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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recycling Processes


Reducing waste requires people to think how to prevent trash and household hazardous waste from ending up in the garbage can. The garbage ultimately is buried in a landfill and never used again. To reduce, really means not to make trash in the first place. A simple habit to reduce waste is avoid buying and using disposable items such as paper products, straws and single serving containers. Another waste reduction method is to use products that will not harm human health and the environment. Using natural non-toxic cleaning products will limit the amount of chemical products in a home, which will prevent health and environmental problems. Incorporating reduction habits is the best way to decrease trash disposed of in landfills. It keeps our homes and the environment healthier too.

Reduce Tips

  • Pack lunch or a snack that does not involve throwing anything away when you are done. Make sure to include a cloth napkin.
  • On average, a household contains about 100 pounds of toxic materials. Turn in household hazardous waste during a Solid Waste District collection. Avoid buying cleaning and other products that contain hazardous substances.
  • Compost yard and food waste to decrease your trash and prevent the lost of nutrients.


Using something again is called reuse. Common materials are used again for the same purpose or for something different like washing dirty clothes or making a purse out of old jeans. It is expensive and unpractical to buy new clothing everyday. By taking care of the items and/or doing routine maintenance on goods, they can be used longer. For example, apply grease on a bike chain or clean dust and crumbs from a computer keyboard. Reuse activities can take skills such as fixing a broken game or sewing a torn shirt. The two main benefits of repairing broken items are saving money by making the purchase last longer and creating less trash. Also, reuse can require a touch of creativity to craft a treasure box from a carton, a bracelet from a toothbrush, a greeting card from an old CD case or a new piece of furniture out of salvaged wood.

Reuse Tips
  • Do not forget to help others by reusing unwanted items through donations to churches or non profit organizations or free cycle them. 
  • Use Where Do I Donate  or look up in the Pass It On guide to find community organizations to donate unwanted items.


Recycling involves collecting, processing and selling products made from old materials. For example, a recycled plastic soda bottle is chipped, melted and made into fiber, which becomes a jacket or sleeping bag stuffing. The old material in a new product is called recycled content. Some products are made with 100% recycled content such as a cereal box made only from recycled paper. An aluminum can might only be made from 40% recycled content because the can must be made from some bauxite (its natural resource) to keep it strong.


Most cities in Cuyahoga County will pick up recycling at the curb, which is usually the same day as garbage day. Since each city’s program is different, contact the city service center to find out your city’s recycling program details or check out the Guide to Community Recycling Programs.


If a city does not have a curbside program, drop-off bins may be available for residents. Recycling businesses may have recycling containers at their offices or in public locations. For example, Abitibi Consolidated collects newspaper, magazines and office paper in their large green and yellow paper retriever bins. To find other recycling businesses, refer to the Business and Industry Guide.

Recycling Processes

  • Recycled Paper Manufacturing

Paper is collected from residents through curbside and drop-off programs.

Paper is sorted by type and contaminates are removed.

Paper is baled.

Paper is mixed with water in a hydropulper.

Several hours later the pulp is done.

The pulp is poured onto a screen and then dried and rolled.

The rolled paper is then made into new paper products.


Calendar of Events

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program
City Service Departments

October 20, 2015
Zero Waste Workshop
Garfield Heights

October 27, 2015
Compost Seminar & Bin Sale
Parma Heights

November 3, 2015
Election Day

November 4-13, 2015
Election sign recycling event

November 5, 2015
Recycling Roundtable for Businesses
Garfield Heights

November 11, 2015
Holiday -- County offices closed

November 15, 2015
America Recycles Day 


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