Waste Collection & Recycling Meeting Recap



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The City of Cleveland is one step closer to launching its new recycling program and has announced that residents can now opt in to the upcoming curbside recycling program. In this Sustainable Cleveland webinar, we provided an overview of the new recycling program, discussed how Cleveland manages its waste, and provided updates on the Circular Cleveland initiative. 



Kristin Hall, Director of Sustainability | City of Cleveland Mayor's Office of Sustainability

Terrell Cole, Deputy Chief of Operations | City of Cleveland

Cathi Lehn, Ph.D., Sustainable Cleveland Manager | City of Cleveland Mayor's Office of Sustainability


Circular Cleveland Updates

We're excited to provide a few announcements for the Circular Cleveland initiative, including the local groups & organizations awarded Circular Cleveland community grants (total 14 grants and $40,771 in funding) that will help support projects that divert waste. As well as our ten Circular Cleveland Ambassadors, consisting of passionate city of Cleveland residents supporting their neighborhoods in our transition to a more circular economy.


Circular Cleveland Team (left to right): Marvetta Rutherford, Kristy Fann, Ron Shelton, Nickyah Vales, Demetrius Carter, David Van Horn, Cathi Lehn (Sustainable Cleveland, Manager), Erin Randel, Stefanie Valentic, Deborah Smith, Tanya Gonzalez, Anna Zaremba (Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Climate Resiliency and Sustainability Intern), Divya Sridhar (Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Climate Resiliency and Sustainability Manager).


Recycle Cleveland Updates


Enrollment for the City of Cleveland's bi-weekly curbside recycling program is now live. Residents interested in recycling must opt in by Oct. 22nd during the initial 90-day enrollment period. Upon opting in, residents must pledge to recycle responsibly by ensuring their household is recycling materials properly and following the program guidelines to help support Cleveland's waste reduction goals.


To opt in to Cleveland's curbside recycling program, residents should complete the online form or call 216-664-3030.


Currently, about 5,000 households of the city's 150,000 households serviced by the City of Cleveland Division of Waste Collection have opted in to the new recycling program (most on the west side). Upcoming efforts to increase this number will include traditional media engagement, robocalls, water bill inserts, and much more.


After the 90-day opt-in period:

  • Based on households that have opted in, routes will be optimized and made more efficient
  • Blue bins will be collected from non-participants
  • Processing contract to be secured



Will there be other opportunities to opt in after the initial 90-day period?

Yes, residents may continue opting in after the initial Oct. 22nd deadline, however, they will be placed on a "waitlist" and can expect to enter the program on a rolling basis with the next enrollment set for early 2022.

Will the "recycling fee" stay the same or will it change based on your opt-in/opt-out status?

There is no recycling fee, the Division of Waste charges a general waste fee of $8.75 which is often mistakenly referred to as a recycling fee. This general waste fee offsets all waste operations and services including, bulk pick-up and other waste expenses. The fee will remain the same regardless of your opt-in/opt-out status as it pays for our entire waste collection operations.


What about apartments, condos, and other multi-unit homes - will they be able to opt in? 

Apartments, condos, and other multi-unit homes of up to 4 units may participate in the curbside recycling program. Larger apartments and condos are ineligible for curbside recycling, however, once the program resumes, staffed recycling drop-off locations will be available. We encourage occupants of larger apartments and condos to utilize these drop-offs or speak with their property manager about starting a recycling program for their building. 

Does the landlord/property owner need to opt in or can tenants do so?

Both landlords and tenants can opt in to recycling, tenants do not require approval however it is encouraged.


Does every unit in an apartment, condo, or other multi-unit homes (up to 4 units) need to opt in separately?

All units within an apartment, condo, and other multi-unit homes are welcome to opt in separately, however, this may not be necessary. We advise you to take a look at the overall recycling needs of the occupants and determine how many bins will be needed.


Will bins be removed from households that do not opt in? If so, when?

Yes, blue bins will be removed from all households that do not opt in to the curbside recycling program. While an exact date is not known yet, this is expected to happen before the program resumes (by the end of the year). 


What do I do when my recycling is contaminated by others?

While we hope that this does not become an issue, there are several things you can do to prevent contamination by others including setting your bins out during the optimal time. You may also contact the Division of Waste at 216-664-3717 or the onboarding recycling coordinator and we will try to work with you.


How can CDCs and other local organizations help?

CDCs and other local groups and organizations are especially important in our community outreach efforts. We will look to these community partners in helping to get the word out to residents through various means including community meetings and events. Feel free to email us at [email protected] for any collaborations.


We Need Your Help to Spread the Word!

Download recycling materials for social posts, flyers, and more.



Have more questions? Contact us at [email protected] 



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