Refuse & Recycling FAQs « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
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Refuse & Recycling FAQs

Q:        Where is the City’s Refuse & Recycling location and how do I contact them? 

A:        Division Refuse & Recycling, 12920 Berea Rd., Cleveland, OH 44111, (216) 252-4322. Open:  Monday – Friday – 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM and Saturday – 8:00 AM – Noon PM 

Q:        What if I miss my collection?  

A:        Save it for the next collection day or bring it to the Drop-Off Facility on Berea Road. If the City receives a complaint and has to collect improperly placed refuse or debris from a tree lawn, the property owner may be charged a minimum $100.00 collection fee. 

Q:        What doesn’t the City collect from the curb?  

A:        For disposal information call (216) 252-4322.

  • Materials or debris left by contractors. Contractors are responsible for their own disposal.
  • Improperly contained or bundled materials.
  • Recyclables or yard waste set out in garbage cans or recycle bins.
  • Household Hazardous Waste, Tires, Motor Oil, Liquids, Paint, Solvents, Fluorescent tubes or CFL bulbs, Computers and computer equipment. 

Q:        What should I do when it snows?  

A:        Keep trash carts and recycling unburied from snow banks, clear of ice, and accessible to collectors. Place carts in a cleared driveway apron or shovel a level shelf into the snow bank, no higher than six (6”) inches from the ground for stability and safe lifting. Or set the cart out the following week once the weather improves.

Q:        How should I dispose of hypodermic needles, syringes, and other “sharps”? 

A:        Contain hypodermic needles and syringes in a purchased “Sharps” container or a rigid, leak-proof, puncture-resistant container with a tight fitting lid, i.e. detergent or bleach bottle, two (2) liter pop or juice bottle, or coffee can (with lid taped closed.) Mark container “SHARPS” and place inside the refuse cart or bring to the Division Drop-off Facility for disposal. Do not place loose sharps in the garbage. 

Q:        Can I mark my City-provided refuse cart with my address?   

A:        Discrete and removable decals may be placed on the cart to identify the address or unit number. Spray painting numbers on the carts is not allowed.

Q:        What shouldn’t I put in the refuse cart? 

A:        Recyclables, yard waste, dirt, stone, concrete, or building materials. Also, things we do not collect from the curb such as household hazardous waste, oil based paint, chemicals, pesticides, motor oil, liquids, tires, dead animals, and hot ashes.

Q:        What if my cart is damaged or stolen?  

A:        The carts are registered by serial number to a specific address and come with a ten (10) year manufacturer’s warranty against defects. The homeowner/resident is responsible for each cart. Contact the Refuse Department immediately at (216) 252-4322 for replacement details.

Q:        How should I dispose of my unwanted medicine?  

A:        Cuyahoga County has a Rx Drug Drop Box Program. Details about this program can be found at:  The City of Lakewood has a drop-box located in the Lakewood Police Department lobby at 12650 Detroit Avenue.

  • Unwanted medicine is any prescribed or over-the-counter medication that is expired or no longer needed for medical treatment.
  • Never flush unwanted medicine. Previously, people were instructed to flush unwanted medicine down the drain. This is no longer advised because we now know that flushing medicine can harm the environment. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems cannot remove pharmaceutical compounds from the waste water so these chemicals pass through treatment plants or septic systems into Lake Erie, the source of our drinking water. These pharmaceutical compounds also pose a risk to aquatic organisms.
  • Dispose with your household trash. Unwanted medicine should be disposed with your household trash after taking the following precautions. These precautions will ensure the safety of children and animals and prevent misuse of the medicine:
  • Keep the medicine in its original container. You may want to remove the label or conceal patient information or drug information with a marker.
  • Before placing in the trash, make the medicine unusable by mixing in some coffee grounds or dissolving the pills with water and sealing the original container with tape. Liquid medicine should be placed in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Place the container in durable packaging that masks the contents, such as a brown cardboard box.
  • Place the medicine on your trash as close to your garbage pick-up day as possible.
  • Wait for a free collection event. Some local organizations hold free collection events for unwanted medicines. To locate an event near you, log onto or or

Q:        How should I dispose of paint?  


  • Drop-off Oil Based Paint off at the Division of Refuse and Recycling Drop-off Facility at 12920 Berea Road. Oil based paint is Household Hazardous Waste.
  • Dry out latex paint. Latex paint is NOT hazardous waste and is comprised mostly of water, so must be dried out and disposed as trash.
  • To solidify latex paint: Allow the paint to dry by removing the lid and allowing liquids to evaporate over several days. This works well for small amounts (an inch or two in the bottom of the can).  Mix liquid paints with an equal amount of an absorbent material in the paint can or in a cardboard box lined with plastic. Leave open to the air to dry. Use cat litter, Fullers Earth, vermiculite or similar drying agent. Allow the paint to dry one layer at a time until all paint has hardened. When thoroughly dry, place the open paint can or box on the curb the night before your regular collection day or bring to the Drop-Off Facility. Leave the lids off so the waste collector can see the paint is hardened.
  • DO NOT dump paint on the ground or down storm drains where it will travel directly to surface and/or ground waters.
  • DO NOT pour it down the drain. While small amounts of latex paint can safely be washed down the drain, this practice should be kept to a minimum. Limit this to brush cleaning and clean-up.
  • DO NOT dispose of liquids in the trash. It may be released from the can when trash is compacted and may seep out of a waste collection vehicle onto your street.

Q:        I live on the parking side of the street. Where should I put my refuse cart?  

A:        Place refuse carts (serial number and lid opening facing the street) next to the street in the driveway apron, or at the corner of the driveway apron and tree lawn, where vehicles cannot legally park.

  • Cars cannot legally park closer than three (3’) foot from the edge of the driveway apron.

Q:        How do I find out how to dispose of or recycle all of the other items I want to get rid of? 

A:        The City of Lakewood follows the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s recycling and disposal program. You may search the many items you might want to dispose of and find instructions for proper disposal by going to the following link:

Q:        How should I dispose of a mattress, box spring, carpet roll(s) or other upholstered furniture items?

A:      All mattresses, box springs, carpet (taped or tied 4’ rolls) and any upholstered furniture, (all MUST be wrapped & sealed in plastic mattress bags). Place on tree lawn on your scheduled collection day. Bags are sold at the Drop-Off Facility for $3/each (cash, credit or debit).

If you have further questions you may contact the Division of Refuse at: (216) 252-4322.