Toledo looking to retool recycling effort

Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 4:11 PM EDT
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Recycling is one of those ideas that's environmentally friendly. It has a lot of benefits, including saving landfill space. All it takes is for each of us to do our part. But apparently, a lot of us aren't.

A recent audit of Toledo's collected recycle load found 44% of what we put in our recycle bins cannot be recycled.

Ignazio Messina, spokesman with the City of Toledo admits, "Our recycling stream, it's no secret, has been contaminated in the past."

Forty-four percent sounds too high to the city, so it is appealing the audit, but solid waste officials recognize there's a compliance problem.

So the city will put 10 more inspectors on the street, paid for with a state grant.

Messina says inspectors will "go out, take a look at what they have in blue carts in there and leave an advanced reminder for the homeowner on your doors."

No fines would be issued to violators but the city wants full compliance.

An educational campaign was created a couple years ago that includes a sticker on the recycle bins telling you what you can toss inside.


Paper and Cardboard

Metals like aluminum and steel containers

Plastic containers, bottles, jugs

Glass bottles and jars

Milk and juice cartons


Grass and Yard Waste

Plastic Bags


Clothing and fabric

Deanne Van Buren is one resident who knows what *not* to dump but she's seen people abuse the process tossing carpet and furniture and even vacuums into the bins.

And put the wrong items in just one bin and a whole truck load goes to waste because some of what we toss in there, like yard waste, cannot be separated efficiently.

Resident Kath Gochenour knows that has a cost. "Money, it's costing us money, taxpayers money if they do that," she says.

According to Lucas County Commissioners, Toledo loses $400,000 a year in it's recycling program.

The county and city want to cut costs by creating their own recycling center but that's in the future.

Today, it's all about knowing what's unuseable and what's re-usable.