HOW TO....

Recycle Right in the Heights

  • The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District's website is a fantastic resource for all things waste and recycling in Cuyahoga county. Use the "what do I do with?" search feature at the top to get answers to all of your questions.

  • Read about specific Cleveland Heights requirements here and here. Briefly, combine cans, cartons, glass, paper and boxes plus plastic bottles and jugs in blue bags.

  • Please note that while the city of Cleveland has temporarily halted its recycling services, this does not apply to the city of Cleveland Heights. Our recycling is sent to Kimble Transfer & Recycling, a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Twinsburg, where it is processed. The separated materials are then baled and sold.

  • Recycling is extremely localized, so always trust local sources over national our general web searches.

Support Cuyahoga County's plastic bag ban has been in effect since January 2022

“Disposable Plastic Bag” means a bag made from either non-composable plastic or compostable plastic provided by a Retail Establishment to a customer at point of sale for the purpose of transporting purchased items.

Disposable Plastic Bag does not include:

1. a bag the customer brought with them to the Retail Establishment,

2. a newspaper bag,

3. a bag provided by a pharmacist that contains a prescription drug,

4. a bag used to package a bulk item or to contain or wrap a perishable item such as meat, fish, produce, baked goods, or flowers,

5. a bag that a restaurant gives a customer to take prepared or leftover food or drink from the restaurant,

6. a bag intended for use as a dry cleaning, garbage, or yard waste bag

7. pre-packaged bags used for the collection of pet waste,

8. Non-Permitted Paper Bags and Permitted Paper Bags, as defined in this Chapter,

9. Bags provided to the consumer for the purpose of transporting a partially consumed bottle of wine pursuant to Section 4301.62(E) of the Ohio Revised Code, or

10. a bag provided at curbside pickup or point of delivery.

We live in a “throw away” society built for modern conveniences, but it’s easier to be green than you think!

In this workshop, the Cleveland Heights Green Team shares tips on ways to reduce household waste: primarily, single use products for personal hygiene and cleaning products.

Reduce Food Waste

  • Learn how to compost at home. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District is a great local resource for this and frequently hosts free seminars. Additionally, Worm Workers right here in Cleveland Heights will teach you how to vermicompost (compost with worms) and raises and sells compost worms.

  • If that sounds too scary (trust us, it's easy!), leave the composting up to Rust Belt Riders, who will come straight to your house and compost your scraps for you.

  • Another option is to use ShareWaste, where you can find and connect with local residents who will accept your scraps to use in their personal compost piles. It's free!

  • Find creative ways to use food scraps. Check out The Scraps Book from IKEA for lots of creative ideas (banana peel cake, anyone?).

  • Shop smart at the grocery store. Plan out your meals so you don't overbuy. Don't shop hungry. Buy the "ugly" fruits and vegetables that have a higher risk of being tossed.

Make Your Yard Greener

  • Mulch the fallen leaves in your yard and leave it to fertilize your grass

  • Plant native species and remove invasive, non-native plants. Ecological Heights has a wealth of knowledge in this area.

  • Replace your traditional lawn with a no-mow lawn

  • Help stop the reduction in our tree canopy - plant native trees and preserve existing trees whenever safe and possible. You can even request a free tree from Heights Tree People.

  • Eliminate pesticides from your lawn care maintenance

Make Your Home Greener

  • Most of us have older, less efficient homes here in the heights. Make your home more efficient by doing either big projects (like adding insulation or installing new windows) or small projects (like air sealing and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs).

  • Switch to renewable energy. Did you know that you can switch your electric supplier at any time to one with wind or solar energy, often for a very similar cost? Distribution and billing with still be handled by the Illuminating Company. Learn more here.

Protect and Preserve Our Water

  • Install rain barrels to capture water for gardening and lawn care, or create a rain garden. Plus, you can get a property credit from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

  • Do your part to keep our waterways clean. For example, do not flush prescription pills and never pour hazardous waste down the storm drain.

  • Preserve our precious resource whenever possible. Simple changes such as installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, fixing leaks, and turning off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your hands can make a big impact on both Lake Erie and your water bill.

Get Around Greener

  • Try getting around on bike! The Heights Bicycle Coalition is a great resource for route planning and safety tips.

  • Cleveland Heights is a great place for walkers, so save on gas money, get some exercise, and reduce your carbon footprint all at the same time.

  • Try to shop as close to home whenever possible to support local businesses and reduce travel distance.

  • Consider using public transportation or car-pooling.

  • If you are upgrading your ride sometime soon, consider switching to an electric car, which you can earn a federal tax credit up to $7,500 for.

Eat Greener

  • Eat locally grown and produced foods whenever possible. Look for local foods at the grocery store, purchase food from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, or go to one of our many local farmers markets.

  • Buy whole/minimally processed foods whenever possible, which have less packaging, require less energy to produce, and are often less expensive.

  • Think about the carbon footprint of the specific foods you eat and consider eliminating or reducing high carbon footprint foods. Meat and dairy tends to have the highest environmental impact. But, you don't have to be fully vegan to make a difference! Check out this cool online calculator which tells you how different food choices and frequency of consumption impact the environment.

Make Our City Greener

  • Make your voice heard! Use your vote to support city officials that stand for policies that improve or have minimal impact on the environment.

  • City officials are here to serve us and make our city a better place. Don't be afraid to bring any environmental concerns you have to them. As residents, we are the eyes and hears of Cleveland Heights and they depend on our vigilance.

  • Attend city council meetings where green topics are discussed to stay informed. Or, follow us along our journey, as we hope to be a trusted source to collect and disseminate this information.

False and Real Solutions to the Global Plastic Pollution Crisis