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How To Recycle in Cuyahoga County: Back to the Basics


Avoiding Recycling Contamination

Recycling contamination is at issue across the nation and world, but is also a major problem here in Cuyahoga County. Recently, many media outlets have reported on how we’re being affected by China’s new environmental policies and the best ways to recycle properly.

Recycling contamination happens when well-intended recyclers mistakenly put the wrong items into their recycling. It can wreak havoc on the recycling process from Cuyahoga County to throughout the world.

Here in Cuyahoga County, the best way to avoid recycling contamination in your curbside recycling is to only recycle these five core items:

• CANS: Empty and rinse.

• CARTONS: Empty and rinse. Replace the cap -- it’s too small to be recycled by itself!

• GLASS BOTTLES & JARS: Empty and rinse.

• PAPER & BOXES: Flatten cardboard items, like cereal boxes, to save space.

• PLASTIC BOTTLES & JUGS: Empty and rinse. Replace the cap.

Place these items loose – not bagged – in your recycling bin or cart. All items should be clean, empty and dry. Plastic bottles and jugs includes items with an opening or neck that is narrower than the body.

Learn more about recycling best practices at