Municipal recycling consortium earns dollars for Heights cities

Two recycling consortiums developed by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District are paying off in the form of recycling rebates paid to cities. Fifteen communities in Cuyahoga County, including Cleveland Heights and University Heights, participate in two recycling consortiums that were developed to help cities get a better recycling deal. Since the fall of 2010, the consortium participants earned $557,337 in rebates on over 10,000 tons of recyclables collected through their community recycling programs. In addition, these cities saved more than $310,000 by not having to landfill the same materials. 

The consortium participants included Bay Village, Beachwood, Brooklyn Heights, Cleveland Heights, Euclid, Independence, Lyndhurst, Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Richmond Heights, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, University Heights, Warrensville Heights and Woodmere.

The consortiums operate on the principle that there is strength in numbers when it comes to contracting for recycling services. “Recycling is a volume business,” said Diane Bickett, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. "By joining together in a collective bid process, communities can obtain better pricing then they could on their own."  

The Solid Waste District facilitates this process by issuing an Invitation to Bid for Recycling Services on behalf of participating cities. Recyclers then bid for all the cities’ materials at once. "Combining the business of multiple cities under a single long-term contract, enables recyclers to offer their best terms,” said Bickett. 

There are currently two recycling consortiums available through the Solid Waste District: one for paper, and one for mixed recyclables. The paper recycling contractor is Caraustar Recycling located in Cleveland. The mixed recyclables contractor is the Kimble Company with a facility in Twinsburg. Both companies pay a monthly rebate to each city based on the value of the recyclables sold and the tons of recyclables delivered. During the last 14 months, the rebates averaged $45 per ton for mixed recyclables and $62 per ton for paper. Prior to the development of the consortiums, some cities had been paying as much as $25 per ton to recycle, and these rebates have become a welcome revenue source. 

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District works to advance economical and environmentally sustainable solid waste management practices among the communities, institutions and businesses of Cuyahoga County. For more information visit

Adapted from Press Release

This article was adapted from a press release issued by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 11:55 PM, 12.21.2011