Recycling 101: Your solid waste district is a great resource

Written by Donna Stuckert. Posted in Featured, Home & Garden

Published on September 11, 2019 with No Comments

During a recent roadside cleanup, one of our Adopt-A-County Road volunteers discovered two very large televisions that were dumped alongside the road. The TVs were labeled with “Republic” stickers, which meant that a resident had originally placed them at the curb with the trash, and Republic, the waste hauler, notified them that they could not collect and landfill electronics, which is an Indiana state law.

In an effort to get rid of them, the resident dumped the televisions. Maybe that person didn’t know that many components of electronics are considered hazardous.  Certainly that person wasn’t aware of the many places where he or she could take those televisions to be recycled.

Just because an item doesn’t belong in your recycling or trash container, doesn’t mean there is no proper place for it. Additionally, there may be more environmentally-friendly alternatives for disposing of items, besides in the trash.

If you don’t know the best place to dispose of or recycle an item, please ask your solid waste management district for advice:

• Porter County

• Lake County

• LaPorte County


By recycling and reusing, we are all saving energy; reducing oil consumption; saving our ecosystems; preserving our forests; and even stimulating economic development. Disposing of materials improperly can cause very harmful environmental effects.

Recycling program starts at the curb with your bin or roll out container. Your waste hauler will take your general recyclables: cardboard; paper; cartons; glass bottles; aluminum, steel and bi-metal cans; and plastics #1 – 7 (excluding #6). Leave the lids and labels on and don’t worry about rinsing your items. Really.

If you don’t have curbside recycling, it might be because you live in an apartment or condominium. Your solid waste district provides drop off recycling boxes for the items listed above. Visit their websites to find out where these bins are located.

Aside from normal recyclables, check with your district to learn about their other services that accept items like household hazardous waste, batteries, toner cartridges, old media, fluorescent light bulbs, electronics, yard waste, and more.

There’s more to recycling and disposal than your curbside cart. There are many community resources that will accept other materials. Businesses like Metro Recycling will take items like appliances; copper; aluminum siding; brass; scrap steel; wire; electric motors; stainless steel; radiators; PVC siding; tubing and fencing; plastic; paper; cardboard; car batteries and more. The business will even pay you for these materials.

Metro will also take your shredded paper, which you cannot recycle at the curb. Visit their website,www.metrorecycling.net, or give them a call, 219-465-1459, for more information.

Another local business, Duneland 28, accepts concrete (with rebar), bricks, cinder blocks, asphalt, brush and stumps.  Visit their website, www.oldroute30llc.com, or give them a call, 219-746-1872, to find out more.

Besides businesses, many non-profits provide great recycling and reuse opportunities. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Family House, New Creation Men’s Center, United Way, Hilltop House and more will accept many used items. It’s best to call them before you make the trip to take something, especially if you’re unsure they will accept it.

Another organization, Working Bikes, www.workingbikes.org,will accept old bicycles, bike parts, crutches, sewing machines and wheel chairs. There are two local collection points: Kevin Cornett’s place, 452 Northview Drive, Valparaiso, metalmankev55@yahoo.com, 219-548-8891; or Debbie’s Designs Florist & Gifts, 154 N. Main Street, Crown Point, 219-662-1101.

Plastic bags and film, like shrink wrap, are a problem because, while plastic, they don’t belong in recycling bins. However, these businesses have plastic bag recycling programs: JCPenneys, Wal-Mart Supercenters, Target, Lowe’s and Jewel.

And the list of places to recycle outside the bin and reuse goes on and on. Please don’t assume there aren’t any places that will accept your unwanted items. A simple phone call to your district can connect you to a great resource.




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About Donna Stuckert


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Donna Stuckert is the Community Education Coordinator for the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. She is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience who enjoys working for the greater good and inspiring others on making a difference. For more information or to reach Stuckert, e-mail DStuckert@ItMeansTheWorld.org.

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