Recyclable vs. Recoverable
Recycling fact: nearly everything can be recycled if you have the necessary resources, i.e., equipment, money, manpower, etc. In Cuyahoga County, our ability to recycle is robust but still not perfect. It is therefore essential for the residents of Fairview Park and Rocky River to educate themselves about what can and cannot be recycled locally. At a town hall meeting in March, a Republic Services representative explained to a group of Fairview Park residents that the key to effective recycling is figuring out what items are “recoverable.” Recoverable refers to what items can actually be accepted and recycled using our existing resources.
Do you know what can be recovered? The Cities of Fairview Park and Rocky River each offer a residential recycling program to homeowners. However, those programs are not a catchall as you cannot recycle everything curbside. Attempting to do so can actually contaminate recyclables and end up causing more harm than good. Supplemental recycling opportunities are available all around you if you know where to look. For example, those plastic plant containers taking up space in your garage? Rather than throwing them in the trash, recycle them at Lowe’s for free.
How do you find these opportunities? One option is to contact the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District. The District is a one-stop shop for recycling information and a great starting point for questions related to what recyclables are recoverable locally. District staff members have proven themselves to be assets to the communities of Cuyahoga County through their technical assistance, educational events, and grant programs. Visit their website at www.cuyahogaswd.org to find about the recycling programs available in your area.
Matthew Hrubey is a Fairview Park resident and an employee of the City of Fairview Park. He serves as Mayor Eileen Patton's liaison to the Fairview Park Green Team.