Lakewood Recycling Rates Continue to ClimbJuly 28, 2015
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District recently released its 2014 Residential Recycling Report, and the results highlight Lakewood’s efforts to increase recycling rates.
The city recycled or composted nearly 51 percent of all waste in 2014; compare that to the 36.3 percent of all materials recycled in Cuyahoga County during the same time.
With more than 16,000 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. Lakewood ranked 14th in total recycling rate.
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. This 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.”
Each year, the city improved its recycling rate. Last year, the city of Lakewood collected more tonnage of curbside recycling material in a single year than ever before.
“Beginning in 2016, we expect to see a return on investment within five years,” Summers said.
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.”