CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I-Team has found a big spike in the number of people now taking part in the city of Cleveland’s recycling program.

It’s a program that started following our 2020 investigation that showed all of the recyclables collected in Cleveland were going to a landfill.

The new program started in 2022 and Ren Brumfield, the city’s recycling coordinator, says there are now 72,000 households taking part.

“We are excited it’s growing,” Brumfield said.

With the growth, employees are noticing more contamination, which means trash is being mixed in with the recycling.

“It’s important for people to understand that we need to stick to that same list that’s recyclable,” Brumfield said. “When it comes to Thanksgiving, all that food, all the scraps and leftovers, those are not recyclable. Those do not belong in the recycling bin.”

To find out what can be recycled, click here.

Since the program started, many viewers have contacted us saying they watched workers pick up blue recycling bins and dump the contents in with the trash. 

City officials stress that items inside bins that are marked with a Cleveland recycle sticker are recycled.

There are still a number of blue bins at households that are not taking part in the program and do not have a sticker on the side.

Brumfield says he is hoping more people will choose to take part in the program.

“There is still a lot more of the city I would like to see recycle,” Brumfield said. “I think we all should so we could keep more things out of the landfill.”

Anyone who would like to take part in the program can sign up on the city’s website or call 216-664-3030.