I-TEAM: Cleveland struggles to keep up with other communities when it comes to recycling

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CLEVELAND -- Think about this as many of you clean up from that holiday cookout and start separating your trash and recyclables. The I-Team has found many local communities do much better at recycling that Cleveland.

Last week, we revealed nearly all recycling picked up in the city gets mixed with regular trash.  Exclusive video shows nearly all of the recycling picked up by Cleveland city crews at the curb simply gets dumped in with regular trash. Cleveland city officials, including the mayor, admit Cleveland’s recycling program is broken.

“It’s not working. It’s not working for several reasons," said Mayor Frank Jackson.

The I-Team has now obtained Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District recycling rates for other communities in Cuyahoga County, and the majority do far better than Cleveland.

At the top: Cleveland Heights with 75%. Other leaders include Bay Village, North Olmsted, Parma Heights, Shaker Heights, and South Euclid with all over 50%.

Cleveland is among the worst, way down at 7%.  East Cleveland, Maple Heights, and North Randall also ranked poorly.

Many Cleveland residents are demanding better for their tax dollars, telling us they want city hall to make changes quickly.

An internal City of Cleveland study obtained through public records requests by the I-Team shows if nothing changes, a new contract to handle recycling for the City of Cleveland will likely cost millions of dollars more.

So the city is looking at either cracking down more on people who break recycling rules or even changing the program so residents have a choice to take part in recycling or not.

Residential Recycling Report

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