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America Recycles Day is Nov. 15. The staff at Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction would like to spotlight that often confusing and frustrating ritual that residents try to do for the sake of the environment.

“When we talk about recycling, generally people think it’s about the materials they place inside their curbside recycling bins or totes,” said Donna Stuckert, public education coordinator for Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction.

“Aside from the materials that are acceptable for curbside recycling, there is a whole world of materials that are recyclable, but not at the curb,” said Stuckert. “This is why people get confused. Even though we say Christmas lights are recyclable, it does not mean they should go into your curbside tote.”

She said that all of Northwest Indiana, Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties, recycles the same materials curbside: cartons (beverage and broth); aluminum and metal cans; glass bottles and jars; paper and cardboard; and plastic containers, bottles, jugs and tubs. Recycling guidelines are posted on www.PorterCountyRecycling.org.

Once placed in curbside bins or drop off containers, she said these materials go to facilities in Illinois where they are sorted, baled and sold to make new products.

Stuckert said she hears a lot of complaints on social media about all the curbside recycling “rules.”

“There have always been recycling guidelines,” she said. “This is nothing new. There are rules for everything, right?”

What is new, Stuckert said, is that Porter County Recycling is posting a lot of information on social media to help people learn and be more aware about what they are placing in their curbside bins.

As far as recycling outside the curbside bin, Stuckert said items such as electronics, household batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, among many other things, are recyclable in Porter County, because Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction sponsors programs.

Stuckert said single-use plastic bags are another example of items that should never go into your curbside bin/tote.

She said film plastics are recyclable; however, people must bring them to drop-off locations throughout Northwest Indiana. Use the tool on www.plasticfilmrecycling.org to find a convenient location, she said.

For more information, contact the appropriate solid waste district: Lake County Solid Waste Management District: 219-853-2420; LaPorte County Solid Waste Management District: 219-326-0014, sgeeburns@solidwastedistrict.com; Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction: 219-465-3694, info@PorterCountyRecycling.org.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for two decades. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.