I-Team: All recyclables in Cleveland going to the landfill

I-Team

CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I-Team has learned the City of Cleveland is now dumping all recycling into a landfill.

Last year, our investigations revealed breakdowns in the city’s recycling system.

And now, we’ve found, in Cleveland,  separating your bottles, cans, and plastic has become a complete waste of your time.

Tuesday, an I-Team camera rolled as a city waste collection crew picked up recycling set out by taxpayers on the west side.

But now, we’ve learned residents separate their recycling for nothing. Now, all of it goes to a landfill. Every last bit collected by city crews gets dumped in with regular trash by those crews.

The I-Team found the City of Cleveland no longer has a contract with an outside company to haul away the recycling collected by city crews.

 The last contract recently ran out.

**Read much more on the I-Team’s recycling investigation, here**

So now, taxpayers still pay to have separate city trucks pick up recycling, but it all ends up in the same place with regular trash in a landfill in Lorain County.

Tuesday morning, the I-Team went to see the commissioner over waste collection in Cleveland. He told us for answers to our questions, we’d have to go to city hall.

You may remember, last year Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and his top staff admitted to us the city’s recycling was broken.

At that time, most of the city’s recycling was already going to a landfill.

And we proved it by putting GPS trackers in recycling containers.

City officials at that time blamed residents putting too much of their trash in bins with recycling and contaminating it.

But who gets the blame for letting the city contract expire now?

Now, there’s no outside company to collect any recycling picked up in Cleveland, so it all goes automatically to a landfill.

Tuesday afternoon, the I-Team spoke to Mayor Jackson who said they sought bids for the recycling contract.  He said the bid received would end up costing the city too much money.  So as of now, nothing is getting recycled. 

“As of right now there is no separate deposit for recyclables,” the mayor said. “It is all going to the same place until we can get a contract that is more affordable.” 

For a year, the city has talked about hiring a consultant to fix Cleveland’s recycling system.  And now, the system is so broken, there’s no contract with any company to take away any of the recycling collected. 

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