Lakewood Recycling Rates Continue to ClimbJuly 20, 2016
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District recently released its 2015 Residential Recycling Report, and the results highlight Lakewood’s continued efforts to increase recycling rates.
The city recycled or composted 51.6 percent of all waste in 2015 — the highest level ever achieved in Lakewood. The tonnage collected also places Lakewood among the top recycling communities in Cuyahoga County.
“Having a higher diversion percentage is key,” said Chris Perry, the city’s project manager in the Department of Public Works. “This saves the city money in the long run, as there are higher costs associated with waste disposal fees.”
“I think this report shows that we continue to improve our recycling efforts and that Lakewood residents are more committed to curbside recycling than most other communities.”
With more 17,000 tons of total materials recycled in Lakewood, the city collected more tonnage than all but two communities (Cleveland Heights and Cleveland) out of the county’s 59 communities.
The city has had a significant boost since 2009, when the recycling rate was 42 percent. The improvement also coincides with mandated recycling, and with the city’s switch to automated collection of trash and recyclables. Last year, the city rolled out the third — and final — phase of the program to completely automate the process.
The city continues to strengthen its recycling programs to reduce waste. The higher the recycling rate, the less the city pays in disposal fees. City hall projections show an annual savings of both waste disposal and labor costs at approximately $300,000 per year.
“We need to be good stewards of the city’s finances, but also good stewards of our environment,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “This report is affirmation of the hard work that we’ve put in.”
The automated curbside recycling program is proving to have an impact by increasing the volume of recyclable material the city collects each year. The goal is to have a 60 percent landfill diversion rate.
“There’s still work to be done,” said Summers. “We will get there.”