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Rules for recycling have changed in Northeast Ohio

You may not know it, but the rules for recycling have changed and many of us are doing it all wrong.

For those who take pride in recycling, pay attention.

The rules are changing for those around the country, including right here in Northeast Ohio.

"China basically stopped taking a lot of the materials we use to export. So that is affecting what we can recycle here in Cuyahoga County," explains Diane Bickett of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

Cuyahoga County residents generate about 3 million tons of garbage each year, roughly half of it going to recycling facilities.

That's good. But there's a lot of bad, too.

"People are putting a lot of things in their recycling bin that shouldn't be there," says Bickett.

When it comes to recycling, just remember there are 5 core items:

  • cans
  • cartons
  • glass bottles and jars
  • paper and boxes
  • plastic bottles and jugs

Anything from any of those categories are safe to throw right into your receptacle. Watch my video above for more detailed information.

"These recycling rules apply to every community in Northeast Ohio because we're all served by the same recycling plant," says Bickett.

And it's important that we follow those rules, because when we don't, the cost of managing waste goes up for every one. We used to be able to ship our garbage off to China at the rate of more than 1000 containers per day. But now our trash is our problem.

For more information on recycling, visit cuyahogarecycles.org