CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM is getting action after we revealed all of your recycling in Cleveland now just gets dumped in a landfill.
City Hall will now have to explain.
Friday morning, we found Gwendolyn Arrington putting bottles and cans in her recycling container. But she and other taxpayers now realize they pay for a recycling system for nothing, so now there’s growing call for a refund.
“I want my money back. I’m not getting a service that I’m paying for,” she said.
This week, the I-TEAM found all City recycling has been going to a landfill for a month. The contract ran out for a company to haul it away, but City Hall never told anyone.
In an email chain among city councilmembers, Mike Polensek wrote, he was “informed by FOX 8 News the program has ceased.” He added, “We need a full briefing by the Administration.”
Another councilman wrote, “I would like to request a hearing on this. I learned about this latest news from a story on FOX 8.”
The I-TEAM went to Council President Kevin Kelley to ask how City Council will hold the city administration accountable.
“We’re going to begin with having a council hearing,” he said.
Kelley promises to address the Cleveland recycling program. He calls it too valuable to stop.
“I can assure you we are going to come up with a solution. But the best thing we can do is make sure we are giving the public more information than they want. Overcommunicating,” he said.
Last year, the I-TEAM revealed most city recycling already went to a landfill. We even put GPS trackers in recycling bins to prove it.
City leaders said too many people mixed too much garbage with their recycling.
We even found garbage in a dumpster for recycling outside City Hall. Even Friday, we saw the same thing.
Earlier this week, the I-TEAM went looking for city officials. Why didn’t they tell anyone all recycling now goes to a landfill?
At a news conference, Mayor Jackson didn’t address that, but he encouraged everyone to keep recycling anyway as he looks for a new company to take it.
“I still do it. I would ask the people to stay in that mode because we won’t be in this dillemma with recyclables forever,” he said.
Taxpayers like Gwen Arrington say just fix the system.
“I don’t mind paying my fair share but I expect work to be done,” she said.
The city is counting on a consulting firm for advice on what to about the recycling system collapse.
Cleveland City Hall did not respond to questions for this story. We’ll follow up when Council holds a hearing.