Reducing the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills should be a priority for all residents. Space is limited for landfills yet we continue to use more and more single-use disposable plastics, glass, and cardboard. Recycling also has an economic benefit in that using recycled material saves money and resources. But you have to pay attention because not every item with a recycling symbol is recyclable everywhere. For instance, some Styrofoam may have a recycling symbol with a number inside the symbol; however, at least in Steuben County, Indiana, Styrofoam is not recyclable in the bins, and neither is boat wrap [they do have a program on-site at the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District’s (NISWMD) office to handle these materials; please call them for more information]. A complex set of factors determines whether an item is accepted for recycling. See Recycle Right’s FAQ page for more information about how this is decided for most recycling facilities.
Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District
In addition to curbside collection bins within Angola city limits, the NISWMD offers free recycling drop-off locations throughout the county, including right here in Angola. (See the NISWMD website for more locations.) There are signs on the drop off bins that list what is recyclable in Steuben County, but here are a few things to consider:
- The NISWMD recycling program is now single stream. This means no more sorting cardboard from glass and plastics.
- Plastics with the numbers 1 – 7 on them can generally be recycled. Plastic toys, even if numbered, are NOT allowed.
- Remove any pumps or pump sprayers from recyclable plastic bottles and jugs.
- Plastic storage totes of any size or shape are not recyclable even though they might have a number on them.
- Please flatten cardboard boxes so they take up less space in the drop of bins.
- Household batteries including lithium batteries can be recycled by placing them in the blue BATTERIES ONLY container. Do not leave Power Wheels-type batteries or car batteries.
- The NISWMD prefers items to not be bagged.
- DO NOT place trash, construction debris, food of any kind, furniture, gift wrapping paper, cat litter buckets, appliances, car seats, paper towels, children’s toys, metal products, boat wrap, or outdoor furniture in the bins. These items are not recyclable! If residents continue to abuse the drop-off bins, this could lead to charges being assessed to recycle or to the bins being removed completely.
- IF IT’S NOT ON THE BIN, DON’T THROW IT IN!
For more information on recycling in Steuben County and to learn how to recycle other items such as televisions, electronics, light bulbs, and now boat storage wrap and molded Styrofoam, please visit the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District’s website at www.niswmd.org. You can also contact them at at 800-777-5462 or (260) 587-3063. You can also view the Steuben SWCD and NISWMD video Recycling on the Conservation Education Videos tab for more information about recycling in Steuben County.
Plastic Bags and Packaging
Local retailers such as Meijer and Walmart (see below) have begun accepting plastic bags and other flexible plastic films (which are not recyclable at the NISWMD drop off locations). Please see the signs below for the items each retailer collects.
Yard waste such as brush, leaves and grass should also not be part of your household waste. It should also be kept out of the street to prevent clogging our storm drains which can result in drainage and flooding issues! The Ashley Convenience Center and the Steuben Convenience Center (located adjacent to the Steuben County 4H Fairgrounds) offer places for residents and businesses to divert yard waste. Visit the NISWMD website for details. When available, residents can get mulch and compost to use in gardens and landscaping as well; the compost costs $15.00 per cubic yard.