Sustainable Lakewood | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Sustainable Lakewood

Refuse, recycling, clean water, energy efficiency

The city of Lakewood supports sustainability efforts that preserve the environment and conserve energy. Think waste, refuse, recycling initiatives. Likewise, we encourage residents to consider ways to reduce their carbon footprints and improve energy efficiency in their homes.

Getting started is easy. In fact, many of the initial small changes residents can make won’t require costly updates and carry long-term, cost-saving benefits.

Review the links below for more information on the City’s work to increase its sustainability — as well as other local efforts — and ways you can live a more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient lifestyle.

Sustainability Strategies

  • Doing our part for sustainability+-

    Lakewood’s “Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative,” implemented in 2009, automated the City’s refuse collection system and mandated recycling at properties that receive municipal refuse collection. Automated refuse collection is the most efficient and cost effective system available today, and mandatory recycling participation saves tax dollars by reducing disposal costs and conserves natural resources. This Initiative provides efficient and cost-effective services while providing long-term economic and environmental benefits to the community.

    For more about the Refuse Rules and Regulations , click here.

  • Lakewood Recycles+-

    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.

    See the full report here.

    “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.

  • Residential Curbside Collection+-

    The City of Lakewood Division of Refuse and Recycling provides once-per-week curbside service for the collection of household refuse, bulk items, recyclables and yard waste to properties with one through four household units.

    To see a map of garbage collection days, check out the map.


    Multi-unit properties with five or more units are responsible for contracting refuse collection however the City of Lakewood collects furniture and other large bulk items, and recyclables, on the regular day in their area.

    Rules and Regulations

    The Director of Public Safety adopts Rules and Regulations for the placement of refuse, trash, bulk waste, yard waste and recyclables in a manner that will promote collection efficiency and the protection of the quality of neighboring properties.

    Any violation of any rule or regulation may result in the property owner being charged for the actual cost of such work or the administrative cost incurred for the enforcement of such rule or regulation. Property owners are responsible for making sure their tenants are aware of and comply with Rules and Regulations. Ord. 1777.02

    Collection Hours

    Regular Collection Hours: Monday through Friday – 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    *Holiday Collection Hours and days of collection are subject to change to accommodate collection in four instead of five days. Please refer to the Holiday Collection Schedule.

    Setout Hours: Between 6:00 p.m. the night before collection and 6:30 a.m. on the day of collection. Please refer to the Holiday Collection Schedule directions for set out hours during holiday weeks.

    Empty Refuse and Recycle Carts must be removed from the curb by the end of each collection day.

    Early and late set outs are violations of Ordinance 1777.01 and may result in collection fees charged to the property owner.

    Drop off hours

    Want to drop off garbage? The Berea Road facility is open 6:30 to 3:30, Monday through Friday; and open for drop-off 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

    Tags: trash garbage pickup refuse recycling 

  • Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative+-

    Have a look at this PDF to get the scoop about all the ins-and-outs of the city’s Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative. This document covers everything from disposing of construction materials and hazardous waste (such as paint) to obtaining an additional cart.

    The drop-off facility is located at 12920 Berea Road. Please call 216-252-4322 for any additional information.


    The city of Lakewood encourages residents to compost. Here are some tips:

    Composting ordinance

    How Composting Works

    Things to Compost

    • Holiday Collection Schedules
    • Recycling Guidelines
    • Refuse FAQs
    • Yard Waste Guidelines
    • Multi-Unit Properties: Multi-unit properties with five or more units are responsible for contracting refuse collection however the City of Lakewood collects furniture and other large bulk items, and recyclables, on the regular day in their area.
    • Public can collection: Refuse and Recycling Division employees manually collect from more than 200 curbside public street cans each week. The City’s new, large capacity, automated collection street cans save time and reduce litter. Please notify the Refuse and Recycling Division if you see an overflowing public street can.

  • Learn more about the city's green initiative+-

  • Holiday Collection Schedules+-

    Holidays observed by the City of Lakewood may affect refuse and recycling collection schedules. The Division of Refuse and Recycling does not collect on Saturday or Sunday. If a holiday falls on Saturday, the holiday is observed on the Friday before; if a holiday falls on Sunday, the holiday is observed on Monday.

    The Division of Refuse and Recycling does not collect refuse or recyclables on the following observed holidays.

    Holiday Day Observed Date Observed

    New Year’s Day Monday January 1, 2017
    Martin Luther King Day Monday January 16, 2017
    Presidents’ Day Monday February 20, 2017
    Easter Monday Monday April 17, 2017
    Memorial Day Monday May 29, 2017
    Independence Day Tuesday July 4, 2017
    Labor Day Monday September 4, 2017
    Thanksgiving Day Thursday November 23, 2017
    Christmas Monday December 25, 2017

    During these holiday weeks, set-out all collections, including Refuse Carts, Bulk Trash, Recyclables, and Yard Waste, by 6:30 a.m. on the recommended day listed below to assure collection. Late setouts may not be collected, or if they are, the property owner could be charged for the collection.

    When a holiday is observed on Monday:
    Monday collections will be on Tuesday. Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready for collection by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.

    When a holiday is observed on Tuesday:
    Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday collection will be on Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.

    When a holiday is observed on Wednesday:
    Monday and Tuesday collections are on the regular day. Wednesday collections will be on Thursday. Thursday and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.

    When a holiday is observed on Thursday:
    Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the day before the regular day. Friday collection is on Friday.

    When a holiday is observed on Friday:
    Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the day before the regular day. Friday collection is on Thursday.

  • Leaf Pick Up+-

    The annual fall leaf collection program begins on the first Monday in November and continues for a minimum of three collections over a six week period. This schedule will generally be adjusted to account for interfering weather conditions. Leaves and other yard wastes are collected at other times throughout the year when residents place them in the standard paper yard waste bags on the regular refuse collection days.

  • Energy Efficiency+-

    Dominion East Ohio Home Performance with Energy Star

    This program takes a comprehensive approach to help boost your home’s comfort and long-term value, while keeping your energy bills in check. The program includes a:

    • Home energy assessment by a certified auditor to evaluate your home and learn more about how it is using—and wasting—energy. Also includes free installation of several energy-efficient products. Cost is $50 ($25 for assessments scheduled through August 31, 2016).
    • Customized report with recommendations on how to lower your energy bills and a list of participating, qualified contractors to perform any upgrades. Rebates up to $1,250 are available.

    Call 877-287-3416 to schedule an assessment. Visit Dominion East Ohio online for more information.

    NOPEC Programs

    The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is an organization of local governments in northeast Ohio that work cooperatively to provide cost savings for individual customers. The city of Lakewood participates as a NOPEC community, promoting environmental awareness and cost savings for the community through its electric service aggregation program.

    NOPEC Connect
    In 2016, NOPEC launched NOPEC Connect, a pilot program designed to help up to 500 NOPEC customers improve their electric energy efficiency. NOPEC Connect participants must have a myNOPEC account and agree to participate in monthly market research, provide honest feedback, and remain a NOPEC member for their electric supply until December 2019. In exchange, participants receive:

      • Programmable Thermostat ($150 value) – automatically adjusts temperature to your specific settings and can be remotely accessed through a myNOPEC account
      • Smart Plug ($45 value) – an outlet attachment that enables you to turn a plug on and off either manually or by logging into myNOPEC
      • NOPEC Connect Gateway ($150 value) – a router that communicates with the programmable thermostat and smart plug through its own wifi signal
      • One-year free NOPEC Connect service ($240 value)

    Watch a short NOPEC Connect video to learn more about enrolling in the program.

    Utility Company Energy Incentive Programs

    Consider participating in local energy incentive programs, including First Energy/The Illuminating Company’s online home energy analyzer which helps residents gain a better understanding of household energy use.

    Cuyahoga County Community Toolkit

    The Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability and the GreenCityBlueLake Institute of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History partnered to create Sustainable Cuyahoga, a toolkit which highlights community best practices in sustainability from around Northeast Ohio.

    Solarize Cleveland

    Solarize Cleveland is part of a national campaign launched in 2015 by the World Wildlife Fund in partnership with the National Geographic Society, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark, and now backed by 23 corporate sponsors. The group enables all Ohio homeowners, not just Cleveland residents, to find major discounts and a variety of financing options for installing home solar, including a one-stop solar panel installation.

    Clean Energy Financing Hub

    The Hub brings financing for energy efficiency upgrades and solar projects at competitive rates to building owners—including small businesses, large commercial/industrial, local government, non-profit, and faith-based institutions—in Cuyahoga County.

    Cuyahoga County Hub Solar Financing makes solar effective and secures better pricing for area cities and non-profits by aggregating multiple solar installations across the County. The Hub also has cut the administrative, legal, and financing costs to make solar accessible for building owners who cannot capture solar tax benefits themselves. Explore financing from the program and get started on your solar project.

    Ohio Solar United Neighborhoods (OH SUN) Cuyahoga County Solar Co-op

    OH SUN helps Ohians organize solar co-ops to make going solar more affordable and accessible. The group is organizing a co-op in Cuyahoga County, which enables participants to save 15-30% off the system cost and build a network of solar supporters. Visit the Cuyahoga County Solar Co-op online for more information.

    NEORSD Stormwater Management Program Credit Workshops

    Attend a workshop to learn more about the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Stormwater Management Program and how you can reduce your stormwater fees through stormwater credits. Customers can obtain credit on their stormwater fees by taking measures to reduce the stormwater rate or volume flowing from their property into the regional stormwater system. Workshops are available on the website.

    For Kids

    It’s never too early to teach children to be mindful of their carbon footprint and to understand that their choices affect the environment. Encourage them to visit the following kid-friendly websites to explore ways to live an energy-efficient lifestyle:

    energy star
    Energy Star Kids
    Energy Information
    Administration Energy Kids
                US Dept. of Energy
    Science Education
  • Keeping, maintaining our tree canopy+-

    The City of Lakewood maintains all of the trees on public property, including those on tree lawns. Trees are removed when they are diseased or dead and pose a danger to the public. A certified urban forester supervises a crew of arborists who have all of the required equipment to trim branches, remove diseased trees including the stumps, plant new trees and shred the resulting wastes for recycling into mulch. Tree lawn trees are replaced according to a master reforestation plan. Mulch is available to Lakewood residents free of charge at the location near the Animal Shelter in the Rocky River valley. Logs are also available to residents for use as fire wood free of charge at the same location.

    As the city’s aging trees begin to die — many of them planted around the same time, 100 years ago — many of the warm and inviting canopies have disappeared.

    The city’s forestry department and Lakewood Tree Task Force have developed a comprehensive strategy to improve the tree canopy and add diversity to the variety of species around the city.

    In just two years, the organization has already helped plant dozens of trees at Madison and Lakewood parks, presented 19 recommendations to Lakewood City Council supporting tree legislation and worked with the city’s forestry department to plant nearly 600 trees around Lakewood.

    The city’s strategy also includes an effort to prepare the city for climate change, add diversity to the urban forest, withstand pest infestations and storms, and add in trees with more fall colors. More trees also means less storm water runoff.

    The Lakewood tree canopy has been assessed by satellite at 28.5 percent.

    “It’s good for a high-density, urban area,” said Chris Perry, the city’s public works unit manager, who oversees the forestry department. “But we can do better.”

    The goal is to increase the tree canopy by 10 percent, to 38.5 percent by the year 2035.

    Want to contribute? The task force is encouraging residents to support its Gift-A-Tree initiative.

    For more on the city’s tree strategy, see the city’s two recent videos: Planting Trees in Lakewood and Lakewood Working With the Tree Task Force to Improve Tree Canopy.

  • More info about the city's tree canopy+-

  • Are you having water- and/or sewer-service related problems? Give us a call Monday through Friday (from 7:30 AM to 4 PM) at 216-529-5941; for after-business hours, weekends, or holidays call Lakewood Police Dispatch at 216-521-6773.

  • Downloads about water, sewer+-

  • Clean Water Lakewood+-

    The Clean Water Lakewood task force is a group of Lakewood residents and business owners assembled to help identify the best paths forward for water infrastructure in Lakewood. This group is focusing on facilitating best solutions for controlling sewage overflows.

    Resource Group for Clean Water Lakewood Project:

    • Robert H. Greytak, PE,, Engineer and Program Facilitator at CT Consultants, focus areas include water and waste water.
    • Kristin M. Hopkins, AICP,, Planner and Lead Program Facilitator at CT Consultants, focusing on urban planning and community supported decision making.
    • Joyce M. Bond, RLA,, Landscape Architect and Program Facilitator at CT Consultants, focus area includes: green infrastructure.
    • Julia G. Lazar, PhD,, Scientist and Program Facilitator at CT Consultants, applied researcher in industry, government, and academia; focus includes pollution transformations, hydrology, and scientific communication.
    • Louis L. McMahon, JD,, Environmental Lawyer hired by City of Lakewood focusing on Clean Water Act compliance, partner at McMahon DeGulis LLP
    • Joseph J. Beno, PE,, Director of Public Works, Lakewood
    • Mark K. Papke, PE, CPESC,, City Engineer, Lakewood
    • Shannon C. Strachan, JD,, Assistant to the Mayor, Lakewood
    • Bryce Sylvester, AICP,, City Planner, Lakewood
    • Jared Bartley,, Rocky River Watershed Coordinator
    • Ermelindo Gomes, Ohio EPA, ,330-963-1196, Environmental Engineer
  • Clean Water Pilot Project+-

    The city of Lakewood is upgrading residents’ water meters and scheduling interior assessments for the Clean Water Pilot Study Project, which started in Lakewood in 2014. The study takes place in Lakewood, on Atkins and Eldred avenues, south of Hilliard and north of Delaware Avenue. In order for the city to meet its EPA compliance schedule, these assessments and upgrades need to be completed by May 1, 2015. The appointments are being scheduled now on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Appointment Scheduling Times

    • Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., or 2:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday at 5 p.m.
    • Routine work should take approximately two hours to complete, however, some may take longer based on configuration and condition of the house’s plumbing. Please contact Colleen Gillespie via phone at 216.529.6692 or via email at to schedule your appointment. Special appointment days/times can be made for those unable to be at the property during the above appointment times.

    About the Interior Access

    If the property owner is not available, an adult representative 18 years or older will need to be present during the scheduled assessment. The Lakewood team will all be carrying Lakewood identification cards. The city will need access to the water meter and sanitary sewer line in the basement. Please clear a route to these areas and a 5-foot radius around the base. Additionally, the team will need to know the location of all floor drains, utility tubs, sump pumps/pits, showers, toilets, etc. Please have the representative prepared to point these features out to the team. Your sanitary sewer lateral will be televised from inside the house to the street which may require snaking.

    Public Meeting

    The city will hosted a Clean Water Pilot Study Project update on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at Harding Middle School in the cafetorium. Representatives were on hand to answer questions. This work under the pilot study is required per our agreement with the Ohio EPA.

    More information