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Solid Waste

Most waste is broadly categorized under the term “solid waste.” Solid waste is any garbage, sludge, or other discarded material from homes and businesses, and industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural or community activities. This includes municipal and non-municipal solid waste. Despite its name, solid waste can be a solid, semisolid, liquid, or a contained gas. It includes any garbage, refuse, or other discarded material resulting from residential, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural operations, or community activities. It includes unwanted building debris from construction and demolition projects, and non-hazardous waste from industrial operations, commercial activities, or cleanup sites.

Other discarded materials include ash residue, contaminated sediments, commercial solid waste, construction/demolition waste, household waste, infectious waste, liquid waste, pollution control waste, municipal solid waste, residential waste and industrial process waste. Bear in mind that open dumping is considered to be an illegal act and is a punishable offense.


Indiana Code (IC) IC 13-11-2-205 defines solid waste. See the Indiana Administrative Code (IAC), 329 IAC 10-2-174, for the rule definition. Certain types of waste are excluded from this definition or rules, and are managed by other rules.

  • Hazardous waste is solid waste (IC 13-11-2-99), but is regulated under separate rules (329 IAC 3.1) and is excluded from the solid waste rules. The term solid waste is commonly used to refer to non-hazardous solid waste.
  • Electronic/E-wastes rules are at 329 IAC 16.
  • Composting of vegetative matter and certain organic materials like food wastes must comply with Indiana statute IC 13-20-10.
  • PCB Wastes are regulated by 329 IAC 4.1.
  • Automobile recycling and scrap are addressed under the Auto Salvage program.
  • Certain Legitimate and beneficial uses provided by the statute at IC 13-19-3.

Regulated Solid Waste Programs

The following are typical solid wastes regulated by the solid waste programs:

Solid Waste Operator Certification

Incinerators, municipal and nonmunicipal solid waste facilities, restricted waste sites and construction/demolition sites need to obtain a Solid Waste Operator Certification [PDF].