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'Opt-in' to city of Cleveland's new recycling program or lose your blue bin, city officials say

The new program is an effort to keep trash out of recycling by allowing only residents serious about recycling to partake, Mayor Frank G. Jackson says.

CLEVELAND — A push to "opt-in" to the city of Cleveland's renovated recycling program is full-speed ahead.

Mayor Frank G. Jackson explained Friday afternoon why the city has taken on a new approach to reusing products. Reducing and reusing is the greener way, but has faced a winding road of confusion and concern in Cleveland.

"I was actually surprised to learn that there was no recycling,” Julie Morgan told 3News.

"Opting in" is the city's new approach to recycling that started in July. It's a bi-weekly program that's seeking residents who want to recycle the right way.

"I just opted in last week," Alex Hesketh said.

"I just opted in a couple of months ago," Nora McNamara added.

Clevelanders are catching onto the new program, but are asking, "What is this?" and "Why?"

"We didn't get out of business," Jackson said of the city initially ending its recycling program. "We just put a halt to it until we could reevaluate if we could do recycling whatever these new economic market conditions."

Problems with Cleveland's recycling program date back to April of last year. That's when the city started sending goods that were supposed to be recycled off to landfills.

"It would be annoying to, like, sort out all of your recyclables just to find out that it's going to the same place as the trash," Ahmer Sheriff admitted.

According to the mayor, this program is a new method of trying to keep non-recyclables from ending up in the blue bin.

"We then had to go in and empty the thing and treat it as if it were not recycled, simply because of people not in compliance," said. "[This] will allow us to have a better recycling program, and the compliance will be almost 100%."

Residents have until Oct. 22 to opt-in to the new program or your blue bin will be taken away, according to city officials. You can fill out a form to opt-in here.