Reduce, Reuse, Recycle information:

Everyone can play a role in keeping waste out of landfills by following the principals of reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Finding a way to reduce the amount of waste produced is the first step, as it saves natural resources, protects the environment, and will save money in the long run.  For example, purchase items in bulk or items that have less packaging.

Reusing is the next step in this process.  Examples of reusing include buying used clothing, fixing items instead of purchasing new products, or packing silverware and dishes in lunch instead of using disposable items.

The final step, recycling, is the process of collecting items that would be trash and processing the materials into new products.  This step keeps items out of the landfill and conserves natural resources.  By participating in these actions, everyone can help sustain the environment for future generations.  Recyclerama will help others engage in both reusing and recycling.

How do I dispose of my old paint?
Household Hazardous Waste collections accepts OIL-BASED paint only, no latex paint will accepted.

Donate unused paint to theatre, civic, charitable, or art organizations.

Latex Paint
Latex paint is the safest paint to use, since it is water-based. It cleans up easily with water so there is no need for toxic thinners. Choose latex paint over oil-based paint when possible. Purchase only the quantity needed and use the product as it was intended to be used. Use up all the paint if possible.

Latex Paint (Disposal Hints)
Dried out latex paint can be thrown away with the regular trash. Allow the paint to dry. Find an area that is protected from children, pets, and rain but has good air flow. A high shelf in a well vented garage or shed may be suitable. Remove the lid and allow liquids to evaporate. Depending on the type and quantity of paint, this can take a few days to months. This works well for small quantities (1-3 inches in bottom of can), but larger quantities take longer to dry. Leave the lid off the can and once it is dry throw it in with regular household garbage.

For faster drying:

  • Stir it occasionally to break the surface scum, for better evaporation.
  • Mix in equal amounts of an absorbent material, such as cat litter or sawdust.


  • DO NOT dump paint on the ground or down storm drains, where it can travel directly to surface or ground water.
  • DO NOT pour paint down the drain. Septic systems and wastewater treatment plants can safely handle small amounts of latex paint only, so limit this to paint brush cleaning and general clean-up.
  • DO NOT throw liquid paint in the trash. This will prevent leakage into the landfill.

How do I get rid of used tires?
Three tire collections are held every year funded by the DEQ Scrap Tire Grant.  The collections are generally held between May and August.  Tire retailers will accept scrap tires for a disposal fee.  Some have limits on how many scrap tires they will accept at a time.  Scrap tires can also taken directly to a scrap tire processor.  Costs for disposal are based on the size of the tire.

How do I get rid of appliances?
Appliances are collected during the Recyclerama event in April.  Many companies have a “take back” program when purchasing new appliances where they will take old appliances when delivering new. Items that contain Freon must be tagged that the Freon has been removed before they taken to a scrap metal yard.  Freon removal is available for free during Recyclerama.

How do I get rid of my used television?
Televisions may be recycled during Recyclerama in April.  The Solid Waste Program collaborates with the City of Battle Creek and provides an additional electronics collection in August. Best Buy is no longer accepting old televisions for free.

How do I get rid of my old computer?
Computers may be recycled during Recyclerama in April.  The Solid Waste Program collaborates with the City of Battle Creek and provides an additional electronics collection in August.  Check with retailers to see what is covered through their recycling program.  Some programs may accept computers or laptops, but may not accept CRT style monitors.

Where can I take automotive waste to be recycled? 
Old tires should be left at retailers when new tires are purchased.  Check with auto parts stores to see if you can recycle motor oil and oil filters.  If not, automotive products such as motor oil, fuel, and anti-freeze are accepted at HHW collections.  Metal parts have value as scrap metal and even automobiles that no longer running can be scrapped at a scrap metal yard.

How do I apply for a mini-grant?

Recycling mini grant application