With grinding of yard waste at the Zigler Road compost site underway, the site will be closed to the public until it is cleared, Solid Waste District Director Clay Turner announced Monday. The closure, which is meant to protect residents and workers due to the heavy equipment involved, could last at least a month.
In addition, Zigler Road between the NIPSCO Training Facility and the La Porte County Fairgrounds is closed to through traffic during weekday daytime hours to accommodate the clearing of the yard waste site.
“The closure is for everyone’s benefit. The faster we can get the site cleaned up, the faster it can be reopened to the public for use,” Turner said.
But just a few days into grinding, the crew from Material Processing and Handling LLC of Michigan City is already finding brush, logs and grass clippings left at the site overnight, Turner said. They have even encountered several people driving up to the site while the crew is working and dumping brush into the ditch. This includes businesses – which, he noted, should not be using the Zigler Road site in the first place.
“It’s like they have to start over on this work every day. If people keep using the site during this process, it will never be cleared and it will continue to be a source of problems,” he said. “This is already a very expensive project, and we don’t want to be forced to spend more taxpayer money cleaning up a mess left by taxpayers.”
No gates or signs have yet been put up around the site itself because the heavy equipment moving in and out would damage them, Turner said.
There is another alternative for residents and businesses wishing to dispose of grass clippings, brush, and other yard waste. The District’s compost site next to Westville Correctional Facility accepts these items from 8 to 11 am and noon to 2 pm Monday through Friday. The site is free for La Porte County residents to use as long as they accompany the load. Businesses may dump yard waste at the Westville site for a small fee of $5-7 per cubic yard, depending on the material. Call Westville site director Troy Taylor at (219) 363-8962 for more information.
“Our Westville site creates good, usable compost and mulch out of the materials brought there,” Turner said. “We strongly encourage residents and businesses to use this site, where there are workers to help unload yard waste for you.”
Due to the presence of contaminants users have dumped at the Zigler Road site - like plastic bags, wood treated with chemicals of any kind, furniture and tires - the ground-up material being taken from there isn’t as useful as it could be and its sale value is reduced, Turner said. This increases the cost of removal.
“If residents want a convenient solution for yard waste disposal, we all need to play by the rules,” Turner said. “We do not want to have to shut the Zigler Road site down permanently, but we may have to if residents cannot be patient and allow this work to be done in a timely manner.”