DEMOTTE — From newspapers to electronics, the Jasper County Recycling Center on CR 600 West near DeMotte will accept recyclable items 24/7. The recycling center is run by Jean “Cookie” Kopanda and her husband Joe Kopanda, who helps sort and crush some of the items.
The recycling center accepts plastics numbered 1 and 2. The bottom of plastic containers and bottles will have a number on the bottom and there are seven numbers for recyclable plastics, but Joe Kopanda said there is no market for numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 and very little for number 5 plastics. The center takes plastic milk jugs, newspapers and magazines, brown, clear and green glass, aluminum and steel cans and cardboard. People can also drop off electronics: televisions, computers, monitors and keyboards are acceptable.
Often, people with good intentions will put items into the recycling boxes that aren’t recycled. Cardboard pizza boxes are an example of items not going into recycling because the grease and food left on the containers will contaminate the slurry made when cardboard is recycled. If found with the cardboard boxes, these items are sorted out and thrown away.
In newspapers, there are “slick” papers, usually advertising, which, although recyclable, are considered magazines more than newspapers. These items have to be sorted out of the newspaper recycling bin and put into the magazine recycling bin. If they are slick and shiny, they don’t belong with the newspapers. Newspapers don’t belong with the “white” paper and vice-versa. Boxes at the recycling center in DeMotte are marked with what is accepted and what is not.
For Wheatfield residents, there is a recycling trailer in town every Tuesday and Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m. and on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It takes the same items that are accepted at the DeMotte center.
Plastic bags are another item that are no longer recycled, and they no longer accept them. China was taking much of the recycling items, but is no longer doing so, which has changed how the items are collected from residents.
“We want to thank all the people who recycle,” Cookie Kopanda said. She said most people do it right. “On the whole, the majority of people are wonderful about recycling.”
During the year, the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District, which takes the recycling items for Jasper, Newton, Benton, Carroll, Pulaski and White Counties, will host a hazardous waste collection event. The event for Jasper County will be Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Jasper County Highway Garage in Rensselaer. Residents of any of the six counties can drop off their hazardous waste items at any of the collections throughout the year. In Newton County, the collection date is Sept. 7 at the Newton County Highway Garage in Morocco from 8 a.m. to noon. The next collection will be on Aug. 3 in Fowler at the Benton County Recycling Center and Aug. 17 in Reynolds at the White County Recycling center, also from 8 a.m. to noon, eastern time.
The NWISWD no longer takes tires and encourages people to recycle their tires at the place where they had new ones installed. For more information on these events and where all of the recycling centers are located, contact the solid waste district office at 800-856-0980 or visit the website, www.nwiswd.org.
To take recycling to the county highway garage near DeMotte, go south on County Rd. 600 West, (the Fase Senior Center sits on the corner) to the garage. There is a sign at the entrance for the recycling. The different bins for each of the accepted items sit under a lean-to. Residents can drive to the back of the building, pull up and empty their items into the appropriate container then continue driving around the building to the street once again. Joe Kopanda is there every day using two large crushers, one for cardboard and one for plastic milk jugs. After the items are crushed, they are wrapped tight with a wire cable and stacked on pallets. When he gets 22 tons of cardboard crushed, it is picked up by a company that recycles the cardboard or milk jugs and the process begins again.
At least once a week, the other recycle items are taken to the main highway garage in Rensselaer, where they will be loaded for other recycling companies to haul away. The solid waste district pays for the items to be picked up and recycled. The money the district receives comes from landfills in Newton and White counties.