Open Burning: What You Should Know

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 in Learning Center

Here’s a burning question…is it okay to burn trash in Hendricks County?  The answer is “NO!  It is against the law!”

Burning trash of any kind is not allowed in Hendricks County (or any other Indiana county).  That includes things like construction material, furniture and household garbage.  Here are really good reasons for this rule: your health, your neighbors’ health and the health of our environment.

Burning garbage releases a number of known toxins including dioxin, benzopyrene (both are known to cause cancer) and hydrogen chloride gas (causes fluid buildup in the lungs).  Additionally, the tiny particles released during open burning cause respiratory distress and increase the likelihood of lung infections; even in healthy people.  These risks are particularly concerning for those with asthma, COPD, emphysema and other respiratory diseases.

What Should You Do Instead?

Reduce:  Take an inventory of the kinds of things you throw away.  Can you reduce the amount of trash you create by buying products with less packaging, recyclable packaging or no packaging at all?

Reuse:  There are many items that we throw away every day that can be used again.  For instance, you can find 1001 uses for coffee cans, newspapers, magazines, and cardboard.

Recycle:  The Hendricks County Solid Waste District offers free 24 hour Recycling Drop-off Centers in Lizton, Coatesville, and Stilesville where you can recycle plastics (no Polystyrene or plastic film such as shopping bags), steel, aluminum and glass food and beverage containers, paper, cardboard, chipboard, junk mail, office paper, phone books, and cartons.  Visit our website for more information.  Many areas of the county are also served by waste haulers that offer curbside recycling (a better way to recycle!) for a small fee.

Compost:  When dealing with yard waste, the best option is to compost materials like grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and other vegetation.  If composting is not an option for you, consider utilizing one of the District’s Yard Waste Recycling Centers (Plainfield and Brownsburg) or GreenCycle McCarty in Danville where your materials are mulched or composted.

Dispose Properly:  All remaining trash must be disposed of in a responsible manner. Residential trash and service is offered to Hendricks County households by both Ray’s Trash Service and Republic Services. Most trash service in the county is subscription-based so each household determines what company it would like use for trash service.

More information about open burning and how it impacts human and environmental health is available from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) at www.in.gov/idem/airquality/2411.htm