PORTER COUNTY SCHOOL CONTEST FOR AMERICA RECYCLES DAY NOV. 15, 2016
Build A Recycling Mascot Challenge: Create your school/classroom’s recycling mascot and enter the Porter County America Recycles Day contest! The class or school mascot with the most online votes will win a hand chair!
- Open to all schools in Porter County.
- Each entry must be teacher or school staff member sponsored. Limit one entry per class, though a school may have multiple entries.
- Use clean recyclables and waste to create your mascot, much like we did when we created Garbi.
- Please use at least 75% curbside recyclables. Our online guide can help you determine if your materials are recyclable at the curb or not.
- You can engineer your mascot to sit, stand, or be mounted on the wall, but it must be photographed for the online contest. One good high resolution photo will suffice, but we will also post multiple photos.
- Name your mascot and give us a brief description of what it’s made from. Be creative!
- Register and enter your information here AFTER you have completed the above steps. Deadline to enter Oct. 21.
- Send a high quality photo to dstuckert@PorterCountyRecycling.org. You can send multiple photos if necessary.
We will post all mascot photos online for voting between Nov. 1-10. The school or class recycling mascot with the most votes will win a hand chair! Get your friends and families to visit our site and cast their votes!
Voting details will be posted here during the last week of October.
Compost in Porter County makes the grade
Porter County residents who take advantage of free 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 Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction to analyze the compost.
According to the test results, compost available at the Boone Grove compost site meets the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance standards. There was no mature compost at the Valparaiso site to be tested in 2017.
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 Haller, executive director of Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction. “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.
The district also sponsors the compost testing for three municipal sites that are not open to the public: Portage, Chesterton, Ogden Dunes and the Pines. 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.
Businesses such as landscape contractors that want to use the Valparaiso or Boone Grove compost sites on a regular basis must first register with Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction. Each registered business will receive up to five ID cards, free of charge.
To register, please complete the form and return to the District, either by mail, fax, or email: Mail to RWRDPC, 155 Indiana Ave., Ste. 314, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Email: info@PorterCountyRecycling.org; fax: 219-465-3696.
Required information includes:
- Complete business address
- Contact name
- Business phone number
- Email address
- Number of drivers who will be accessing the site
- Certificate of Insurance which states City of Valparaiso and the Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction as additional insured (must be updated annually).
- Billing is done monthly.
- Anyone who has not paid or made arrangements for payments within 30 days of the date on the monthly bill will not be allowed to use the compost sites until payment or arrangements are made.
- Late fees may be assessed at the greater of $5 or 1.5% of the balance due on the monthly statement from the district if payment is not received within 30 days of statement date.
- Any costs of collection, including filing fees and attorney fees will be assessed to the company if payment is not received within 60 days of the monthly statement.
Guidelines for using the site:
- ID cards must be shown to the attendant to gain entrance to the compost sites.
- All contractor personnel are required to provide a valid driver's license and a contractor business card with a phone number and address along with their ID cards. Each transaction will require all contractor personnel to print their names on the invoice as well as their signatures.
- Only material accepted: organic waste such as: leaves, garden clippings, garden and household plants, etc. Brush, limbs, logs under 6 feet in length and 12 inches in diameter and firewood.
- All material must be emptied from plastic bags or containers at the sites, and the plastic bags or containers must be removed from the site.
- Grass is accepted at the Boone Grove site ONLY. Any grass taken to the Valpo site will not be allowed to be deposited.
- Absolutely no treated wood or lumber of any kind are accepted at either site.
- We do not accept root balls.
- Sites close during severe weather.
- Absolutely no tools other than shovels and rakes allowed on the premises.
Porter County residents who live in the Lake Michigan watershed are eligible for a rain barrel when they attend one of the water quality workshops listed below. Bring the family! Children will enjoy fun and educational activities provided by our school educator, Ms. Allison. You must apply below to attend.
The Lake Michigan watershed is located in the striped area of the map on the right. If you cannot tell from the image if your home is in the watershed, download this PDF version, which is larger.
Rain barrels are free to the first 20 homeowners living in the water shed who apply on each date; the next 10 applicants on each date will have the opportunity to buy a rain barrel at $39, which is discounted $20 off the retail $59 price.
Only one barrel allowed per address. Download a flyer!
Apply to attend a 6 p.m. workshop by selecting a date below:
- Tuesday, March 14, Woodland Park Oakwood Hall, 2100 Willowcreek Rd., Portage
- FILLED: Tuesday, March 21, Immanuel Lutheran School gymnasium, 1700 Monticello Park Dr, Valparaiso
- Wednesday, March 22, Westchester Public Library, 200 W Indiana Ave, Chesterton
Residents will learn about:
- Nonpoint source pollution
- Best practices to reduce your impact on the watershed
- Maintaining healthy lawns for water quality
- Rain barrels
- Native plants
- Rain gardens
- and more!
Once residents have applied, district staff will confirm residents’ addresses are located in the Lake Michigan watershed. Residents will be informed as to whether they qualify for the free or discounted barrel.
Barrels will be supplied by Upcycle Products, Inc. The barrels were once used to ship pickles and olives overseas. The company repurposed them into rain barrels.
If you confirmed attendance at a workshop but could not attend, you will forfeit your rain barrel. You must come to the workshop with a vehicle large enough to transport the rain barrel. No deliveries will be made.
Funding for this program was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program.
at the 2018 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration!
Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Porter County Expo Center
Donations brought to Earth Day:
All items donated must be clean and in good condition. We reserve the right to inspect and refuse any item before you leave it. If you have items that you'd like to donate but cannot attend this event, please ask someone to bring your items. We do not have storage space to keep items in advance.
These items, and only these items, will be accepted from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration, Saturday, April 21, at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso.
Your items will benefit:
- First Christian Church (DOC)
- Green Research
- Lakeshore PAWS Dog Rescue
- Martin T. Krueger Middle School
- Michigan City High School
- Opportunity Enterprises
- Portage Township Schools
- Westville Middle/High School
- Washington Park Zoo
- Working Bikes
Any questions, please contact Donna, 219-465-3819.