Municipal Recycling

August 11, 2001


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Columbus, Ohio, has contributed $50,000 towards the Greater Cleveland Recycling Initiative, a recycling market development project modeled after the CWC (formerly the Clean Washington Center) in Seattle. The project’s goal is to strengthen the market for recycled-content products in the region.

ODNR joins a number of state, local and national organizations involved in the initiative, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District, Cuyahoga County Department of Development, Shore Bank, the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Program (CAMP) and the Edison Polymer Innovation Corp.

“Greater Cleveland represents 25 percent of Ohio’s population and it makes sense to take a look at recycling markets and opportunities that are available there,” says Donna Stusek, technical administrator for the ODNR division of Recycling and Litter Prevention. “The Cleveland area has a strong recycling infrastructure to collect, process and transport recyclable materials, and the Greater Cleveland Recycling Initiative will provide strategic planning tools to help balance market supply and demand.”

The project’s market analysis will be followed by a study of ways local businesses can take advantage of available recycled materials. Project goals include designing a recycling market development model which can be used by other solid waste management authorities in Ohio and elsewhere. One of the initiative’s first tangible projects will be recycling non-hazardous polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from the Cleveland Clinic, a local hospital.


The Austin-based Recycling Coalition of Texas is urging Texas communities to adopt a variable rate garbage collection system in which residents pay for the amount of waste they generate rather than paying a flat rate.

Variable rate programs have been implemented with success in eight Texas cities – Bryan, College Station, Garland, Plano, Edinburg, Weimar, The Woodlands and Austin – according to the coalition. Methods of tracking waste disposal vary, with some charging according to the size of the trash can and others charging by the bag or offering a combination of both cans and bags.

Nationwide, more than 1,000 communities have implemented variable rate programs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Colorado Recycles, Lakewood, Colo., a nonprofit organization that promotes voluntary recycling throughout Colorado, recently gave Eco-Cycle, Boulder, Colo., the 1997 Overall Recycler of the Year Award.

Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit recycling company which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, was honored for its commitment to recycling and expansion of new programs in 1996 when markets for recycled materials were at a record low.

Their accomplishments include signing the first-ever 20-year marketing agreement with Weyerhaeuser Recycling, allowing them to pass along favorable prices to clients. Eco-Cycle also signed an historic agreement with the Boulder County Jail to pay funds into victim’s Compensation Fund in exchange for inmate workers.


California made strides in 1996 towards achieving its mandated 50 percent waste stream diversion by 2000, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento. The Waste Board says that the state reached 30 percent diversion in 1996, which represents a doubling of the state’s recycling rate since 1990. This success is due to state-mandated recycling plans in all the communities, along with strong public-private partnerships between local government agencies, businesses, and other concerned organizations. There has been a strong emphasis on waste reduction as well as recycling, according to the Waste Board.


The Indiana Department of Commerce has approved six zero-interest loans awarded through its Recycling Promotion and Assistance Fund (RPAF). At least one of the companies receiving loans will provide end markets for post-consumer plastic recyclables. Cidone Industries, Indianapolis, received a $250,000 RPAF loan to help purchase equipment and hire workers for its business, which recycles more than 4,000 tons of scrap tire crumb and more than 2,700 tons of recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The company makes pipe used in irrigation and aeration applications.

Other companies receiving loans will recycle engineering-grade thermoplastics, scrap polycarbonate, and scrap aluminum.