturday dates. The remaining staff will be provided by ACDEM and Veolia, the department’s contracted environmental services company. The City will provide a 40-yard roll-off garbage container and a 40 yard cardboard container. The City will be responsible for paying the cost of removing the household waste material, as billed by Veolia. The City will collect all fees and keep any excess fees left after expenses are paid to Veolia. 

ACDEM began the “Tox-Away Tuesday” program last July, replacing the annual “Tox-Away Day” that had been hosted by the County Solid Waste Management District. The program allows people to get rid of such items as automotive products, batteries, fertilizers, fire extinguishers, household cleaners, mercury, fluorescent light bulbs, paint, pesticides, herbicides, propane tanks and pool chemicals. These materials, if not disposed of properly, can be dangerous to our health and the environment. In the first six months of the new program’s existence, more than 43,000 pounds of material was collected. 

Before taking household hazardous waste to the HHW Facility, residents are encouraged to try the following options: 

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

More information about the “Tox-Away Tuesday” program is available online at ACDEM’s website -- acwastewatcher.org – or by calling 449-4433.