Reduce, reuse, recycle. These three R’s are the hallmarks of conserving natural resources, reducing the amount of space occupied by landfills and, ultimately, saving energy.
In La Porte City, a curbside recycling program has been in place for several years, supplemented by a Recycling Center, which affords residents the opportunity to drop off materials such as metal, plastics, paper and cardboard. This recycling program benefits the City and, in turn, its taxpayers in two ways.
Materials that are recycled are materials that get diverted from the landfill. Fewer materials hauled to the landfill translates to a lower cost to the City for waste management.
Another benefit is a small grant of around $9,000 the City receives annually in support of the recycling program it maintains.
The rewards the City reaps for recycling are dependent upon running a clean program, however. Unfortunately, the City’s Recycling Center has become a dumping ground of sorts, with little respect paid to the recycling guidelines the City publishes each year. When non recycle materials are discovered mixed in with recycle materials, the entire load must be taken to the landfill, costing the City additional money. Each load of recycled materials collected from the Recycling Center’s dumpsters are examined prior to leaving the city. If non-recyclable materials are present, the entire load has to be taken to the landfill, for which the City is billed accordingly. So instead of saving resources, each tainted load of recycled materials actually costs the City money that could be spent in support of other services.
The dumping of items such as motor oil, furniture, and even appliances, has the City Council searching for answers to the questions that are currently dragging the recycling program down. Setting aside an area that can be secured with fencing and monitored with video surveillance is one possible solution. Such an arrangement requires available land, however, and would come at a cost not planned for in the
FY17 budget. Another possibility the Council could consider would be to close the Recycling Center altogether.
In the coming weeks, The City Council will discuss the fate of the recycling center at it December 12, 2017 Council meeting. the issue will continue to be discussed. Area residents who wish to share their thoughts and opinions on the matter can find contact information for the mayor and members of the City Council online at

Acceptable Materials – La Porte City Recycling Program

La Porte City residents are encouraged to participate in the City’s recycling program, which includes metal, mixed paper, plastics and cardboard. Please note: These guidelines apply to both the curbside recycling program AND the City’s recycling drop-off location:

METAL – Metal containers may be recycled. Remove all food and rinse clean. Labels do not need to be removed. Clean aluminum foil, pie tins, beverage cans, empty non-hazardous aerosol cans and tin cans may be recycled.

Not Acceptable: Batteries, syringes, knives, blades, needles, nails or oil filters.

PLASTICS – Plastics marked with a recycling number can be recycled, including milk jugs, food, detergent, juice, beverage and shampoo bottles or containers. Please rinse clean and air dry. Labels do not need to be removed. Plastic caps and lids should be removed and discarded. Do not place other objects inside the bottles and jugs.

Not Acceptable: – Unmarked plastics, film plastics, auto lubricant containers, antifreeze containers, soiled or unclean containers.

MIXED PAPER – Newspaper, magazines, coupons, junk mail, newspaper inserts, envelopes, paper bags, labels from cans, paperback books, phone books, TV guides, colored paper, file folders, white ledger computer paper, etc. may be recycled, provided it is clean and dry. All paper can be mixed.

Not Acceptable: waxed paper, carbons, photos, tissues, napkins, paper towels, plates, crayon drawings, smoking materials, pet food or fertilizer bags.

CARDBOARD – Chipboard, cardboard, cereal and cracker boxes, tissue boxes, egg cartons, clean and dry pop and beer case cardboard may be recycled. Must be clean and flattened. Any contents inside boxes should be removed prior to recycling.

Not Acceptable: Waxy, coated cardboard such as milk or juice cartons.