Porter County Municipal Contacts:
Beverly Shores Clerk Treasurer
P.O. Box 38, Beverly Shores, IN 46301-0038
Burns Harbor Public Works Department
310 Navajo Trail, Burns Harbor, IN 46304
Chesterton Street Department
1490 Broadway #1, Chesterton, IN 46304
Dunes Acres Security Office
1450 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Chesterton
Hebron Public Works Department
101 Utility Dr., Hebron
Kouts Street Department
210 S. Main Street
Ogden Dunes Town Hall
115 Hillcrest, Ogden Dunes
Town of Pines Clerk Treasurer
1519 Delaware St., Michigan City
Portage Street Department
2303 Hamstrom Rd.
Porter Public Works Department
550 Beam Street
Valparaiso Public Works
1855 Joliet Road
You may take your waste or recyclables to this transfer station. Fees may apply.
Star Disposal of Indiana Transfer Station
3101 Bertholet Dr., Valparaiso
You may take your waste to these landfills. Fees may apply.
- Newton County Landfill (Republic)
Newton County, IN
- Forest Lawn Landfill (Republic Services)
Forest Lawn, MI
Do you have questions about what can go in your curbside recycling bin or how best to encourage proper recycling in your workplace? Is your business, garden club, nonprofit, or community organization looking to gain a deeper understanding of recycling in Porter County?
The Recycling and Waste Reduction District is now hosting free virtual talks to help organizations learn the ins and outs of the county’s waste reduction efforts. Customizable discussions are hosted online via the Zoom platform.
Your group can gain valuable insights and practical tips about topics like:
Porter County’s Large Scale Compost Sites
Special Event Recycling
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
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. We always welcome your feedback! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at PorterCountyRecycling.org.
Contact email@example.com for further information
Master Recycler Program:
Take your waste reduction knowledge to the next level and make a difference!
This class is ideal for Porter County residents and those who work in the county who are interested in learning more about waste prevention, recycling, composting, and meeting others who have similar interests.
The course features guest speakers and field trips that will help students gain environmental knowledge beyond their curbside bin.
- Waste prevention
- Recycling processes
- Household hazardous waste and alternatives
- Vermicomposting and home composting
- Water quality protection
- Other recycling opportunities
The class is limited to 30 participants and costs $30. Applicants that apply after the class is full will be placed on a waiting list and notified when the next course is scheduled. Once training is completed, class participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer time to inspire others in their community to reduce waste in the home and at work.
If you're interested in the assistance of a Master Recycler, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 465-3819.
Master Recyclers, enter your hours online.
The district is dedicated to providing FREE high quality, interactive education programs that meet Indiana State Academic standards to Porter County schools, grades K-8. Teachers, if you're not on our contact list, register your contact information so we can keep you up to date!
Due to the Coronavirus, our Public Educator is able to deliver some programs online via Google Meets with supplemental video materials. Contact us for further information.
Our goals include providing thought-provoking, interactive lessons that not only provide an opportunity to learn, but prompt continued inquiry. Our programs incorporate a variety of learning styles, encouraging students to learn through exploration, logical thinking and discovery.
Call today to schedule your programs, 219-707-8278, or e-mail Allison Andersen.
We schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to schedule your programs early in the year. Last year, most of our spring dates were booked by the end of the fall semester. We try to accommodate as many teachers as possible and have adopted a policy of one program per teacher per quarter (Sept.-Nov., Dec.-Feb., March-May).
Our programs include:
- Edible Landfill: Students will make a model landfill in a cup, learning about the design and layers of materials used in the construction of a modern landfill. They also will learn about the factors that can impact the surrounding environment, including groundwater. Gr. 3-8
- Wonderful Worms: In their study of vermicomposting worms, students will assemble a model of a worm, learn about composting and use magnifiers or microscopes to examine live red wiggler worms. Gr. K-6
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink: Students will learn about natural resources that are used to make products; materials that are recyclable; how to reduce, reuse and rethink; and see products made from recycled materials. Gr. K-7
- Water Watchers: Learn about the history of Indiana’s water and understand how easily pollution can contaminate our water supply. Students also will learn how relatively small our supply of fresh water is and why we need to protect it. Gr. 2-5
- Lovely Ladybugs: Students learn about the life cycle and body parts of ladybugs, the dangers of pesticides and a safe alternative. Each student will examine a live ladybug and release it into nature. (Sept., Oct., April & May). Gr. K-2
- Dunes in My Backyard: This introduction to common plants and animals of the Indiana Dunes will teach students about habitats, food chains and ecosystems. They also will learn about the difference between pets and wildlife. Gr. 1-4
- Lesson of the Lorax: This lesson reviews the basic needs of plants and animals and the importance of trees. The Dr. Seuss story "The Lorax" will be read, and students will act out the story in the form of a play. Gr. K-2
- Pollution Town: Students will learn about their local watershed and many sources of pollution by using an interactive model. They also will participate in a review of the pollution solutions in their area. Gr. 3-5
- Pollution Tunnel: Students will dive into learning about storm sewer systems as they transform into water droplets traveling through sewer pipes and into local water systems. Along the way, students pick up pieces of various pollutants that can contaminate lakes, streams and other bodies of water. Gr. K-2
- Renewable Energy: Students will review renewable and non-renewable resources and the problems of nonrenewable energy. Alternative energy sources including wind, solar, hydro and geothermal will be presented, and students will enjoy an interactive activity demonstrating how electricity is generated. They also will operate a solar-powered device. Gr. 4-7
- Garbology: The science of garbology will be compared to archeology. Students will learn about the scientific method and construct a timeline or chronology. They will examine clean garbage in small groups and come up with observations and inferences about people they never met. Gr. 3-8
State Academic Standards for Educational Programs:
- Dunes in My Backyard
- Edible Landfill
- Lovely Ladybugs
- Natural Resources and Renewable Energy
- Pollution Town
- Pollution Tunnel
- Water Watchers
- Wonderful Worms
Schedule your class program today by contacting Allison Andersen, 707-8278 or aandersen@PorterCountyRecycling.org.
Leave your grass clippings on the lawn
When properly clipped, grass clippings decompose quickly and release nutrients back into the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer and water. Your lawn will look healthier, and you’ll save time and eliminate the cost for collection and disposal.
Recycle and reuse at gatherings
If you’re hosting a small gathering, it’s easier to provide reusable cups, plates and utensils whenever possible to cut down on the amount of trash created.
Larger gatherings are more challenging to provide reusable items, so reduce your use of disposables by providing pitchers of drinks and bulk condiments instead of individual containers.
Use your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are a wonderful alternative to air conditioning and can dramatically cut your energy costs.
Watering your lawns
Practice water conservation. According to Purdue, the best time to water your lawn is between 4 and 8 a.m. when there is maximum water pressure and minimal evaporation due to heat.
Recycle plastic bags, but not at the curb
Plastic bags CANNOT be placed in your curbside recycling collection in Northwest Indiana. However, plastic bags CAN be brought to many convenient locations around the area where they will ultimately get recycled..
The website, www.plasticfilmrecycling.org, is a great resource. Visit the site, enter your zip code, and you’ll discover a number of places locally where you can take your plastic bags and other film products, such as newspaper, bread and produce bags; furniture wrap; plastic cereal liners; etc.
Don’t go ‘Solo’ at your party
NEWSFLASH! Just because an item has a recycle symbol on it doesn’t mean you can place it in your curbside recycling bin.
For example, Solo cups, those red or blue disposable plastic cups you use for parties and barbecues to make cleanup a snap, are not recyclable curbside anywhere in Northwest Indiana.
On the bottom of the cups, you’ll note the recycling symbol, or “chasing arrows,” with a “6” in the center, which indicates they are made from polystyrene. Polystyrene is the only plastic that is not accepted curbside in Lake, Porter or LaPorte Counties; and it is also not accepted in your solid waste district’s drop-off recycling containers.
The Four R’s:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, RETHINK when it comes to household hazardous waste
A great way to help save our environment is simply by practicing the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,” approach to waste reduction. Usually called the “Three R’s,” we like to add an extra “R” for “Rethink,” because it’s best to “Rethink” habits in order to create better practices to reduce our environmental impact.
The best way to manage your HHW is to not have it in the first place. Minimize your purchases of products containing hazardous ingredients. Consider logical organic alternatives, like natural pesticides. If you must purchase products with hazardous ingredients, buy only as much as you need.
If you must purchase products with hazardous ingredients, use them completely and properly, according to directions, so the chemicals don’t become HHW. Be aware that even when you think you have emptied a container, usually some liquid remains that should be disposed of appropriately.
If you have leftover products and can’t use them, ask your neighbors, friends and family members if they can utilize them. If they can’t use them, consider donating these items to a charity or service organization.
If you have HHW, check the container labels for any disposal recommendations. If the labels don’t offer recommendations, call the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, 465-3694, to learn about collection events and disposal tips.
Consider your HHW purchases, usage, storage and disposal methods, and reduce, reuse and recycle. Opportunities abound to help you make the right choices and make a difference.
A Directory of Helpful Websites
- Alliance for the Great Lakes
- Dunes Learning Center
- Dunes National Park Association
- Earth 911
- Earth Day Network
- Environmental Working Group
- Everglades of the North
- Hoosier Environmental Council
- Humane Indiana Wildlife
- Indiana Association of Solid Waste Management Districts
- Indiana Department of Environmental Management
- Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
- Izaak Walton League of America, Porter County Chapter
- Keep America Beautiful
- Lake County Solid Waste District
- LaPorte County Solid Waste District
- National Waste & Recycling Association
- Nature Conservancy
- Northwest Indiana Clean Air
- Plastic Pollution Coalition
- Portage Community Garden
- Porter County Government
- Porter County Master Gardeners Association
- Porter County Parks & Recreation
- Porter County Substance Abuse Council
- Porter County Wildlife Management Advisory Board
- Product Stewardship Institute
- Save the Dunes Conservation Fund
- Shirley Heinze Land Trust
- Sierra Club
- South Shore Clean Cities
- U.S. Composting Council
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed
- Woodland Savanna Land Conservancy