The recycling just went into a regular garbage truck.
But residents of the City of Warren who are wondering why they continue to set out recyclables should know that those materials are still going to a recycling facility, even when they aren't picked up by a compartmentalized truck, city officials said.
"It is going into a packer truck, but it is not going into a landfill," Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said.
Using the packer truck instead of the compartmentalized recycling truck allows the hauling company to get more material in each load while picking up more quickly, Holtz said.
The material is separated at the plant instead of at each home and in each truck.
Residents are still asked to separate paper - phone books, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, magazines, and others - from other recyclables - glass, plastic, and metal.
Officials suggest using the rectangular recycling bin for paper.
The city's program also now includes cardboard. "They can do cardboard pizza boxes in the rectangular bin," Holtz said.
Residents who need recycling bins may call 723-6300.
The city is mandated to have a recycling program, and city residents pay a recycling fee of $1.85 per month in their water and sewer bill.
City Planning Director David Hildebrand said recycling makes financial sense for both the city and its residents.
"You're already getting charged for it, take advantage of it," he said.
Removing recyclables from the waste stream means less garbage. Recycling more items could allow residents who don't generate much trash to change the way their pay for garbage pickup.
Composting other materials could reduce the waste stream even more.
"If you're doing the compost containers, the recycling, buying your bags from (the hauler), you've really reduced your cost," Hildebrand said.
For the city, recycling more materials adds up to a higher reimbursement.
"The more tonnage that we report to the state, the higher the amount of money we'll get back from the state," Hildebrand said.
The hauler has a financial stake in making sure recycling is done right. If recyclable materials are taken from a municipality with a recycling program to a landfill, the company can be subject to fines.
If a hauler finds recyclables in someone's garbage, they may leave it behind. "Haulers should not be accepting waste that has recycling in it," acting City Manager Mary Ann Nau said.
For many people, recycling isn't just about money.
"People feel passionate about recycling," Nau said. "People look at it as the right thing to do."