City of Cleveland Extends Recycling Opt-In Deadline to Nov. 5 Due to Increased Demand

The City of Cleveland today announced it will extend the deadline for residents to opt in to the new bi-weekly curbside recycling program to Nov. 5. The announcement follows a large increase in opt-in requests over the past two weeks, almost doubling the amount. As of Oct. 21, the city has more than 17,000 requests. The previous opt-in deadline was Oct. 22.

“The decision to extend the deadline helps ensure that everyone who wants to participate in the first round of the new recycling program has the opportunity to do so,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We are encouraged by the increase in requests and are committed to working alongside residents to establish a more efficient and sustainable waste and recycling collection process.”

The City encourages residents interested in joining the program to sign up via the opt-in form  or by calling 216-664-3030 and agreeing to the recycling program guidelines. Those with digital access are strongly encouraged to use the online form in order to keep phone lines open. Anyone who may have contacted the city and is awaiting a confirmation that they are registered, does not need to register and or call in again.

The ongoing recycling program changes are part of an effort to reduce contamination from curbside recycling, reduce program costs, and improve efficiency of waste collection operations. View a link to an FAQ sheet on the recycling program. The City intends for the new program to be in place by the end of 2021.

The number of people who opt in during the open period will help serve as an indication of the new program’s potential interest level and help the city create routing plans. Residents who opt in can expect to receive additional communications on participation once the program is fully operational. Residents who choose not to opt in will have their blue recycling carts removed.

As a condition of participation in the new recycling program, residents will be asked to sign a pledge agreeing to follow all curbside recycling guidelines, such as only placing the acceptable materials in their bins on their scheduled weeks and understanding that their bins may be removed if they are found to not be properly participating in the program.

In spring of 2020, the City of Cleveland suspended its recycling program due to high contamination rates and inability to solicit a favorable contract for recycling processing services. As a result, the City commissioned GT Environmental to develop a report evaluating the City’s Division of Waste Collection and Disposal operations, including the solid waste, recycling, and bulk collection programs.

Recommendations provided by the consultant focused on improving efficiency and supporting waste reduction goals, while still maintaining high levels of service for our residents. As a result of the evaluation, the City of Cleveland is also hiring a recycling coordinator to help implement the recommendations and operational strategies in the report.

The City has been meeting with potential recycling processing companies while the opt-in process is open. The number of current participants will be used to help define a new partnership with the vendor. The City intends to secure a recycling contract as soon as possible.

Changes to the waste collection and recycling program align with the launch of Circular Cleveland, a two-year initiative to develop and implement circular economy strategies and programs in Cleveland. The circular economy is a comprehensive approach to provide community-wide benefits by designing waste and pollution out of our economic system, keeping products and materials in use as long as possible, protecting and regenerating natural systems, and creating new jobs. For more information about the Circular Cleveland initiative, click here. For more information on the City of Cleveland’s waste collection and recycling programs, please visit the Division of Waste Collection and Disposal’s website: www.clevelandohio.gov/waste.