Fort Wayne, IN (pop. 256,496) is home to a robust single-stream curbside recycling program using 96-gallon carts topped with yellow lids (smaller households can opt for a 48-gallon version if preferred). The city’s voluntary biweekly collection program is one of the few around the nation to accept all seven resin codes — any plastic item numbered 1 through 7 can be included in the commingled cart.
Newspapers and inserts, corrugated cardboard, paperboard, phonebooks, paperback books, magazines, catalogs, office paper, junk mail, egg cartons, milk and juice cartons, greeting cards and file folders are accepted. Corrugated cardboard should be cut into 3-foot or smaller pieces or flattened to fit in the cart.
Plastic tubs, jugs, containers and bottles numbered 1 through 7 (rinsed) are accepted. Remove lids and caps and place them separately in the cart.
Aluminum cans (rinsed), steel/tin cans (rinsed), aluminum foil (clean) and aluminum tins and trays (rinsed) are accepted.
Clear, brown, green and blue glass bottles and containers (rinsed) are accepted. Remove lids and caps and place them separately in the cart.
Fort Wayne residents recycle at the curb on a biweekly basis, same day as refuse collection. Carts should be spaced 3 feet from refuse carts or other obstructions along the curb or alleyway. A recycling collection day calendar is available online
Other programsLeaves are collected twice in each Fort Wayne neighborhood during the fall (the program runs from mid-October through early December). Residents will be alerted of their pick-up schedule, which is broken up by district. Residents must rake their leaves into the park strip (the area between the sidewalk and the street) in front of their property to ensure proper collection.
Christmas tree recycling occurs from December 26 through mid-January. The city announces its drop-off locations each December.
The Allen County Solid Waste Management District handles the area’s electronic and household hazardous waste. Electronics have been banned from landfills in Indiana for a few years now, so all residents must do their part to safely discard their old devices. Fort Wayne residents can take used electronics to OmniSource, 1430 Meyer Rd. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon. A fee of $5 is due at drop off, with a 15-item limit per visit.
The ACSWMD also offers five drop-off locations for the household materials listed above. Find locations and hours of operation here
Several auto parts stores around Allen County accept used motor oil (select Hires Auto Parts stores also take antifreeze, transmission fluid and brake fluid).
Fort Wayne has an impressive array of fluorescent bulb and CFL drop-off options located all around town. Find a nearby drop-off location online
The county holds an annual “Tox-Away Day” every September for residents to drop off hazardous materials. Disposal guidelines can be found on the ACSWMD website
Visit the City of Fort Wayne One Cart Recycling Program website
for more recycling program info.