Cleveland trash collection mess costing you millions

Data pix.

CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team uncovered new evidence showing what’s happening with your trash and recycling wasting your time and money.

We’ve shown you city of Cleveland waste collection crews can’t get it done on time, and many of you complain they just can’t seem to get it right either.

The I-Team found the problems go back at least to 2017 and they are costing you millions in tax dollars. We revealed months ago, Cleveland crews picking up trash and recycling until well past dark working overtime night after night.

Now, the city  told us in 18 months, it spent nearly $2.5 million of your money just on overtime. The main reason behind that is delays caused by so many city trucks breaking down. There are also records showing the city is spending more than $50,000 a month to rent or lease trash trucks, and make sure they can get around to your streets and homes.

Back in the spring, Cleveland’s chief operating officer couldn’t explain how things got to this point and he didn’t think there were any warning signs.

The I-Team filed public record requests asking for bi-weekly director reports and found the waste commissioner did try to address the situation for months, sending memos to the highest levels of city hall. Brown did admit to the I-Team that he read those reports.

The I Team also recently exposed city of Cleveland crews dumping almost all of your recycling in with regular trash. First, we found it had been going on for months. Then, for at least a year. Now, we’ve obtained internal emails, showing the problem goes back to 2017.

Even then, a city official wrote to a private contractor, “We are losing recycling into the trash.”

City hall said the biggest problem has been too many people putting too much garbage into their recycling bins. So, most of the recycling collected from everyone gets contaminated. Then, almost all of it gets simply pushed into the trash dump.

Emails also show, even in early 2017, concerns raised by a private contractor, which has an agreement to haul away recycling collected in Cleveland.

No wonder the Mayor and his staff recently admitted the system is broken.

The city said it expects to lease or rent the extra trash trucks through October. The city said it expects to hire a consultant by October to look into how the fix the recycling system.

We`re watching to see how much longer all of this goes on and how much more money it will cost you.

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