By Peg McRoy Glover
The Hendricks County Recycling District (HCRD) is kicking up its recycling service by expanding the Lizton recycling center — a direct response to the area’s recycling needs.
“Lizton currently gets exchanged twice a day, (full bins are exchanged for empty bins) six days a week,” said Lenn Detwiler, HCRD executive director. “A lot of material moves through that recycling center. It is very costly to provide that much service to one site, so we are changing how it operates.”
When fully operational, a 6-foot fence will enclose two compactors, a large drop off bin, north and south entrances and an attendant’s office with 24-hour video surveillance. During open hours, an attendant will answer questions and explain what the center can and cannot accept for recycling.
“This is going to be a better arrangement for the folks that are already using the site,” said Detwiler. “The upgraded site will be a better experience for recyclers, especially for recyclers who want to recycle correctly.”
To understand what the HCRD does and how it works, it helps to know about how the recycling industry operates in the Hendricks County area.
Legislation in the 1990s mandated that every county in Indiana have its own solid waste management district or be part of a multi-county solid waste management district. This action was taken to help Indiana residents manage and recycle their waste responsibly when it came to what private industry could not or would not recycle.
HCRD handles recycling materials not picked up by private companies and does not deal with recycling that residents put curbside and pay private waste-hauling companies to remove.
“One of the gaps that we fill is that your trash hauler doesn’t want your antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs and your pool chemicals because bad things can happen in the trash truck when those things get compacted,” said Detwiler. “Tax-Away Days are an opportunity for residents to bring us all that stuff. It is a way for them to safely and properly get those things out of their homes. It is also a way for us to ensure that they are being disposed of and recycled properly.”
However, HCRD cannot recycle everything. The staff points recyclers in the right direction, and HCRD encourages residents to reach out to them.
The end goal is to recycle as much as possible.
“The biggest issue we have had over the years at the Lizton location is people dropping off stuff that we can’t take,” said Detwiler. “The Lizton location will only be open during certain hours. An attendant will be on duty during those hours to help recyclers get their recyclables that we can’t take to places that can recycle those items.”
HCRD also emphasizes education. Outreach coordinator Amy Sieferman works with teachers in Hendricks County to teach students about the importance of recycling.
Detwiler estimates that their educational program reaches 10,000 students a year through each school’s general educational curriculum.
“I work with students on reduce, reuse, recycle message and resource conservation,” said Sieferman. “We also do a lot of programs relating to science, engineering, math and technology (STEM) education. We know they are going to be the future problem solvers.”
Their educational programs hit most science standards, but recycling messages can also be delivered through other subjects.
Seiferman presents in the classroom and through online videos. The public can watch some videos on YouTube.
“This program is about our kid’s future,” said Seiferman. “We try to put this information into the context that these are real-world things that we have to do for a clean planet. I will be relating to them why our Lizton center is so important in helping us recycle properly.”
Lizton Recycling Center
Address: 8976 N. Ind. 39
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 1-7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Office contact: (317) 858-6070 or email at info@RecyclingHC.org
HCRD also operates drop-off recycling centers in Coatesville and North Salem and yard waste recycling centers in Brownsburg and Plainfield.
Hendricks County Tax-Away Days
All Hendricks County residents can utilize any of these locations 8 a.m.-1 p.m. to dispose of toxic materials. Most materials are free to drop off. There is a $20-$25 fee for televisions and $5-$10 fee for large appliances and some tires.
April 8: Brownsburg East Middle School, 1250 Airport Road, Brownsburg
May 20: Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 1900 E. Main St., Danville, Gate 5
July 15: Hickory Elementary School, 907 S. Avon Ave., Avon
Aug. 26: Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 1900 E. Main St., Danville, Gate 5
Oct. 21: Plainfield Middle School, 709 Stafford Road, Plainfield