Compost in Porter County Makes the Grade

By: Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County Last Updated: June 26, 2015

Compost-pilesPorter County residents who take advantage of compost from two public compost sites for their gardens are taking home quality material, as reported by A&L Great Lakes Laboratories, Inc., a third party company hired by the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County to analyze the compost.

According to the test results, compost available at the Valparaiso and Boone Grove compost sites meets the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance standards.

Though compost producers are not required to have their compost tested, meeting these standards identifies quality, so users know what they are getting.

“Testing our product is a good way for us to validate our work,” said Therese Davis, executive director of district. “The numbers are good. It meets the requirements for health, safety and maturity.”

In order to determine if the compost meets the standards of the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance, manufacturers are required to perform the C10 test that identifies and measures elements including solids, total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, pH, soluble salts, organic matter, fecal coliform), germination, respiration and heavy metals.

A&L Great Lakes Laboratories, Inc. is approved by the U.S. Composting Council for conducting this test.

Compost from these sites is available for free to Porter County residents, while supplies last. Residents should bring their own shovels and containers to load as much compost as they want. For material availability, call the district, 465-3694.

The Valparaiso site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, is owned and operated by the City of Valparaiso with assistance from the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. Regular season hours for the Valparaiso site are 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The city loads compost at the site on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for a fee. For more information, call the Valparaiso Public Works Department, 462-4612.

The Boone Grove compost site, 546 S. 400 W., is owned and operated by the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. Regular hours for the Boone Grove site are noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The district also sponsored the compost testing for three municipal sites that are not open to the public: Portage, Chesterton and the Pines. The results of the testing showed the compost from all three sites to be within normal parameters.

While the district partners with these municipalities to help manage their material, site logistics prevent public access, and the municipalities control the distribution of their product.

Test results from all five compost sites are available for public viewing on the district’s website, www.ItMeansTheWorld.org, or at the Recycling and Waste Reduction District’s administration office, 155 Indiana Ave., Ste. 314, Valparaiso.

For more information on compost sites in Porter County, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 465-3694.

The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.