MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – The City of Michigan City reminded the public in a statement that it is illegal to dump anything other than the recyclable materials indicated on the receptacle bins at the public access recycling site outside Michigan City Central Services, 1801 Kentucky St.
Cameras have been installed to help identify those who use the site to dump building debris, furniture, clothing, food waste and other trash illegally.

“Under Indiana law, those who dump unauthorized materials may be cited with a Class A infraction of illegal dumping, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, as well as a Class A misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to one year in the La Porte County Jail,” the City of Michigan City said in the statement.

“Michigan City Vector Control Director Brett Kelley and Street Department Director Shong Smith said that although their recent focus has been beautification efforts along Franklin Street in preparation for the annual Michigan City Patriotic Parade on Saturday, June 29, City crews had to redirect their energy to the public access site last week to address the excessive trash that had been dumped there illegally, the City said.

“We hauled away 21 tons of household items that day, costing the City a lot of resources and valuable manpower,” Smith said.
Kelley said, “We’re trying to clean our city up. We cannot allow this to continue. It makes us look bad, both to visitors and our residents.”

The bins are designated receptacles for clean, empty recyclable materials only, such as glass bottles and jars; various forms of paper; flattened cardboard; and aluminum, tin and steel cans.

Items that may not be deposited there include building debris, Styrofoam, ceramics, food waste, plastic grocery bags, yard waste, motor oil containers, hazardous waste containers, light bulbs, and glass windows and mirrors.
Smith said trash that doesn’t belong at the public access recycling site can be taken to Able Disposal in Chesterton or Waste Management in Kingsbury.

The receptacles are located partially on City property at Central Services, and partially on private property owned by McKinley Design. However, the site is managed by the Solid Waste District of La Porte County.

“There are other outlets for this kind of stuff,” Solid Waste District Executive Director Clay Turner said, motioning to the overturned couches, piles of clothing and other debris present at the site on Monday. “We have an electronics trailer here for anything that has a cord on it. We also do special collections at the La Porte County Fairgrounds twice a year for things like tires, chemicals, books. You can see the schedule for those at www.solidwastedistrict.com.”

Eric Ivory of Borden Waste-Away Service, which owns and clears the receptacles at the site, said, “The way in which the public utilizes this site dictates our ability to service it. Last week, we pulled up and couches and mattresses were in front of the containers. That made it difficult for our drivers to pull all that stuff out and get to them. And we know there is going to be some contamination, but it makes things more difficult for our team members back at the facility who have to pull out things that aren’t supposed to be in the stream. “If we can work collaboratively with the residents, it makes things easier for everyone.”