Cleveland’s recyclables sent to landfills

Cleveland’s recyclables sent to landfills

Eighty-five to 90 percent of Cleveland’s recyclables are mixed in with waste.


Approximately 90 percent of recyclables collected in Cleveland are being sent to landfills, Fox 8 reports.

Almost all of the recyclables that Cleveland residents spend time separating from their garbage end up being mixed in with the waste they dispose of in their garbage cans. This is because recyclable loads are contaminated, Mayor Frank Jackson claimed.

Video evidence, provided by Fox 8, shows Cleveland’s recyclables being mixed with loads of waste. When a supervisor at the Ridge Road site was questioned about the mixing of materials, he responded that the load was already inspected, and it was contaminated. "One Cleveland truck came in, we inspected it, it was contaminated, we got rid of it,” the supervisor said.

Fox 8’s I-Team found that "We [the city] still continue to push 85 to 90 percent of the recycling from our residents into trash… .”

Jackson also remarked on the cost associated with recycling: “It costs us twice as much to get rid of recyclables as it would if we just put it in a landfill.” However, Jackson said he still separates his recyclables from his trash.

Others do not see the point if almost all of the materials will end up in a landfill. “Why are we recycling? What’s the sense,” questioned Angelo Lisak, the owner of Mel’s Café, Tremont, Ohio.

Both Jackson and Darnell Brown, Cleveland’s chief operating officer, acknowledged the city is failing in this aspect. “It’s not working,” Jackson said.

Fox 8 reports that internal memos blame residents for not being educated and informed as to what are acceptable materials to recycle. Because of residents’ lack of knowledge, items that should be placed in the garbage are now with recyclables, causing the contamination.

Jackson said he plans to hire a consultant to recommend how to deal with the issue, but there is no discernable timeline for action, Fox 8 reports.