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Zero Waste

The City saves money and natural resources by decreasing the waste generated through its own operations and within the larger city limits. This includes both residential and commercial waste reduction and recycling programs. The City diverts thousands of tons of waste from the landfill each year, saving over $1 million annually through waste disposal cost avoidance and recycling revenues, while reducing carbon emissions and conserving natural resources.

    Example Projects     

Electronic Waste Initiative
The Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District and the Delta Institute, conducted a series of workshops and case studies to reduce the impact of electronic waste (e-waste) on the Great Lakes in 2012. The focus was on life cycle analysis, procurement planning, recycling, and proper disposal.

West Side Market Composting
Composting at the West Side Market commenced on June 25, 2010. A 6-month pilot gathered data on the amount of compostable material produced at the market, the savings to the City through landfill diversion, and the demonstration of a best practice to the community. The grant-funded pilot turned into an ongoing compost program in 2011, resulting in an average of 1 ton/week of food waste diverted from the landfill.

The City has used EECBG funding to support the resource conservation components of deconstruction, paying for the additional labor, time and equipment costs associated with sorting and processing recovered materials. As a result, building materials are reused instead of going into landfills. The City of Cleveland will utilize the experience from this project to develop strategies for material recovery and deconstruction, and draft specifications and policies to expand material recovery and reuse from our residential demolition and deconstruction efforts. We are committed to leveraging Cleveland’s resources to create a sustainable deconstruction program that helps drive up material recovery and reuse while putting people back into meaningful employment.

Downtown Sidewalk Recycling
The City of Cleveland is constructing and installing 25-30 downtown sidewalk recycling stations as part of its initiative to reduce or divert recyclable content from landfills. The stations are designed to encourage residents and visitors to recycle, while increasing visibility of the City’s recycling efforts.

Office of Sustainability
Jenita McGowan, Chief
601 Lakeside Ave. Room 227
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

P: 216.664.2455
F: 216.664.2378
Ohio Relay: 711

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Mission Statement


The Office of Sustainability leverages Cleveland's wealth of assets by collaborating with the community to improve the economic, environmental, and social well-being of its citizens. To lead by example, the Office develops and implements policies and practices with City departments to embrace a culture of sustainability.

City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability