Contact Information

Environmental & Administrative Services
500 Court Street, Suite E
Defiance, OH 43512

Warren Schlatter, P.E., P.S.
Landfill Manager

June Crosser
Assistant Director

P: (419) 782-5442
F: (419) 784-3268

Recyclable Items

Aluminum Recycling

The environmental benefits of aluminum recycling are enormous, so are the benefits.

The advent of the aluminum beverage can in the 1960’s helped spur the development of community recycling programs.  Markets fluctuate over time, but traditionally the high market value of scrap aluminum has generated enough income to allow recycling programs to pay for other, less lucrative recycling services.

Recycling is as valuable to the aluminum industry as aluminum is to the recycling infrastructure.  The capital costs for making aluminum from recycled material is far lower than the capital investment needed to derive aluminum from its source-bauxite ore.  It takes 12 to 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite than making it from recycled aluminum.

Because most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, that energy savings translates into further conservation of natural resources and a significant reduction in pollution.  The Reynolds Metals Company estimates that producing recycled aluminum produces 95% less pollution than making aluminum from virgin ore.

Transportation, beverage cans and other packaging, and building construction are the top markets for the aluminum industry.  Transportation is the largest market for aluminum in the United States.  Almost two-thirds of aluminum is used to make car and light truck components and the vast majority of that material is recycled, up to 90% according to the Aluminum Association.  The use of aluminum in car parts also drives other conservation benefits, lightweight’s aluminum body panels and engines for instance, are used to improve the fuel efficiency of some cars.

Building construction is the third biggest market for aluminum; aluminum doors, windows and siding are a major source of recycled aluminum.  Recycled aluminum is increasingly used in their production.

Did you know?

  • Recycling an aluminum can saves the energy equivalent of six ounces of gasoline.
  • The energy saved by one aluminum can is enough to run a television for three hours.
  • In three months, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet.
  • Americans threw away half a million tons of aluminum last year, worth nearly $800 million dollars!


The US EPA RAD (Responsible Appliance Disposal) program and the US DOE Energy Star Program encourage proper recycling of refrigerators and freezers.

When purchasing a new or used appliance, check with the store for details on their appliance recycling program.  Will they remove the old appliance if the new appliance is delivered?  Do they charge a fee?

Check with local organizations, churches and scrap metal collectors, most will take a working appliance and recycle it.


Every year in the United States, billions of batteries are bought, used, and thrown out. The demand for batteries can be traced largely to the technical advances in everything from gaming systems & computers to cell phones & tools.

Because many batteries contain toxic constituents such as mercury and cadmium, they pose a potential threat to human health and the environment when improperly disposed. Though batteries generally make up only a tiny portion of municipal solid waste (MSW)—less than 1 percent—they account for a disproportionate amount of the toxic metals in MSW.  Many manufacturers are also designing batteries for a longer life.  Most automotive shops collect car batteries for a fee and will return these batteries to the vendor or send off-site for recycling.

ReChargeable Batteries

Locally, Lowe’s and Arps Hardware participate in rechargeable battery collection.  These batteries must be less than 11 pounds. You may take your rechargeable batteries to either store or call them for further information.

Arps Hardware – 419-782-1171
Lowe’s – 419-782-9000

Cellular Phones & Accessories

Drop off any cell phone at
Defiance County Environmental Services
500 Court Street, Suite E (2nd Floor)
Defiance, Ohio
43512 or call 419-782-5442

Cell Phones for Soldiers was created by Brittany & Robbie Bergquist of Norwell MA.  After reading a story about a soldier who ran up a huge phone bill calling home from Iraq, these two teenagers decided to help out.  They started by opening an account with $21.00 of their own money.  They are collecting cash donations and old cell phones.  The cell phones are recycled for cash and the proceeds are used to buy prepaid calling cards for our soldiers serving in the Middle East.  Cell Phones For Soldiers is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Their efforts have motivated people and businesses around the country to donate to this worthy cause.  Their goal is to provide every US soldier with a way to call home for free.  For more information, please visit their website @ 

CELL PHONE FOR SOLDIERS has raised more than $7 million and provided more than 150 million minutes of free talk time for Soldiers.   Defiance County Environmental Services has recycled enough cell phones to generate 5,280 minutes of free talk time!! There is still a great need to provide this valuable communication to troops and their families.

In addition, every day you hear about more and more troops coming home from serving in the Middle East.  Moving forward, Cell Phones for Soldiers will be moving to the next level by expanding to help Veterans!  Helping Heroes Home is an initiative of Cell Phones for Soldiers, which provides emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.  Their fight overseas may be finished…..but their fight to reconnect back home has just begun.

PLEASE help our soldiers and veterans, by taking old cell phones to Defiance County Environmental Services; they will be shipped to Soldiers for Cell Phones.

Soldiers for Cell phones will send the phones to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.

Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in over 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and recycled to reclaim materials, including:

  • Gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards
  • Copper wiring from phone chargers
  • Nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs
  • Plastic from phone cases and accessories


A variety of local organizations participate in the annual Costs for Kids campaign.  People can ‘recycle’ gently used or outgrown coats by taking them to participating drop off locations.  Area dry cleaners clean the coats for free, before dispersing the coats to the public.

Defiance has a local Goodwill and they will accept donations of clothing at their store, located at 1524 North Clinton. 

If you are not sure of an organization to donate to, scan the yellow pages or call a local church.  Organizations depend on donations of others.  Community pregnancy centers are in need of baby clothing and baby items, the PATH organization could use adult clothing as well as young children.  The Red Cross supplies clothing to disaster stricken areas as well as serving local needs.  Most churches in Defiance County accept clothing donations to aide a troubled family.

Clothing is a very easy item to recycle and it benefits others immediately!

Computer & Electronics Recycling

From the growing popularity and necessity of computers and rapidly changing computer technologies, comes the growing problem of computer and electronics waste or e-waste.  As more new and improved computers are designed and built, older obsolete computers are becoming part of the waste stream. The life expectancy of a computer is getting shorter and shorter with the advancing technology.

There are three primary parts that make up a personal computer. The computer is the large box which contains the disk drive, power supply, and the processor. The monitor is the screen, (also referred to a CRT), older/outdated monitors may resemble an older/outdated television.  Newer monitors are large, but slim/narrow. The keyboard is the part which, not surprisingly, looks like a typewriter keyboard.

Virtually an entire computer can be recycled. From the glass in the monitor, to the plastic in the case, to the copper in the power supply, to the precious metals used in the circuitry. Companies are making new innovative products out of old computers. Many computers can be revitalized and donated or sold to schools in economically challenged urban and rural areas. Some vocational schools use old computers to teach electronic repair and analysis techniques. Non-functioning computers may also have salvageable components such as modems or power supplies that could be used to refurbish other computers.

Under Ohio’s provisions, computer CRT’s are not regulated as hazardous waste if the generator has them recycled.  Ohio considers discarded integrated circuits from the computer system to be scrap metal.  Scrap metal is not regulated as a hazardous waste if reclaimed or recycling.

You can contact Defiance County Environmental & Administrative Services at (419)782-5442 for further computer recycling information. The Ohio EPA has a list of companies that recycle computers and electronic components. www.epa.state.oh

Drywall Recycling

The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) is an information resource on how to recycle gypsum wallboard from the construction and demolition waste stream. This project was funded by US EPA Region 5 and compiled by Dr. Timothy Townsend of the University of Florida.

The website has a list of known literature and research on the subject and a list of state contracts for gypsum recyclers.

Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

Important Information on cleaning up broken CFL bulbs.

Fluorescent lighting is a long-lasting and energy-efficient choice. Fluorescent tubes or strips provide lighting to most schools, hospitals, office buildings and stores, while the smaller compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are significantly more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs and are becoming popular in many homes.

Disposal of Mercury from CFLs
A small amount of elemental mercury remains an essential component of fluorescent bulbs—less than 5 mg per bulb. While elemental mercury is a hazardous material, there is only a risk of exposure if the fluorescent light bulb breaks. It is also important to consider that fluorescent bulbs are much more energy efficient—they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.

Under federal regulations, commercial and industrial users of fluorescent bulbs are required under federal law to manage mercury-containing light bulbs as a hazardous waste after they burn out.  There are many recyclers for fluorescent bulbs, however, they will charge for this service.  Households (residential) are generally exempted from these regulations.

Regardless of your local laws recycling is the best and most environmentally responsible method of disposal for fluorescent bulbs.


Mercury is probably best known as the silver liquid in thermometers. However, it has over 3000 industrial uses. Mercury and its compounds are widely distributed in the environment as a result of both natural and man-made activities. The utility, and the toxicity, of mercury have been known for centuries. New evidence demonstrates that even low levels of mercury exposure may be hazardous.

Every mercury spill should be reported – large or small.  You should contact anyone of the following:  Defiance County Environmental & Administrative Services (419-782-5442), Health Department, Ohio EPA, US EPA, Poison Control, or your local emergency management department or fire department.

Mercury clean up, small spills – A small spill is about 0.6 to 3.0 grams or the amount in a thermometer or thermostat.  This is defined as small only if the spill is limited to one area and cleaned up promptly.  Small spills can be spread by using a vacuum or tracking contamination.  The levels in the air can become unsafe, which is why the spill needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible.  Larger spills, which are defined as more than 3.0 grams or greater, than the amount in a thermostat may require multi-agency response.  The United States Mercury Response Guidebook outlines the 6 “R’s” to follow when cleaning a large spill.  Local agencies have been trained to follow proper procedures when dealing with mercury.

Mercury Exposure – You can get exposed to mercury through ingestion, absorption and inhalation. Short term symptoms of inhalation exposure include:  chest tightness, fever, weakness, nausea, gingivitis.  Long term symptoms include: personality changes, decreased vision/hearing, peripheral nerve damage, hypertension, kidney damage and acrodynia (pink’s disease). Severe acute exposure could have possible long term damage to your health or in rare cases, death.

Small amounts of mercury must be sealed in a glass container with the top sealed with electrical tape, then placed in another container such as a zip-lock bag.  The container should be stored in a cool protected area to prevent evaporation and breakage.  The vapors are hazardous.

For additional information regarding mercury recycling and/or general data, please check out the following sites:

Our nation generates more than 19.3 million tons of plastic waste each year, and yet only 2% is recovered by recycling.  Most plastics that end up in Ohio’s waste stream are from packaging and containers.


Plastics are everywhere. While you're reading this article, there are probably numerous plastic items within your reach (your computer, your pen, your phone). A plastic is any material that can be shaped or molded into any form -- some are naturally occurring, but most are man-made.

Plastics are made from oil. Oil is a carbon-rich raw material, and plastics are large carbon-containing compounds. They're large molecules called polymers, which are composed of repeating units of shorter carbon-containing compounds called monomers. Chemists combine various types of monomers in many different arrangements to make an almost infinite variety of plastics with different chemical properties. Most plastic is chemically inert and will not react chemically with other substances -- you can store alcohol, soap, water, acid or gasoline in a plastic container without dissolving the container itself. Plastic can be molded into an almost infinite variety of shapes, so you can find it in toys, cups, bottles, utensils, wiring, cars, even in bubble gum. Plastics have revolutionized the world.

Because plastic doesn't react chemically with most other substances, it doesn't decay. Therefore, plastic disposal poses a difficult and significant environmental problem. Plastic hangs around in the environment for centuries, so recycling is the best method of disposal. However, new technologies are being developed to make plastic from biological substances like corn oil. These types of plastics would be biodegradable and better for the environment.

Defiance County Environmental accepts the following six (6) plastic items at their recycling locations: 1. Milk Jugs, 2. Pop Bottles, 3. Juice Bottles, 4. Water Bottles, 5. Detergent Bottles and 6. Bleach Bottles.  Please be sure they are rinsed out.   Product residue can contaminate the item making it trash and not recycling!


Paper or plastic?  How many times have we all been asked that question?  Those thin little plastic bags with handles have been a useful item.  People reuse the bags or replace more expensive garbage liners with plastic grocery bags. We attempt to reuse and recycle, but…they keep multiplying!  Even a family of two can possess over 30 bags per month.  Some store chains will accept ‘their’ bags and utilize a recycling process that takes used bags and makes new ones for their store.

Lowe’s, Walmart, and Meijer's now offer recycling containers for plastic shopping bags and they will take plastic shopping bags from any store. 

If you have any questions or comments, please call our office at 419-782-5442 or email the Director, Warren Schlatter at or the Assistant Director, June Crosser at

Tire Recycling

Every year, 10 to 12 million scrap tires are generated by Ohio citizens.  Many of these tires eventually wind up in large scrap tire stockpiles, abandoned in warehouses, or dumped along roadsides in rural areas.  These scrap tires are a serious environmental and public health threat because of the potential for fire and because tires hold water that serves as an ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Did you know that ten tires, when left intact, can occupy more than a cubic yard of space in a landfill? For years, that has been the fate of out of service tires­ taking up landfill space. Today, however, tires are taking a new spin; giving them use long after their days as tires are gone.

Tires are initially recycled for their rubber content, Processed through a series of commercially available shredders that sequentially reduce them to two-inch or smaller pieces, with the steel magnetically removed to produce an alternative fuel (in lieu of coal) used by pulp and paper producers, cement kilns, and electric utilities.  It is also an effective substitute for crushed stone in civil engineering applications such as road beds, landfill construction or septic field construction.

Crumb rubber (rubber granules and powder) can be used for playground and athletic surfaces, running tracks, landscaping/groundcover applications, bullet containment systems, or as feedstock to be further modified into specialty materials such as rubberized asphalt or reincorporated back into tires. Tires are also being recycled into heavy-duty roofing shingles, stamped from the tread of scrap.

Recycling the steel wire in a tire now allows up to 99 percent of the average passenger car tire be captured for recycling.  Recycling steel tire wire is also an environmentally-responsible means of collecting a high quality source of steel scrap and conserving landfill space. The average passenger tire contains approximately 10 percent steel wire by weight, which helps make the tire stronger and more rigid.

Tire wire scrap is used to make new steel. Each year, between 60 and 70 million tons of steel scrap, including old steel cans, broken-down appliances, old automobiles and construction metals, are recycled­.
Tires are accepted at the Henry County Landfill, visit their website for further information:

Defiance County prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. Defiance County is also an equal opportunity employer.

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