When the Crawford County Solid Waste Authority was forced to end its recycling program in December, the message from Cochranton residents was clear:
"People were going, 'Hey, we really like this program. We need to do something'," said Cochranton Mayor Mark Roche.
"A lot of people had recycling that they were willing to recycle," said Barb Opatrny, Cochranton borough manager.
Cochranton resident James Niblock was one of those people.
"We try to put out less than one can of garbage a week," Niblock said of his family's environmentally conscious efforts.
So this week, Cochranton Borough Council approved a move to begin negotiating a curbside recycling plan with its current refuse company, Grove City-based Tri-County Industries.
Residents would no longer drive to those blue bins to recycle. Instead, they're given a bin of their own for single-stream recycling.
"You can just put in your recyclables," Opatrny said. "You don't have to sort them."
Cochranton residents now pay about $19 a month for garbage pickup. It's likely the borough will assume the $4,000 cost for recycling this year, said Opatrny. But it should only cost a few bucks more for customers next year, both she and Roche said.
"We want to try and keep it within the costs that we have right now, but time will tell," Roche added.
Erie News Now also reached out Tri-County Industries. Business is booming not only in Cochranton, but they have 300 new customers countywide since that recycling program ended, according to General Manager Jerry Bowser.
The countywide recycling program ended after years of budget cuts, a new fine for contaminated bins that would have added up to nearly $30,000 a year. Now, many like Niblock are welcoming the plan in their community.
"For all of those recyclable materials, not only will they not go into a landfill, but then we have that actual raw material to be reused," he said.
But Cochranton isn't the only community going green. Conneautville is looking at options, but their council has not formally voted on any plan, according to Mayor Allen Clark.
Cambridge Springs is also exploring options, said Brenda Schmidt, the executive director of the Crawford County Solid Waste Authority.
Meadville, Titusville, Linesville and Conneaut Lake already have programs, Schmidt added.