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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Bay Village had the highest residential recycling rate in 2015 with more than 73.5 percent of its residential waste being diverted from landfills. It captured the top place from Woodmere, which finished first in 2014. The Cuyahoga County...

Bay Village captures top recycling rate in Cuyahoga County

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Bay Village had the highest residential recycling rate in 2015 with more than 73.5 percent of its residential waste being diverted from landfills. It captured the top place from Woodmere, which finished first in 2014. The Cuyahoga County...

Bay Village captures top recycling rate in Cuyahoga County

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Bay Village had the highest residential recycling rate in 2015 with more than 73.5 percent of its residential waste being diverted from landfills.

It captured the top place from Woodmere, which finished first in 2014.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District recently released its annual Residential Recycling Report, which showed more than 35.4 percent of residential waste countywide was recovered for recycling or composting in 2015. That's a slight decline from 36.3 percent in 2014, but it's still more than 10 percent above the state's 25 percent goal.

The overall year-to-year recycling trend has been upward, according to the Solid Waste District. Countywide recycling in 2001, when tracking began, was only 18.7 percent.

The top five communities for recycling in 2015 were: Bay Village (73.57 percent), Woodmere (70.6 percent), Cleveland Heights (70 percent), Walton Hills (61.51 percent), and Bratenahl (60.82 percent).

The Solid Waste District's annual report includes the performance of 59 communities. What the county calls a recycling rate sometimes is referred to as a diversion rate because it includes materials diverted from landfills through recycling and composting.

Solid waste officials said the results are impressive, but more needs to be done to increase recycling participation and to reduce confusion about how and what to recycle.

"We've set out to reduce that confusion by creating consistent messaging about how to recycle properly," said Diane Bickett, executive director of the Solid Waste District.

The county has launched a public education campaign called "Recycle More, Recycle Better," which involved creating a new website at CuyahogaRecycles.org, and a broadcast, digital, outdoor and print advertising campaign.

The district attributes much of the success for rising recycling rates on communities increasingly providing residents with 64-gallon recycling carts for curbside collection. The large carts are used by more than 50 percent of local communities and provide a convenient way for residents to combine all recyclables into one easy-to-wheel container.

Chris Perry, Lakewood Public Works Department project manager, agrees that adding large recycling bins was critical to boosting the city's recycling or diversion rate. One of the city's goals is to reduce landfill disposal costs.

"Having a higher diversion percentage is key," Perry said. "This saves the city money in the long run, as there are higher costs associated with waste disposal fees."

Lakewood's recycling rate for 2015 was 51.6 percent, an increase from about 50.5 percent the previous year. The city's goal is to have a 60 percent landfill diversion rate.

"There's still work to be done," Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers said. "We will get there."

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