Porter County residents have three places this year where they can drop off organic debris from their fall yard cleanups.
The Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway; the Boone Grove compost site, 546 South 400 West; and the Portage Streets & Sanitation Dept., 2303 Hamstrom Rd.; will be open through Dec. 1, to accept leaves, dead plants, and tree limbs. Some restrictions apply. Visit www.PorterCountyRecycling.org for further details.
Once-live fall decorations, such as pumpkins, gourds, leaves, mums, corn stalks, etc., are also compostable and accepted at these sites. Residents must remove bags and other containers upon dropping off materials. Wood that has been treated, like railroad ties, and lumber are not accepted.
Organic materials are incorporated into windrows to create compost, a rich soil amendment that is available free to Porter County residents. Branches are chipped into mulch, and logs are available as firewood, both also free to residents.
All material is subject to availability. Residents should bring buckets and shovels and arrange their own transportation for the materials.
Regular season hours for the Valparaiso compost site are 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The Valparaiso site is owned and operated by the City of Valparaiso with operational assistance from Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction.
Regular hours for the Boone Grove compost site, owned and operated by Porter County Recycling, are noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Portage Streets & Sanitation Dept. is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
Other products accepted for recycling at these sites include: household batteries, electronics (computers, televisions, anything with an electrical cord or run by batteries), toner cartridges, and old media (CDs, DVDs, video games but no audio/video cassettes). The two compost sites also accept fluorescent light bulbs (tubes and CFLs) and smoke detectors.
Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction 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. For more information, call 465-3694.