About 5,000 households have opted into city’s recycling program so far, officials say

About 5,000 of the city’s more than 150,000 waste division customers have opted into the city’s new recycling program so far, most of them on the west side, according to information provided by Sustainable Cleveland at a community meeting on Wed. Aug. 25. In the coming weeks, the city says it’s planning a big marketing push to increase signups before the Oct. 31 deadline.


A slide from the city’s presentation about the new opt-in recycling program shows signups are concentrated on the west side. Outreach has mostly been by social media and email so far.

A slide from the city’s presentation about the new opt-in recycling program shows signups are concentrated on the west side. Outreach has mostly been by social media and email so far.

About 5,000 of the city’s more than 150,000 waste division customers have opted into the city’s new recycling program so far, most of them on the west side, according to information provided by Sustainable Cleveland at a community meeting on Wed. Aug. 25. In the coming weeks, the city says it’s planning a big marketing push to increase signups before the Oct. 22 deadline.

According to Kristin Hall with the office of sustainability, the city is planning a marketing blitz including traditional advertisements, community meetings, social media, robocalls, a water bill insert, and direct mail to customers. Households have until Oct. 22 to sign up, at which point non-participants will have their blue bins will be removed.

“We’re really trying to get as many residents as we can signed up,” Hall told about 60 participants at the Sustainable Cleveland meeting. “So far, we think it’s been pretty effective. We’re doing our best to get the word out.”

Signups are not evenly distributed across the city, Hall said. A map (displayed above) shows that the opt-in participants are concentrated on the west side, and that many east side households have not yet signed up to participate. To date, most of the outreach has been done through email newsletters and social media.

Hall encouraged community groups and organizations to help. She said city representatives are happy to talk with groups about the new program. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

After the 90-day opt-in period, the city plans to reroute the opt-ins into effective routes, collect blue bins from the non-participants, and secure a new contract with a waste management company. Finally, the city is hiring a recycling coordinator to help manage the program and expects to make an announcement soon. The person in that position will work on community outreach as well as promoting waste reduction strategies, collaborating with partners, and evaluating and optimizing the program.

While anyone who doesn’t sign up before Oct. 22 will have their blue bin removed, it won’t be their last chance to participate, Hall stressed. Households who opt in after Oct. 31 will be put on a waiting list and will be able to enter the program early next year.

At the meeting, the city restated why it secretly ended its recycling program last year as well as its commitment to carrying out the recommendations made by its consultant.

“We’re looking forward to bringing it back, and bringing it back the right way,” said Hall.

To sign up for the city’s opt-in recycling program, visit this web page: https://www.clevelandohio.gov/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/CityAgencies/ParksRecreationandProperties/Waste/ClevelandRecycles. Learn more about the city’s new opt-in reycling program here: https://www.thelandcle.org/stories/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-citys-new-opt-in-recycling-program. If you have questions call the Division of Waste Collection at 216/664-3711.

Lee Chilcote is editor of The Land.

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