Recycling program takes off quickly
by Denise Strub
Feb 03, 2013 | 2431 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"Things have grown so fast," said Brett Moorman, Cleveland director of community development, of the city's new recycling program, which started Jan. 14.

In fact, Moorman said Clevelanders have embraced the program so well that Public Works employees are making more than three trips a day to empty the recycling bins north of the depot building downtown.

Additionally, Moorman reported to the members of the newly formed Cleveland Recycling Coalition that larger bins are already being looked at.

"When we bought the little bins, we thought that it would take forever for people to get used to the idea but we are picking up three times a day downtown and at public works once a day. Larger bins would cut down a lot on cost because we will not have to service them but maybe once a week," he said.

Currently recyclable materials can be dropped off downtown or at the Public Works building.

He said people going to Public Works should enter through the employee-parking gate and Public Works Director Ray Bell said a sign should be up at that location very soon.

"Things are just moving faster than we thought they would but we are very pleased," said Moorman.

The Cleveland Recycling Coalition is made up of businesses, industry leaders and interested individuals who can help improve the program.

Moorman said recycling does save the city money by reducing the amount of garbage at the landfill but more importantly are the pollution solving aspects.

"Everyone kind of knows what recycling does," Moorman said, adding that the statistics he discovered about recycling really got his attention.

"The average American generates about four pounds of trash a day. If you look at that in terms of just Cleveland that's along the line of 22,000 pounds of trash a day and about 70-75 percent of that is recyclable.

"A lot of people don’t realize how much can be done from recycled material," Moorman told the group and then showed them a selection of items made from recycled materials which were available from local stores.

Some of the items included berber carpet, floor tiles with vinyl backs, house trim, weed eater string and brooms.

Moorman said starting a recycling program is difficult and "almost never pays for itself for the first few years but your board (of aldermen) have chosen to do this program" knowing that it's not going to pay for itself.

Currently the program takes plastic bags and plastic wrap, plastic bottles with a one or two on it, aluminum and steel cans, mixed paper and cardboard.

The bins downtown are available for use 24/7 and Public Works can be used between 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Not to be dropped off for recycling are glass, medical waste items, Styrofoam, aluminum foil and food soiled items.

In a previous story, Moorman said Brown Brothers Scrap Metal Inc. in Cleveland is purchasing the recyclables from the city and selling them to recycling operations across the Mid-South.