Recent complaints from citizens about potential odor and vermin troubles in
certain southern communities of Porter County have prompted the Recycling
and Waste Reduction District of Porter County board to officially pull its
application from the state to accept food waste at its Boone Grove
composting site located at 564 South 400 West.
The district’s executive director Therese Davis announced the decision to
cancel the application to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at
Tuesday’s board meeting.
Board chair and County Commissioner John Evans, R-North, said the district
canceled the application this past week after the county commissioners
directed their attorney at the April 3 commissioners’ meeting to file a
public nuisance lawsuit against the Duneland 28 commercial compost facility
in Union Twp.
Neighbors of Duneland 28 showed up at a recent commissioners’ meeting during
a public hearing to set up new guidelines for compost sites recommended by
the plan commission. One of the complaints was from Union Schools
Superintendent John Hunter who implored the commissioners to exert more
control to prevent odors, which he reported are affecting the students at
New amendments to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance spell out
restricting composting sites to commercial and industrial districts. The
plan commission advisory board voted last week to prevent exposed clean fill
material like concrete and rock, as well as other materials such as grasses
and wood chips, from being mounded up at compost sites.
In order to prevent a similar situation, grocery waste will not be accepted
at the 1.5-acre Boone Grove site as originally petitioned. Local grocery
stores last year approached the Waste Reduction District requesting
permission to dump small amounts of their produce waste at a time, but Boone
Grove residents, with fresh memories of fighting off a proposal for a
350-acre landfill about a decade ago, asked the board to reconsider its
application to permit grocery produce waste.
The board at the time reportedly decided to pursue the permit because the
district would be precluding the waste being tossed into landfills and it
would have been available for the public to use as a compost material.
Davis on Tuesday announced the Boone Grove site will open for its regular
season on Monday, April 23. Its hours will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,
noon to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The district’s Valparaiso
location on at 2150 W. Lincolnway, which is shared with the city of
Valparaiso, is now open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
The compost sites accept yard waste, leaves, brush and household plants and
is free for residents to use.
Celebration April 21
On at lighter note, Davis informed the district board that the 7th Annual
Northwest Indiana Earth Day will be held at the Porter County Expo Center
(instead of Sunset Hill Farm County Park) this Saturday, April 21, with
expanded hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nearly 70 vendors and exhibits will be welcomed, about 20 more than last
year Davis said. The event is free to the public and educates residents on
ways to “go green.”
Davis said the program may expand into two days next year depending on this
year’s turnout. The district received a grant from Indiana Dunes Tourism to
help with promotion costs. Residents from Michigan and other areas outside
of Porter County have attended Earth Day events.
“We’re hoping to build on the success from the past,” Davis said.