The Division’s mission is to provide an efficient and effective municipal solid waste program focused on customer satisfaction and recovery of resources.
Lakewood’s “Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative,” implemented in 2009, automated the City’s refuse collection system and mandated recycling at properties that receive municipal refuse collection. Automated refuse collection is the most efficient and cost effective system available today, and mandatory recycling participation saves tax dollars by reducing disposal costs and conserves natural resources. This Initiative provides efficient and cost-effective services while providing long-term economic and environmental benefits to the community.
Residential Curbside Collection+-
The City of Lakewood Division of Refuse and Recycling provides once-per-week curbside service for the collection of household refuse, bulk items, recyclables and yard waste to properties with one through four household units.
Please see map below to find your collection day:
Multi-unit properties with five or more units are responsible for contracting refuse collection however the City of Lakewood collects furniture and other large bulk items. Recycling for these units can be dropped off at the Berea Road facility from 7 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
The Director of Public Safety adopts Rules and Regulations for the placement of refuse, trash, bulk waste, yard waste and recyclables in a manner that will promote collection efficiency and the protection of the quality of neighboring properties.
Any violation of any rule or regulation may result in the property owner being charged for the actual cost of such work or the administrative cost incurred for the enforcement of such rule or regulation. Property owners are responsible for making sure their tenants are aware of and comply with Rules and Regulations. Ord. 1777.02
Regular Collection Hours: Monday through Friday – 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
*Holiday Collection Hours and days of collection are subject to change to accommodate collection in four instead of five days. Please refer to the Holiday Collection Schedule.
Setout Hours: Between 6:00 p.m. the night before collection and 6:30 a.m. on the day of collection. Please refer to the Holiday Collection Schedule directions for set out hours during holiday weeks.
Empty Refuse and Recycle Carts must be removed from the curb by the end of each collection day.
Early and late set outs are violations of Ordinance 1777.01 and may result in collection fees charged to the property owner.
Drop off hours
Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
***Limited to Lakewood residents using their personal vehicles – NO TRAILERS OR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES ALLOWED ON SATURDAY.
Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative+-
Have a look at this PDF to get the scoop about all the ins-and-outs of the city’s Green Refuse and Recycling Initiative. This document covers everything from disposing of construction materials and hazardous waste (such as paint) to obtaining an additional cart.
The drop-off facility is located at 12920 Berea Road. Please call 216-252-4322 for any additional information.
- Appliance & Metal Collection
- Automated & Bulk Refuse Collection
- Holiday Collection Schedules
- Recycling Guidelines
- Refuse FAQs
- Yard Waste Guidelines
- Multi-Unit Properties: Multi-unit properties with five or more units are responsible for contracting refuse collection however the City of Lakewood collects furniture and other large bulk items, and recyclables, on the regular day in their area.
- Public can collection: Refuse and Recycling Division employees manually collect from more than 200 curbside public street cans each week. The City’s new, large capacity, automated collection street cans save time and reduce litter. Please notify the Refuse and Recycling Division if you see an overflowing public street can.
Learn more about the city's green initiative+-
Holiday Collection Schedules+-
Holidays observed by the City of Lakewood may affect refuse and recycling collection schedules. The Division of Refuse and Recycling does not collect on Saturday or Sunday. If a holiday falls on Saturday, the holiday is observed on the Friday before; if a holiday falls on Sunday, the holiday is observed on Monday.
The Division of Refuse and Recycling does not collect refuse or recyclables on the following observed holidays.
Holiday Day Observed Date Observed
New Year’s Day Monday January 2, 2023 Martin Luther King Day Monday January 16, 2023 Presidents’ Day Monday February 20, 2023 Easter Monday Monday April 10, 2023 Memorial Day Monday May 29, 2023 Juneteenth Monday June 19, 2023 Independence Day Tuesday July 4, 2023 Labor Day Monday September 4, 2023 Thanksgiving Day Thursday November 23, 2023 Christmas Monday December 25, 2023
During these holiday weeks, set-out all collections, including Refuse Carts, Bulk Trash, Recyclables, and Yard Waste, by 6:30 a.m. on the recommended day listed below to assure collection. Late set-outs may not be collected, or if they are, the property owner could be charged for the collection.
When a holiday is observed on Monday:
Monday collections will be on Tuesday. Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready for collection by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.
When a holiday is observed on Tuesday:
Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday collection will be on Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.
When a holiday is observed on Wednesday:
Monday and Tuesday collections are on the regular day. Wednesday collections will be on Thursday. Thursday and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the regular day.
When a holiday is observed on Thursday:
Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the day before the regular day. Friday collection is on Friday.
When a holiday is observed on Friday:
Monday collection will be on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday collections, be ready by 6:30 a.m. on the day before the regular day. Friday collection is on Thursday.
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: www.rxdrugdropbox.org 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 rxdrugdropbox.org or www.drugawarenessandprevention.com or www.disposemymeds.org
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: http://cuyahogarecycles.org/
If you have further questions you may contact the Division of Refuse at: (216) 252-4322.
Holiday Recycling Tips+-
With the huge popularity in online shopping because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the holiday shopping season in full swing, the amount of cardboard be recycled in Lakewood has increased immensely.
Here are a few suggestions to aid the city workers in recycling cardboard.
- Breakdown your cardboard boxes whenever possible. So many residents place one or two large boxes in the toter and then throw the rest on the tree lawn. This defeats the purpose of the automated process. A city worker must pick-up the cardboard manually which is labor intensive and not economical. In addition, when you do not break down the cardboard boxes the automated truck fills-up faster. The recycling truck must drive all the way to the recycling center in Twinsburg daily. Those fuel costs add up.
- Many Lakewood residents run their businesses from home and recycle much cardboard weekly. Try to get your cardboard in the toter, but if you have an abundance, please break it down and bundle it with rope or strong string. Remember, you can always drop it off at the recycling center yourself. The hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Styrofoam is not recyclable and should be placed in the garbage toter whenever possible. If you place a cardboard box on the tree lawn and there is Styrofoam in it, the cardboard will NOT BE RECYCLED.
- If your recycling toter is not near full, you do not need to put it out weekly. This cuts down on the immense amount of labor that the city workers expel retrieving trash and recycling.
- If you place ANY type of food or food remnant in the recycling toter, you will contaminate the entire load. Please remember that every container must be rinsed-out and no food should be placed in the container.
- Wrapping paper should be placed in the recycling toter whenever possible. If there is no room, place in box or bag and label for the city workers. Otherwise, they will think it is garbage.