Answers to trash, recycling questions

Courtesy of the Dearborn Public Information Department
DEARBORN – The following are answers about the city’s new curbside trash and recycling program, which begins the week of July 5.

Why is the city switching to this system?

The city believes a system using two large carts will encourage more recycling, reduce litter problems and concerns about rodents and pests, and give a more uniform appearance to neighborhoods on trash days. It also allows for an automated system for curbside collection, which will help to contain the cost for trash and recycling pickup.

Will my trash collection day change?


Since curbside recycling is every other week, how will I know which week to place my recycling cart at the curbside?

Each household will receive a comprehensive information packet including a recycling schedule for their neighborhood when the cart is delivered.

Should I put my address on my carts?

There is a spot on the lid for addresses. Please do not write on any other location on the cart.

What should I do with my current trash cans?

You might want to keep them for yard waste containers or other purposes. To dispose of them, put a sign on them that says, “Please pick up as trash,” and Republic will dispose of them.

What if I my 96-gallon trash cart is full and I still have more trash?

That is not a problem, if it occurs on an occasional basis. All qualified materials will be picked up at the curb, even items not in your 96-gallon cart.

You must use your gray trash cart every week. But you may place excess trash on the easement behind the curb in an appropriate container or plastic bag. However, if you have more trash than can be contained in the cart on a regular basis, you may be asked to purchase an additional cart for a one-time charge.

What about bulky items that don’t fit in the trash cart?

The city will continue to offer curbside collection of bulky items, like furniture and appliances, as part of the regular collection service.

Special fees still will apply if a large number of items are left at the curbside following a move-out.

What do I do with my existing 18-gallon recycling bin?

You should no longer use it for curbside recycling. If you don’t want it for other household purposes, put it inside the new 96-gallon green cart and it will be recycled.

Where do I store the carts?

Ideally, inside your garage, behind the garage or behind your house. If that is not possible, store them away from your neighbors’ houses as much as possible and try to keep them out of sight from the front sidewalk.

Do I have to bag my trash before I put it in the cart?

Yes. Do not put loose trash in the cart. All trash should be in bags when it is placed in the carts.

What if my cart is not full on trash day?

You should still put in on the easement, behind the curb, for collection, so you are not storing trash any longer than necessary. Even in proper containers like the carts, trash can begin to smell or be an attraction to pests. Do not place trash at the curbside without using your gray trash cart.

What if my recycling bin is not full on the designated collection day?

Although recyclable materials are less likely to smell or attract pests, it still is a good idea not to store the items any longer than necessary, so put your recycling cart at the curbside. Remember, recycling will be picked up every other week. Do not place recyclable materials at the curbside without using your green recycling cart.

How will the new carts reduce litter and rodent concerns?

The carts have hinged lids, which makes it very convenient to keep the top on and closed during storage and while the carts are at the curbside. The lids keep out odors and prevent pests from getting in. It is still important to bag all trash before placing in the cart.

The city’s current 18-gallon recycling bins are too small for many households, so they are often overfilled. Since they do not have lids, papers and other materials often blow away.

Do I have to pay for the two carts that will be delivered to my house?

No. The two carts are part of the overall trash and recycling contract paid for by the city. If you routinely generate more trash than can fit in the cart, you will likely be asked to purchase an additional cart for a one-time charge.

Can I take the carts with me if I move?

No, the carts belong to the city and should stay with the house.

Can I drill a hole in my cart to let accumulated water out?

No. Keep the lids to your cart closed to prevent water from getting in.

How should I place the carts at the curbside for pickup?

The carts should be put on your easement, behind the curb, and not in the street. The handles should face your house.

What if I don’t want to recycle?

Recycling is mandatory in Dearborn, and has been since the start of the curbside recycling program in the 1980s. The new system makes it more convenient to recycle, since no items must be bundled or sorted, and the cart is on wheels.

What about yard waste?

Yard waste will be picked up by Republic. Place it in proper containers no larger than 32 gallons and mark them with yard waste stickers available from DPW or the Department of Public Information. Call (313) 943-2085. You also can use paper landscape bags that can be purchased at local hardware or home improvement stores. Yard waste in plastic bags will not be picked up.

Brush and tree limbs must be bundled according to city guidelines.

What does single-stream recycling mean?

All recyclable materials can be put into the green recycling cart without residents having to sort or bundle them. The green recycling cart will be picked up at the curbside by an automated truck and the materials will be emptied from the cart into one recycling truck. Materials will be sorted at the recycling processing facility.