City Looks to Roll Out New Recycling Program

Parking could be restricted on pick-up days.

Good-bye, blue bags.

Hello, blue bins.

The city of Lakewood is expected to begin a “structured rollout” of its new refuse and recycling program, starting as soon as this summer.

City officials are considering a move that would switch the city’s recycling collection to an automated process, complete with new trucks and large blue bins.

City council’s public works committee continued its discussion on the topic at its meeting on Monday night.

The city could begin distributing the first 6,000 bins — out of a total 15,000 — this summer.

But the $1.5 million project will first need council’s approval.

In an effort to streamline waste collection — and save money in the long run — city officials are eyeing a plan to begin distributing plastic recycling containers to residents.

But, if approved, the plan would be implemented in phases.

The proposal would cost the city an estimated $53 for each of the 18,000 containers. The city would also need at least two additional large trucks, at about $250,000 each.

However, city officials have said the move could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year — through saved labor costs and fewer workers’ compensation claims as well as income from the recycled materials.

In a nutshell, the city receives money for recycled materials and pays to send stuff to a landfill. 

“The whole premise is that we actually shift more from garbage to recycling,” Mayor Michael Summers said last year. “We can go from 60 percent of residents recycling and take that participation higher — just chuck it in the blue container and take it out. No more messing with the blue bags."

Joe Beno, the city’s public works director, said the city will rollout the new program in three phases.

However, he added that many of the streets will be in Ward 1 on the west side of the city, because that side of town “already (has) parking restrictions.”

Clifton Boulevard and Lake Avenue are also obvious streets to begin with, he added.

“Each year, we will roll out (the program) to 1,000 houses per collection day,” added Beno. “That would cover the whole city within three years.”

The city will scale back from four collection routes to three, and cut at least one position through attrition to help reduce costs.

With a parking ban in place, Beno said the cost savings could be as high as $180,000; however, without a parking ban, the labor savings would be around $50,000.

Other details, including whether businesses will participate, haven’t been ironed out.

“I want to be efficient, but I want to realize real efficiency,” said Ward 1 councilman David Anderson, who isn’t on the committee, but attended the meeting to learn more about the proposal.

Part of the pilot phase plan is to spread the pickup around the city with various levels of pick-up “difficulty” on different streets.

“This is challenging because this is a big topic and there are lots of things to discuss here,” said Shawn Juris, Ward 3 councilman and chairman of the public works committee.

msk007 April 09, 2013 at 11:42 AM
If they put a parking ban on our street I will sell our house and move out of the city! I love this city but there simply isn't a spot open on the street any night. If people can't park on the street then there wouldn't be anywhere to park! We have a ton of doubles and triples on this street. Most families have 2+ cars. Lakewood driveways simply aren't big enough to handle more than 2 cars! I back the recycling but strongly oppose the parking ban.
kris April 09, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Most families do not have more than two cars. Our own reality is not always THE reality. I look at the potential $ amount saved per year and think, "Sure, one day a week we don't park in the street during pick up hours which are often while people are at work anyways? No problem." Sometimes there's a greater good beyond one individual's minor inconvenience. And, no offense, but if a few self-centric folks move because of something small and beneficial like this, I don't necessarily consider that a loss for our community.
Janis April 09, 2013 at 01:32 PM
What if people on the side with cars rolled the trash out to the other side of the street? The lawns are technically city property. Then all the pickup would be on one side and no one would have to find somewhere else for his or her car.
jim April 09, 2013 at 01:47 PM
We, the people and the our city goverment of the Great City of Lakewood are getting a little picky over noise and parking issues. Do the recycling program city wide, then make the adjustments (parking, man power,etc) where they are needed. But just get this program going already. if Cleveland and other cities can have a recycling program, why can't Lakewood. To The City Counsel, Mayor Summers, and Mr. Beno, get the recycling program going now...please....
Tmc April 09, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Why change what already works. What, to fire more people."However, city officials have said the move could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year — through saved labor costs and fewer workers". I have huge bags of recycle each time. I've never had a problem with collecting it and them picking it up. Also, Lakewood has a BIG parking problem. Many homes only have a small driveway with a double or triple unit. Not to mention the small apartment building's that don't have as many parking spots for all the people it houses. Most people have at least one car per occupant. Meaning if your married I'm sure you both have a car too. So why change a good thing that already works? To inconvenience people who don't have a place to park,(many people are second shifters who will be home in the a.m.), and to fire MORE city worker. All because some people would find it more convenient and easer to recycle with a bin instead of a bag. So wrong!! Just keep supporting firing people for convenience. It's the American (Corp.) way. Oh, I should add that I have a great job and a double driveway and don't know anyone who works for the city. So either way it won't affect me. I just think its wrong.
Pat Ballasch April 09, 2013 at 02:20 PM
How about rolling out a pilot project. Place the recycling bins in a test area & use an existing truck every 2-4 weeks to pick up recyclables. (It should take from 2-4 weeks to fill one of those big bins for most households. That way you should be able to accurately calculate potential savings. I understand the automated trucks require a fair amount of maintenance due to current design. I think it may also be smart to wait to purchase next generation vehicles to take advantage of more reliable designs.
The original Bill April 09, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Our house would easily fill up the blue bin in a week. Our garbage bin is the one we don't fill. Sometimes I don't even put it out because there is only one small bag in it. If this helps to get more people recycling it will be a good thing. I shake my head when I see those people with overflowing cans on the treelawn and no blue bags next to them. The city needs to crack down harder on these deadbeats.
Katie Woolfolk April 09, 2013 at 03:29 PM
I love this idea Janis! Such a simple solution.
jim April 09, 2013 at 03:38 PM
I live in a two family house. Which means we have two regular trash containers a week on my treelawn, plus my recycle container. There is a 2 family house across the street from me. that means i would have 4 containers in my yard if they put their recycle container on my tree lawn. wait till winter when the snow is high and they just leave it in my apron like they do with their 2 two trash containers already. NO WAY!!!
Paul Grimm April 09, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Bring back the mini trash trucks and backyard pickup!
Evan Hammersmith April 09, 2013 at 05:54 PM
If you live on a long block such as the Detroit Clifton block (west of manor park), and there's no spot on the street, you have to park on another street. That could be a 10 minute walk. There are many many streets in this town comprised of 2 family houses with 4 cars/house. If only 50% of the cars on a street had to relocate to another street, the adjacent streets would probably be over capacity. It simply will not work. Don't forget, half the houses in this town are doubles. That affects a lot of people. If you leave for work at 5:30am like I do, you can't be parked in by your neighbor. It's a real problem.
Barbara Greene April 09, 2013 at 06:45 PM
More jobs lost. Hate the proposed parking bans implemented by rich councilmen it won't effect. But then, who cares about the people?
Lynne Hammes April 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Why not stagger the pick up. Trash one day and recycleables the next?
John April 09, 2013 at 07:25 PM
not a bad idea, however your assumption is incorrect that the lawns are city property. quite the reverse. the homeowner actually owns the property to the midpoint of the street and the city maintains what is known as an easement on either side of the midpoint of the street to the sidewalk, and sometimes beyond.
John April 09, 2013 at 07:30 PM
the idea of the huge cans (which vessels we lovingly refer to as the "Edward Fitzgerald") was an enormous flop and a tremendous boondoggle for the city. Have you ever watched one of your elderly neighbors try to heave an Edward Fitzgerald up onto a tree lawn with a couple of feet of snow cover? The backyard pick up was a much better idea for those and other residents, and certainly helped the appearance of the neighborhoods. The incomplete emptying and knocked over cans results in wind blown trash strewn throughout the neighborhoods. I would love to compare the real costs of the old trucks with the back yard carts picking up, and the new trucks. Two new trucks at 250K each? Where are the savings from the decrease in city services? Did your taxes go down when they went to the Edward Fitzgeralds? Mine sure did not. This is doubling down on a bad idea.
John April 09, 2013 at 07:33 PM
The original Bill April 09, 2013 at 08:19 PM
What kind of a human being would just stand there and watch one of their elderly neighbors struggling with a trash can? Get up off your lazy butt and take it out for them. I have 2 elderly neighbors that I take out the cans for. They can also call and have the city take them out for them.
John April 09, 2013 at 08:22 PM
you assume I did nothing? what kind of person insults strangers on line with no basis in fact? that was uncalled for.
Colin McEwen April 09, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Let's be nice, folks. We're all friends here.
meituk April 10, 2013 at 12:15 AM
I thought another proposed option would be to have recycling done on an alternate day so there wouldn't be two bins out at a time. I think this would be a better option than having a parking ban.
Mark Rogers April 10, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Some topic like this always brings out the moronic comments....Kris: most homes dont have 2 cars, many do we have 5...Janis: people on the north side of Clifton are not going to roll their cans across 7 lanes to get it too the other side...and the most obivious ...Why would anybody follow these trash rules when they dont follow any other rules?? Parking Ban?? anyone ever read the signs about parking when snow exceeds two inches?? Ever seen any major change when the snow hits 2 inches?? NOPE, unless you count the morons who think it means park further from the curb.. Also ,Trash is always put out well before, sometimes days before the 6pm the night before rule, No one cares or does anything, some of these derelicts dont even use trash cans or sometimes trash bags, No one cares or does anything, people are too busy bitching about non sense like not being able to use their porch swing in winter because of a construction project, or the courts deciding if the term bicycle should be amended to include bicycle with more than 2 wheels, The fact is the city has serious issues beyond trash pick up, the fact that the roads are worse than ever, and more importantly there is no defined border of Lakewood and Cleveland anymore, Crime and trash just roll right in now a days and no one seem to care, so long a Drug Mart get build on time so as not to inconvenience anyone living on Grace Ave
DLSJR April 10, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Will commercial properties still have city provided recycling? Or will I be forced to pay a private company as I was when the city went to an automated trash system. I own a 7 unit apartment building and currently fully occupied with only 8 people. I strongly suggest that my tenants recycle in order to keep my private trash service cost to $100 a month. Either way I have to ask my tenants what they would rather give up, some veggie garden space, or our compost containers? I have no other area for containers. Guess I could always make someone give up their off street parking spot and park on Clifton.
Charlie Hargrave April 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM
When the garbage bins were implemented I was willing to give it time and see how it worked. It has worked out great, in my opinion. We often skip a week putting it out. We have been trying to follow recycling rules and end up with a good bit more blue bags than garbage bags most weeks. I think going with a blue can next to the garbage can is a good idea. I also think the program should be able to cut more than just one job. While not happy to see anyone lose their job, efficiency and cost-cutting are necessary in tough times. We have lived on a parking restricted street for over 15 years. Always a minimum of 2 cars with a boat or rv. For a period of time we had 4 cars and a boat or rv. Juggling cars just takes a bit of getting used to. Parking permits alleviate most of the restrictions on parking. Using a bit of common sense eliminates the problem of where to put your cans. If my small statured wife and my elderly mom-in-law can roll the cart out, anyone can.
SHAWN WITMER April 10, 2013 at 06:58 PM
I concur with Mr. Hargrave. The mess which the current bins sometimes create is a minor inconvenience. As the official family refuse czar, I welcome the ability to move the trash to the curb in one trip and without back strain (for me or the city workers). We have a dog and have to keep the driveway gate closed, so I was hauling the trash in bins and bags to the curb for years prior to the bins. If staggering pick-up days can avoid additional parking bans, I would support that. I work in Euclid and the entire city has a total parking ban on all streets seven nights a week from 2 - 6 a.m. so let's not prematurely presume what our options might be.
Lakewood Matt April 11, 2013 at 01:02 AM
I'm really confused about why having a different pick up day for recycling hasn't been discussed by the city. Since it is a different truck, how hard would that be? We would then not need to enact/enforce a parking ban that really is unnecessary. Maybe this is too much common sense for the city to consider.
Cargraph April 11, 2013 at 01:48 AM
I agree with you Bill. I KNOW these containers are filled with recyclable materials. Some people are too lazy (or ignorant).
jim April 11, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Wow..."Common Sense" and (Lakewood) "City" (Leaders) in the same sentence....really....never thought i would see that..
Avery Schlacter October 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Thanks for this I've been trying to figure out how the new <a href="http://www.kingrecycling.ca/garbage-bin-rentals.html">garbage bin rental in Toronto</a> system works and it's a lot more complicated.


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