Drop-Off Recycling

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In 2018, we spent nearly $124,806 sponsoring these six sites that are open to all Porter County residents and businesses: 

  • when they don’t have access to curbside recycling
  • when they have more recyclables that don’t fit inside their curbside recycling container

Find a convenient location near you:

    • Boone Grove, just east of Boone Grove Fire Department, 319 W. 550 South 
    • Burns Harbor Street Department, 310 Navajo Trail
    • Chesterton, 1600 Pioneer Trail (Strack & VanTil)
    • Hebron Municipal Building, 125 N. Main St.
    • Kouts Town Garage, 406 S. Kouts. St.
    • Valparaiso, 2150 W. Lincolnway (Hwy. 130 – 1 mile west of intersection with Joliet)

What materials can I place in these drop-off containers
or in my curbside recycling totes?
(please do not place recyclables in plastic bags)

These drop-off sites accept the same materials residents can place in their curbside recycling totes.

Placing materials inside the boxes that are inappropriate causes contamination and can place this service in jeopardy of being discontinued.

In Northwest Indiana (Lake, Porter & LaPorte Counties), we all recycle the same materials. It doesn't matter if...

  • your municipality collects your recycling,
  • you contract with a waste hauler or
  • you utilize drop-off recycling containers provided by your solid waste management district,

all of NWI recyclables go to Illinois facilities to be sorted. The materials we advertise here are the materials these facilities accept. Adding the wrong materials can send some of the right materials to the landfill. 

We say these materials are recyclable curbside. If you would like to find out if you can recycle other materials outside your curbside tote/bin, check out our recycling directory Learn recycling inside vs. outside your curbside bin/tote. 

Acceptable Materials for Curbside & Drop-Off Recycling

When in Doubt, Throw it Out! Let's work together to reduce contamination.

Paper and cardboard
Newspapers and all inserts and sales papers (remove any plastic bags that they are delivered in and discard), catalogs, phone books, paperback books, file folders, office paper, glossy paper, envelopes, junk mail, magazines, wrapping paper (most of it -- see below), paper bags (without food waste) flattened large cardboard boxes, and paperboard boxes, such as cereal, cake-mix boxes, cases from pop, tissue, frozen food boxes (remove any plastic bags found inside and discard). Hard cover book pages can be recycled, but the hard cover must be thrown in the trash.

Not accepted: Shredded paper, used paper plates, tissue paper, gum/candy wrappers, paper cups, paper towels, greasy pizza boxes, shiny “foil” type wrapping paper, wet or soiled cardboard, self-stick labels, waxed paper.

Glass bottles and jars
Accepted: Clear and colored glass containers. Containers should be empty, lightly rinsed and labels can be left on.

Not accepted: Flat glass, window panes, mirrors, light bulbs, dinnerware, drinkware, ceramics or Pyrex, light bulbs. 

Aluminum, tin and other metal cans
Accepted: Pop cans, soup cans, coffee cans, vegetable cans and all lids; aluminum trays and pie tins, etc. Cans should be empty and lightly rinsed. Leave labels on.

Not accepted: Aerosol cans, hangers, large scrap metal

Please do not refer to the numbers with "recycle symbols" on plastic items. These symbols only identify the type of plastic from which the material is made, not the recyclability of it. 

Accepted: Bottles, tubs, containers: water bottles, pop bottles, juice bottles, soap bottles, coffee creamer bottles, cooking oil bottles, household cleaner bottles, milk and juice jugs, yogurt cups, any and all. Remove spray nozzles (triggers) from household cleaners and throw them in the garbage. Nothing larger than 5 gallon buckets. Make sure they are empty, lightly rinse and place in bins with lids/caps on

Not accepted: Large storage bins, takeout containers, black food trays, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, plastic bags, storage bags, flex packaging like drink pouches, snack bags, hoses, plastic silverware, straws, plastic packaging, CD/DVD cases, Solo cups, hard plastic packaging, packing peanuts, prescription bottles, motor oil containers, clothes hangers, straws, vinyl siding, and anything made of Styrofoam or polystyrene. 

Accepted: Milk, juice, soup, broth, juice boxes (without the straw), wine, cream, and other beverage cartons. Lightly rinse, leave caps on. and don't crush! Also accepted cardboard egg cartons. 

Not accepted: Ice cream cartons, foam egg cartons.

The types of materials accepted can change at any time depending on the markets. Questions on the types of accepted materials can be directed to the District.

Materials NOT Accepted at Drop Off Recycling Sites:

  • Mattresses
  • Diapers
  • Wood - No pallets or construction lumber
  • Used oil containers
  • Medical Waste
  • Trash
  • Food Waste
  • Garden Hoses

Materials Accepted Across Additional Programs:

  • Hazardous Waste - No motor oil, paint, automotive batteries, antifreeze or liquids of any kinds
  • Scrap metal, appliances or aluminum siding, aerosol cans or aluminum foil.
  • Clothing, shoes or furniture
  • Tires
  • Electronic waste
  • Yard waste
  • Christmas lights

If you are unsure if you can recycle a particular material at the curb, please contact the District, 219-510-1124

Check out this video of one of the sorting facilities to which your materials go.