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Cleveland residents will have to opt in to recycling program; collection will be every other week

Republic recycling
Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 18:31:23-05

CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland has decided to implement an opt-in recycling program that will have curbside collection every two weeks. Residents who want to have recycling picked up at their curb will have to sign up on the city’s website. People who do not opt in will have their recycling cans removed.

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Read the full report here.

holiday recycling
PHOTO: Cans and plastic bottles are acceptable if they're empty, clean and dry.

The city will also be making some changes to how it collects bulk waste, shifting to collection every other week while transitioning to an appointment-based system. Collection routes will be redesigned for the first time since 2010 to optimize efficiency, and there will be new recycling education to make sure residents who opt-in recycle properly. Proper recycling cuts down on contamination and recycling costs for the city.

The city will also create "up to 6 Super Center Recycling Drop-offs that will be staffed with city employees, allowing residents to drop off curbside recyclable materials and other special materials." These staffed super centers might require shifting roles and responsibilities for existing workers, but will provide the chance to make sure what gets dropped off is able to be recycled, according to the report.

Cleveland city hall
The City of Cleveland says residents can start to opt-in to a curbside recycling program this week with recycling starting again by the end of the year.

This change comes after high contamination levels in the city’s recycling haul resulted in a single recycling contract bid that the city would not accept. As a result, the materials in Cleveland recycling bins have been going directly to a landfill since April 1, 2020.

The City of Cleveland hired recycling consultant GT Environmental to study the city’s current recycling approach and recommend how to fix it. The recommendations were presented to the city in January. It hopes to get strategies for how to implement the recommendations in Spring 2021, but different parts of the changes will happen at different times.

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