Below are answers to some freqently asked questions we receive at EcoCity on the subject of recycling.
How do I find information about the recycling program in my community?
- The budget cuts in December 2003 at the City of Cleveland have spelled the end of the city's weekly curbside recycling of cans, glass, plastics (#1,2), newspapers and cardboard in the city. If you have any questions, call, 216-664-2110.
- Also announced in December 2003: The Cleveland Metroparks have installed bins for anyone in the community to recycle the following: Office paper, newspapers, construction paper, magazines, catalogs, shredded paper, junk mail, notebooks, books and writing tablets. Click here for a map of where bins are located.
- The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is supplying a dumpster for recycling of paper, magazines, books, mail, newspapers. The center will receive a little income if enough people use the dumpster. Call 216-321-5935
- The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (216-443-3749) has a comprehensive Guide to Community Recycling Programs listing the recycling programs for each community in the county and phone numbers for more detailed information. Or, check these SWDs if you live outside Cuyahoga County:
- Geauga County SWMD (330-675-2673).
- Lake County SWMD (440-350-2645).
- Lorain County SWMD (440-329-5440).
- Medina County SWMD (330-723-9588).
- Portage County SWMD (330-678-8808).
- Summit/Akron Solid Waste Authority (330-374-0383).
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a county-by- county breakdown with a comprehensive city listing of which communities and businesses recycle.
Does recycling help the environment?
While every bit helps and an interest in recycling makes for a healthier planet, you can go a step beyond by reducing your level of your consumption in the first place. Also buy items that have less packaging, plastics with a "1" or "2" label (the most commonly accepted recyclable plastics) and "green" or local products because they embody less energy in their production, transportation and disposal.
Where can I find green products and services both locally and regionally?
- The Ohio Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention provides a Catalog of Ohio Recycled Content Products and Vendors
- The Cleveland Green Building Coalition lists local architects, planners and building materials with "green" components in The Cleveland Directory of Green Building Resources
- Co-op America's Green Pages Online presents thousands of socially and environmentally responsible products and services and is searchable by Zip code.
- Habitat for Humanity operates its Re-Store, a retail operation where you can find incredible deals on used home items - from old doors to windows, flooring and more. Located at 6920 Union Ave., Cleveland, Re-Store is open Saturdays 9am to 1pm. Call 216-429-1299.
I'm interested in making recycling my business, where can I find information resources?
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District has a partnership with CAMP Inc. and ShoreBank Enterprise Group called the Greater Cleveland Recycling Initiative. The partnership publishes a Resource Directory for Recycling Enterprises.
How can my business make use of its waste stream?
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Office of Energy Efficiency and the Ohio Department of Development have an innovative waste exchange program to facilitate the reuse of waste materials between businesses. Visit The Ohio Materials Exchange.
Where can I "recycle" my old computer and electronics?
- Computers Assisting People, 3150 Payne Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114, 216-781-4131.
- The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District runs a number of recycling programs, including round-ups of old computers (which are either refurbished and donated or stored in a licensed hazardous waste site). The District also has round-ups for paints & pesticides, tires and phone books along with teacher workshops on recycling.
- Staples and the Sierra Club have a program where you drop off used cell phones, PDAs and pagers, as well as chargers in collection tubes conveniently located near the cell phone display in every Staples store. Non-profit CollectiveGood will refurbish the collected devices for reuse, or recycle them according to federal and local environmental standards. Staples will give a portion of the proceeds from qualified mobile electronics to the Sierra Club. The donation will be used to support environmental education and conservation programs.
How do I get rid of paints, pesticides, and other household hazardous wastes?
Hazardous wastes need to be handled separately from ordinary solid wastes. Call your county solid waste management district to find out about hazardous waste collections days. Also, check out Household hazardous waste page.
Where do I dispose of used motor oil?
Check with local oil change facilities or auto parts stores; many accept and recycle used oil for free or for a small service fee. Also, check out Motor oil recycling page.
Where can I find resources to learn more about recycling?
The Association of Ohio Recyclers provides resources on buying earth-friendly products, composting, construction demolition/green building and general recycling, including an extensive list of helpful links.
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Community recycling scorecard
Why I hate recycling
For more information on recycling events check out the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District
Tips for recycling, reusing and reducing your solid waste
- Buy only what you really need.
- Buy durable goods that will last.
- Maintain good, old things rather than always buying new (this includes big things like cars and houses).
- Buy reusable rather than throwaway items. Use things more than once, like envelopes or the back of paper.
- Reduce yard waste. Leave grass clippings on the lawn. Compost other yard wastes. Also compost kitchen scraps.
- If you have to get rid of stuff, recycle as much of it as possible. Most communities now offer curbside recycling; call your service department for information of the types of materials picked up.
- Buy products made for easy recycling. For example, things made of #1 and 2 plastic are readily accepted by local recycling programs, while things made of other plastics are not. Things made of composite or layered materials (like juice boxes) are especially difficult to recycle.
- Remember that you can't throw something "away." You can only move it to a different part of our biosphere.