Cuyahoga County releases annual residential recycling report

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District recently released residential recycling totals for University Heights and Cleveland Heights. These results may surprise some Heights residents.

University Heights disposed of 4,273 tons of solid waste and recycled 1,837 tons of materials, which translates to recycling about 30 percent of its total waste.

Cleveland Heights disposed of 17,332 tons of solid waste and recycled 19,667 tons of materials, recycling about 53 percent of its waste.

Robert Jamieson, service director of University Heights, is leading the charge for recycling in that city. He believes that recycling benefits the environment as well as the residents of University Heights.

"Every ton the city recycles means less money spent on trash. This money can then be spent on other needs in our city," said Jamieson.

University Heights has several ways to recycle waste materials. Cans, glass, plastics, newspapers, and other household recyclables can be placed in blue bags next to the trash on pick-up day. The hoppers that the city uses to pick up trash and recyclables go directly to residents’ back doors, making recycling easy and convenient.

Residents of University Heights can also recycle paint, computers, cell phones and batteries Monday through Friday, during regular business hours by bringing these materials to the city garage.

University Heights also has special waste days, when residents can dispose of hazardous materials. The next special waste day will occur in September or October.

To learn about recycling in University Heights—rules, tips and special recycling events--check out the city website or request a recycling booklet from Robert Jamieson.

"The city appreciates the recycling efforts of our citizens. The service department is happy to answer any questions concerning recycling. We are here for our residents," said Jamieson.

The voice of recycling in Cleveland Heights is Bonnie Caplan, a member of the city council and chair of municipal services. Caplan said that CH residents have been recycling for about 20 years.

"Recycling in Cleveland Heights began because one resident began hounding the city. His persistence is the reason we recycle as well as we do," she said.

Cleveland Heights is relentless in pursuing a greener environment. According to Caplan, it was the first city in the country to pass ordinances against pesticide and herbicide use on public property, libraries, schools, and day care facilities. This year, the city began handling recycling for South Euclid.

Cleveland Heights also makes recycling easy for its residents. By placing recyclables on the tree lawn on trash day, residents can recycle tires, batteries and computers. The city also hosts a semiannual shredding day when residents can bring any paper goods they wish to shred. Hazardous waste may be brought to the public works department, located behind MotorCars Honda on Mayfield Road.

The city publishes recycling information on its website, in Focus, the city’s quarterly magazine, and distributes information at public events. The city encourages everyone to recycle. "In a way, everybody matters. If we all pull together, we can make a difference in our community and environment," said Caplan.

Elsewhere in Cuyahoga County, Bratenahl leads the efforts, recycling 68 percent of its materials. Joe Zalar, director of the village’s service department, believes the community becomes more recycling conscious every year. "Basically, the residents want to be green," he said.

To encourage recycling, Bratenahl supplies every resident with one green container and one blue container. Trash goes in the blue container and recyclables in the green one.

Jim Perkins

Jim Perkins, a Heights Observer intern, is currently earning a master's degree in communication management at John Carroll University.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:20 AM, 08.02.2011