Our team recently connected with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District and have some extra details to share about recycling in Northeast Ohio.
All lids should be replaced on jars, jugs, and bottles, including glass items. This helps plastics keep their shape which is important for the material recovery facility (MRF) sorting machines.
Flattened cans, bottles, jugs etc may not get sorted right when going through MRF sorting machines so we should not smash anything when recycling.
Clean and empty recycling is more important than dry.
Plastic coffee canisters with their lids are an exception to the bottles and jugs rule.
Juice boxes cartons can be recycled because they are cartons.
Tissue paper does not belong in mixed recycling but is ok in bulk paper recycling and compost.
Pizza boxes with grease-soaked through should not be recycled. When recycling pizza boxes, remove the liner and crumbs. If the box is soaked through, tear it in half and recycle only the lid.
Nationwide, recycling contamination is around 17% and Cleveland suburbs are similar. Cleveland itself (not including CWRU) is extremely contaminated and the city is working to reformat the program completely.
Check out the short videos/ commercials that the Solid Waste District recently released on "wishcycling!"