Recycling is an important way for individuals and businesses to reduce the waste they generate and reduce the negative impact of that waste. Because recycling is big business in Ohio, every time you recycle you support the many companies and employees doing this important work. So reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled-content products. Your efforts benefit our natural world and our economy.

Ohio EPA and your local solid waste management district are responsible for implementing statewide waste reduction, recycling, recycling market development and litter prevention programs. An important part of this duty is implementing Ohio's Solid Waste Management Plan and encouraging Ohioans to reduce waste, recycle materials and buy recycled-content products.

The graphic to the left shows some statistics about recycling and gives tips about how you can help. Click on the image to enlarge or download a PDF. So, what else can you do to help keep Ohio beautiful?






Consider Your Footprint

Environmental impact is a value judgment no different from weighing factors like price, performance, after-the-sale service, personal tastes or social concerns when making a purchase. Some of those judgments, like which items are over-packaged, can be made in the aisle as you scan the shelves. Others involve reading labels, and if your heart is really in this, you can do some homework to arm yourself with information before you hit the store. In addition to labeling about whether a product or package is recyclable, you may also see:

  • Other single-attribute labeling, such as biodegradable or not tested on animals
  • Advertisement of a corporation’s financial support of a particular environmental or social organization or cause
  • Promotion of a corporation’s environmental, personnel or social policies
  • Third-party certification, seals of approval or recommendations

You may want to scrutinize any such claims. See if independent observers can back a corporation’s positive self-assessment. The Federal Trade Commission, as well as several consumer information and environmental organizations, can be good resources. The commission has taken action in a number of cases involving alleged deceptive or unsubstantiated environmental advertising claims.

Some third-party consumer and environmental groups (Green Seal is the most prominent in the United States) look at the life cycle analysis of the environmental impact of a product from extraction of the raw materials, through production and use to final disposal or recycling. The impact of recycling is factored into such analysis but sometimes takes a back seat to other environmental concerns. A household cleaner in a 100 percent post-consumer paperboard box may rank lower than one with less post-consumer fiber because the product is high in acidity or contains volatile organic compounds.

Eliminate, Minimize, Substitute - Zero Waste

Recycling is just part of the picture. Reducing the amount of waste you generate and reducing your reliance on disposable convenience products are other facets of waste reduction. Waste reduction saves money, conserves natural resources and reduces pollution, including the gases that cause climate change.

Here are some easy things you can do right now to reduce your waste and, in many cases, save money:

  • Buy less/use more. Americans throw away more than 1/3 of the food they buy in grocery stores.
  • Buy reusable containers with lids or reuse margarine and deli tubs to store leftovers instead of using wraps, bags and foil.
  • Buy in bulk.
  • Buy quality.
  • Buy concentrates.
  • Bring your own bags. Many stores sell canvas shopping bags and give small discounts to shoppers each time they use them. Don't accept a bag at checkout if you're buying a few items you can handle without the extra waste.

Zero Waste

You may have heard the term zero waste, but what does it mean? Zero waste takes reduce, reuse, recycle to a whole new level. Recognizing that the steps we've already taken may not be enough to ensure a sustainable future, the zero waste initiative focuses on finding new uses for materials that used to be considered waste. Manufacturing, packaging, standard use and even marketing practices are examined to see what steps can be taken to improve efficiency, save money, reduce water use, prevent creation of pollution and emissions, conserve energy and minimize or halt the use of virgin materials.

Public, private, governmental organizations and businesses are beginning to examine and embrace zero waste policies as a way to protect health, save money, reduce climate change and promote sustainability. Even you can work toward a zero waste future. Here are three new words to get you on the right track: Eliminate; Minimize; and Substitute. 

One Family's Story

'Trash Day' usually entails lifting over-filled plastic bags to the curb or rolling 90-gallon totes down the driveway, but not for the Johnson Family in Mill Valley, California. They choose to live a "zero waste" lifestyle and reap the rewards. Below are some tips they offer to lower your waste in the kitchen.

  • Use alternatives to disposables (swap paper towels for reusable rags).
  • Buy in bulk or at the counter (bring reusable bags, jars or bottles).
  • At default of bulk, find a supplier or make it yourself (can your own food).
  • Shop the farmer's market (they will take the egg carton and vegetable baskets back for reuse.).
  • Learn to love your tap water.
  • Use bulk castile soap as a dish/hand cleaner and baking soda as a scrubber.
  • Turn your trash can into a big compost keeper (turn your food waste into compost and use on your garden).
  • Reinvent your leftovers before they go bad (review your recipes and only keep the recipes that can be achieved with zero waste in mind.).
  • Invest in a pressure cooker (halves the cooking time).
  • Reuse single-sided paper for grocery lists.

"I confess: I need to offset my yearly flight to France, where I was born and raised...I believe that the Earth has been trashed. Enough is enough. How did we ever think that there was such thing as 'away' in the term 'throw away?' We're all responsible, every time we buy, we vote. Manufacturers are candidates. Consumers are voters. Let's start voting right." ~Béa Johnson at

Full Circle: Buying Recycled Content Products

Thanks in large part to citizen demand, recycled material is turning up in an increasing array of products and packaging. By seeking out and selecting those products, you can encourage manufacturers to use recycled material in their feedstock and motivate them to use even more recycled material.

A high percentage of post-consumer materials can be found in four types of product packaging:

  • Aluminum beverage cans: The average aluminum beverage can is made of more than 51 percent recycled aluminum from old beverage cans. With more than five of every 10 aluminum cans being recycled in the United States, they are the most recycled beverage container.
  • Glass bottles and jars: Approximately 35 percent of glass in glass bottles in the United States is recycled material. Generally, glass must be separated by color to have value in new bottle manufacture, but mixed glass is also used as abrasives in sandblasting, aggregate in roadbed construction, beads in reflective paint, frictionators in matches and ammunition and other applications.
  • Steel cans: A little less than 60 percent of steel cans sold in this country are returned for recycling into a variety of products. More than 28 percent of the steel in an average steel can is post-consumer.
  • Molded pulp containers: Paperboard egg cartons, fruit trays and flower pots are made from high percentages of recycled paper. Overall, recycled paper supplies about 35 percent of the U.S. paper industries’ raw materials.

Support the Recycled Materials Market

Recycled material is used to produce several other types of packaging and non-durable goods, but they compete with items made with no post-consumer material that often are priced lower than recycled-content counterparts. Seeking and purchasing recycled content items can be particularly important as it sends a strong signal to manufacturers that recycling is good for business.

  • Paperboard boxes: Recovered paper and paperboard accounted for nearly 38 percent of new paper production in the United States in 1998 but read the label for post-consumer content.
  • Plastic bottles and jugs: Of the two types of plastic beverage containers generally accepted by residential recycling programs, HDPE is generally used to make plastic lumber and containers for non-food items. PET goes primarily into textiles and carpeting. Soft drink and bottled water makers have been slow to use recycled PET in new bottles, but new technology (developed with the support of a Recycling Market Development Grant) is making this sort of “closed loop” recycling more feasible. America’s plastics manufacturers have far more capacity to use recycled plastic than consumers are recycling. Plastics increasing role in consumer packaging make it particularly important to recycle plastic and to seek products made from post-consumer plastic.
  • Bath and facial tissue, napkins and paper towels: Competitive in performance and price with non-recycled alternatives, these disposable paper products are often made from lower grades of mixed paper. While not recycled into new paper products for obvious reasons, paper products that are flushed after use are often composted with other wastewater sludge. Other paper tissues and towels can be added to the kitchen scrap compost pile.
  • Writing paper and envelopes: The push by some business and government agencies to provide markets for high-grade recycled office paper helped make high-grade recycled papers more widely available.

Make Informed Buying Choices

Some manufacturers, advertisers and marketers know people are shopping with the environment in mind, and some use labeling to create the appearance that their products are compatible with those values. Just because a product or package carries a recycling symbol does not mean it is recyclable or that it is recycled in your community.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued Green Guides designed to help marketers ensure that the claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful and non-deceptive. To help users understand these guides, the FTC has developed a special website that answers some of the more common questions about green marketing and the standards businesses must meet. Questions or complaints about suspicious marketing claims can be made with the FTC Consumer Response Center at (202) 326-2222. The Internet and the local library are good places to launch your own search for the facts. Here are a few things you should know:

  • A product or package may be marketed as recyclable if it can be separated and collected from household and commercial trash for reuse or recycling through an established recycling program. It does not necessarily mean the item is recycled in your community's recycling program. If you're not sure, contact your recycling service provider to find out.
  • As a customer service, some businesses recycle products that aren’t part of the community recycling program. For example, some grocery stores take back their plastic grocery bags. Some toner cartridge makers allow consumers to return their empty cartridges for re-manufacturing.
  • Many disposable cameras are actually recycled after the film is processed.
  • Recycled may refer only to scrap material gathered during manufacturing, such as scraps of paper left over from cutting envelopes. Products and packages made from material gathered in community recycling programs should be identified as post-consumer material and should indicate what percentage of the material is post-consumer.
  • If a label says recycled, it must tell the percentage of recycled content, unless it’s 100 percent.
  • The international recycling symbol means that the product is both recyclable and made of recycled materials. If only one of these claims is true, the manufacturer should say which one.

Common household products containing hazardous materials can pose a threat to people and the environment, especially when handled or disposed of improperly. Whenever possible, buy the smallest amount of material needed to get the job done or use a less-hazardous alternative in place of the hazardous product. If you can't use up a product, donate it to someone who can use it. In many cases, even products that have been stored for a few years can still be safely used according to label directions. In addition, some wastes such as used motor oils, solvents and car batteries can be regenerated or recycled.

For more information about alternatives to toxic household products and protecting your family and pets, visit the Public Interest Center's webpage.

Visit the Ohio EPA recycling directory to locate recycling opportunities near you by entering your city, state and/or zip code and then a search term. You may also search for pre-set categories using the material search link. Search results may include curbside recycling programs, drop-off recycling locations, reuse stores and other service providers. Contact the facility or organization listed in the search results for details or questions.

Many recycling and litter prevention activities across the state are controlled locally. Use our recycling and litter prevention map to quickly find information for your county.

Aerosols/Propane Gas Cylinders

Never recycle or dispose of aerosol cans or propane gas cylinders unless they are empty. 

Many household recycling opportunities accept empty aerosol cans. If the product is non-toxic, the remaining aerosol can contents can be discharged into a box (or onto trash) outside and away from ignition sources, children and pets. Protect your eyes and skin and avoid breathing vapors. Allow the box to dry outside, and dispose of the dry box and empty can in your regular trash or recycle. Caution: Do not dispose of the wet box into a closed garbage can because vapors can build up inside the can and could cause a hazard.

Propane gas containers can be recycled as metal scrap or disposed of only after the valve is removed by a professional and there is a hole that clearly shows it is empty. If you are considering refilling the cylinder, be sure to take it to a knowledgeable gas cylinder retailer or recycler.


Most appliances can be easily recycled at a scrap yard. Refrigerators, air-conditioners and humidifiers contain environmentally harmful refrigerants that should be removed before recycling. If the scrap yard is not certified to remove refrigerants, then you should have the appliance tagged by a certified refrigerator service company after the refrigerant is removed.

Contact your solid waste management district or check the Ohio EPA recycling directory to see if there is a recycling opportunity near you. You can also refer to U.S. EPA’s information about safe disposal of refrigerated household appliances.

Automotive Fluids/Used Oil/Other Fuels

Auto service centers and auto parts stores may accept some automotive fluids, including antifreeze, used oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluids from residents. Automotive fluids such as gasoline and brake fluid are dangerous because they are flammable or reactive. Contact your solid waste management district or one of these registered used oil collection centers to see if there is a recycling opportunity near you.


Check the Ohio EPA recycling directory to find locations that accept batteries from residents. Batteries Plus stores will also accept most battery types from residents for free.

Retailers of lead acid batteries (car batteries) are required to take your old battery for recycling when you buy a new one, and many computer and retail stores will often accept rechargeable batteries for recycling. 


Many electronic items are recyclable. Best Buy, Staples and other retailers offer free recycling for most electronic products.

Check the Ohio EPA recycling directory or contact your solid waste management district to see if there is a recycling opportunity near you. U.S. EPA’s Plug Into eCycling website is a great source of information about handling and disposing of used electronics safely. Their site also includes statistics and a link to the Electronics Waste Management in the United States through 2009 report.

Read more about electronic waste management.

Fluorescent Bulbs/Thermostats/Thermometers

For information about proper handling and disposal of fluorescent bulbs, including guidelines for cleaning up a broken bulb, see Ohio EPA’s compact fluorescent light bulb webpage

Fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury and recycling is recommended. Mercury is also found in other household items, such as old thermometers and thermostats. Home Depot and Lowe's offer free recycling of compact fluorescent bulbs at all of its store locations. Contact your solid waste management district or refer to this list of computer, fluorescent lamp and ballast recyclers to see if there is a recycling opportunity near you.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household hazardous waste includes cleaning products, solvents/paint removers, stains/varnishes, unknown substances, as well as aerosols/propane tanks, automotive fluids/used oil/other fuels, batteries, electronics, fluorescent bulbs/thermostats/thermometers, paint and pesticides/fertilizers. Some household hazardous waste can injure sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

Ink Cartridges and Toner


Latex paint can be dried out and put in the trash. You can purchase paint hardeners from paint and home improvement stores, or you can mix the paint with cat litter or sawdust. Leave the lid off to speed up the drying process and to allow your trash hauler to verify that the paint is not liquid. Do not leave open cans near ignition sources, pets or children.

Check the Ohio EPA recycling directory or your solid waste management district to see if there is a recycling opportunity near you.


Pesticides are chemicals used to kill or control household and garden pests such as weeds, insects and rodents. Most pesticides are designed to work on a wide number of pests. This also makes the pesticides harmful to useful insects, animals and plants. Improper pesticide disposal can harm humans, pets, livestock and the environment. Throwing pesticides in the trash, on the ground or pouring them down the drain can pollute lakes, streams and drinking water.

When you consider using pesticides, first ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really need a pesticide to get the job done?
  • What is the least toxic product that I can use?
  • How much do I need to buy?

To avoid possible health and environmental problems, carefully follow the instructions on the household pesticide container and use only as much as the manufacturer recommends to get the job done. If you must use a pesticide, it’s important that you use, store and dispose of it properly.


Pharmaceuticals/Prescription Drugs

Ohio EPA regulations do not prohibit homeowners from throwing medications in the trash. However you should refer to the pharmaceutical waste page for guidance about proper drug disposal as pharmaceuticals may be misused and can damage waterways if flushed.

Read more about infectious waste management here

Smoke Detectors

Find out how to recycle your old smoke detector here

Sharps (Needles and Syringes)

Disposing of loose needles, lancets and syringes (sharps) into household trash poses a risk to family members and solid waste workers who must handle the waste. Ohio law allows for the disposal of sharps generated by an individual for the purposes of their own care or treatment at home. However, it is strongly encouraged that all sharps be packaged in an appropriate container and labeled to convey its potential hazard.
Ohio EPA's Disposal of Household Generated Sharps guidance document provides disposal tips to homeowners who generate sharps for purposes of their own care or treatment.

Read more about infectious waste management here


Illegally dumping scrap tires creates a nuisance that obstructs the natural beauty of Ohio’s landscape and can accumulate water, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes that transmit a variety of diseases to people and animals. Illegally open burning scrap tires can create immediate health hazards to persons with breathing problems.

These lists of scrap tire facilities and scrap tire transporters are available to see if there are local companies that will accept your tires. Most tire dealers and some Ohio EPA licensed solid waste facilities will also accept tires for a fee.

Read more about scrap tire management here

Yard Waste/Food Scraps

Yard waste and kitchen food scraps make up 25 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Backyard composting is a great way to recycle this waste. Many homeowners find backyard composting easier than bagging their yard-waste, storing it and hauling it to the curb or drop-off center. This Citizen’s Guide to Composting has more information.

Your household’s trash service may provide yard waste collection. U.S. EPA’s website also has information on composting and a guide to creating your own compost pile. Contact your solid waste management district or refer to this list of Ohio EPA registered composting facilities to see if there is a composting facility near you. 

Read more about composting and food scrap recovery and management.

Educational Materials

Sustainable Food Scraps Management Curriculum

Managing Food Scraps for a Sustainable Food System and the accompanying presentation Composting: Recycling Through Nature make up a three-hour curriculum consisting of four activities. Students will become aware of behavior resulting in food scraps, the importance of healthy soils and how to use composting to manage food scraps and improve soil health. The “Composting: Recycling Through Nature” presentation used in activity three teaches students the basics of composting science and how to assemble a composting pile. This presentation can also be used as a standalone presentation for any age group. Although initially designed for students in grades 6-8, the curriculum can be easily adapted for other grades and the general public. 

This curriculum was developed as a collaborative effort between Ohio EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. 


Garbology interactive site takes students on a journey - into garbage. Along the way, young readers learn which items should be reused or recycled, and which should be composted. Each time a student drags a piece of trash (or a banana peel, or a can) to the right receptacle, an interesting fact appears on the screen. For example, putting the plastic bottle in the recycling calls up this bit of trivia: Americans make enough plastic each year to shrink-wrap Texas. Putting an item in the wrong bin produces comical results. A fun and engaging site, young readers will learn important lessons about our trash, and our world.

Green Ribbon Exhibits Manual

Green Ribbon Exhibits: A Manual for Implementing a Green Exhibit Recognition Program at Conferences and Events is available for viewing and downloading. The manual was a collaborative effort between the Ohio EPA, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).

Reducing Wasted Food and Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants - U.S. EPA

This toolkit is designed to help food service establishments and commercial kitchens save money by reducing wasted food and packaging with suggested strategies, templates and case studies. 


Social Marketing for Recycling in Ohio Guide

Social Marketing for Recycling in Ohio provides an introduction to social marketing for local community recycling programs. Social marketing is a systematic procedure that uses commercial marketing strategies to change behavior. Social marketing activities include setting measurable goals, conducting research about target audiences and developing unique promotional tools for different target audiences.

Social marketing techniques can be applied to a variety of community recycling opportunities, both small and large in scope. For example, social marketing projects may target a single drop-off, a school recycling program or many neighborhoods in a curbside program. The social marketing approach explained in Social Marketing for Recycling in Ohio is community and opportunity-based. It provides local programs with ways to increase recycling one opportunity at a time, which is especially appropriate in communities where resources are limited. For programs with funding available to hire a consultant, the guide provides enough information about social marketing to develop a request for proposal and evaluate submissions.

Social marketing is useful because traditional promotional efforts are often inadequate. Traditional recycling campaigns inform people about the benefits of recycling and how and where people can recycle. Researchers have discovered, however, that just knowing about an activity and its benefits is not often enough to change behavior. Even those who say they believe recycling is the right thing to do often fail to make good with their behavior. Although changing attitudes is the first step toward acquiring support for recycling, more is often needed to change behavior. Social marketing provides a way to discover what motivates people to engage in an activity based on many factors other than attitude change alone. It provides a way to discover people’s perceptions about potential barriers to recycling, some of which may be unique to each recycling opportunity.

It provides ways to discover what behavior modification techniques may increase recycling and ways to design and evaluate promotional campaigns for different target audiences.

U.S. EPA's Resource Conservation Website

U.S. EPA's resource conservation website is a great source of information and resources to help everyone learn how to manage materials more effectively and conserve resources at home and work. Here are some of the items they cover:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Learn ways to reduce household and industrial waste. Three primary strategies for effectively managing materials and waste are reduce, reuse, and recycle.

    • Reduce waste by making smart decisions when purchasing products, including the consideration of product packaging.

    • Reuse containers and products.

    • Recycle materials ranging from paper to food scraps, yard trimmings and electronics.

    • Purchase products manufactured with recycled content.

  • Reducing Food Waste: Information for businesses and organizations on reducing food waste.

  • Composting for Facilities: Learn more about industrial composting.

  • Sustainable Materials Management (SMM): SMM is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. Learn what EPA is doing to advance SMM and how to become involved.

  • Conservation Tools: Tools and programs that promote waste reduction and recycling. Read guidelines for businesses regarding purchasing recycled materials, controlling solid waste management costs and streamlining and improving operations. Learn about evaluating effectiveness of recycling in the community.

  • Common Wastes and Materials: Common materials from the municipal, commercial and industrial waste streams that have good opportunities for recycling and reuse.

Windows on Waste

Windows on Waste is an interdisciplinary, environmental studies resource for elementary teachers and other environmental educators. It endeavors to meet the needs of competency-based education and constructivist approaches to teaching and learning. The lessons are grounded in general environmental studies concepts as applied to solid waste management issues, with particular emphasis upon recycling and litter prevention. The lessons also address many important educational concerns in Ohio.

Word Search

Industry and Technical Resources

If your business or organization generates waste, you should know that anyone who generates a waste (other than a household) must determine if the waste meets the definition of a hazardous waste and must store, treat, transport and dispose of their hazardous waste, according to Ohio’s hazardous waste rules. If you need more information, or want to be sure you're following the law, contact Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP).

The resources below are provided for those who are looking for more detailed information about recycling, waste reduction and environmental regulations related to waste management.

Ohio EPA's Answer Place and Publications Catalog

Use the Answer Place to search frequently asked questions or submit your own. You may also look through the publications catalog for forms, guidance documents, publications, newsletters, checklists etc., for a variety of Ohio EPA issues and topics.

Compliance Assistance and Rule-making Information

Sign up for Ohio EPA's information service to receive resources such as division newsletters, fact sheets, training announcements, information on funding opportunities, etc. For several divisions, this also includes notification of new rules or changes in rules.

Ohio Waste Characterization Study

In early 2003, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) retained Engineering Solutions & Design, Inc. (ES&D) to perform a series of waste characterizations (also referred to as waste picks or waste sorts) at 11 selected solid waste management districts located throughout Ohio. The waste characterization study process included field sorting events at facilities located within each of the selected solid waste management districts. One field sorting event was undertaken in May or June 2003 (spring sort) and the other field sorting event was undertaken in September or October 2003 (fall sort).

One of the main objectives of the study was to determine the characteristics of the Ohio-generated municipal solid waste stream at various locations throughout the state. Sites were selected based on location, size and willingness to partner with ODNR and to allow access to the solid waste facility or facilities serving the solid waste district.

Summary of Results 
The Waste Characterization Study defined the three standard recyclables as the major components of Ohio's waste stream: paper fibers; plastics; and metals. A number of other materials were considered as separate categories: yard waste; textiles; diapers; food; glass; empty aerosol cans; medical waste; fines; and superfines. Other items, such as computer parts and wood, were classified as miscellaneous.

The 2003 Waste Characterization Study found that three major components comprise more than 60 percent, by weight, of Ohio's total waste stream.


  • Paper fiber: 41 percent by weight and 44 percent by volume. About 31 percent of the weight measured was mixed paper, newsprint, office paper and corrugated paper.

  • Plastic: 16 percent by weight and 25 percent by volume. HDPE#2, which is commonly used to produce food containers, such as milk and juice jugs, liquid detergent bottles, trash bags and cereal box liners, accounted for approximately 38 percent of the plastics component weight and 40 percent of the total by volume.

  • Metals: 4 percent by weight and 7 percent by volume.

Overall, food and yard waste also were present in notable weights and volumes. Food comprised 15 percent by weight and 6 percent by volume. Yard waste comprised 9 percent by weight and 8 percent by volume.

Visual inspection was made of all 460 loads sampled to identify large items. More than 75 percent of all loads contained loose wood. Carpet was observed in 62 percent of the loads and construction and demolition debris was seen in 52 percent of the loads. Additionally, 42 percent of the sampled loads contained small appliances, while almost 30 percent of all loads included wood furniture. More than 17 percent of the loads yielded computers.

Of the 460 loads sampled during the 2003 Waste Characterization Study, 58 loads were pure commercial loads, containing only waste generated by retail businesses, offices, schools, nursing homes and/or medical centers. Paper fibers accounted for nearly 50 percent of the weight of pure commercial loads. The percentage of total paper fibers in the commercial loads was 7.54 percent higher than in all loads (49.18 percent compared to 41.64 percent in all loads). Plastics represented a 1.85 percent higher content in the pure commercial loads than in all loads (17.49 percent vs. 15.64 percent in all loads).

Yard waste, textiles and food waste were less evident in these pure commercial loads. Sampling from these 58 commercial loads, combined with results from mixed commercial/residential loads and interviews with drivers and facility staff point toward a need to focus commercial waste reduction efforts on corrugated paper, office paper, mixed paper and plastics. 

Ohio Glass Recycling Study

The Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention commissioned the Ohio Glass Recycling Study to improve how Ohio connects those who have glass with those who need glass. Currently Ohio manufacturers use about 110,000 tons of recycled glass per year from Ohio and surrounding states, yet their need is greater, at roughly 275,000 - 295,000 tons per year.

The study, released in May 2011, indicates that Ohio has a huge capacity for glass recovery. Roughly 90 percent of all glass containers consumed in Ohio are disposed of in landfills as opposed to recycled. While glass remains an important part of Ohio's industrial base, there appears to be a disconnect on the value of glass being recovered. Glass continues to go to landfills primarily due to perceived lack of markets and an inefficient system for collection and processing.

Using recycled glass costs less than using raw materials by reducing energy demands. Implementing strategies that can strengthen glass recycling programs across the state can create a competitive advantage for Ohio's manufacturers. Long-term, the division will work with industry stakeholders to establish an infrastructure that will help Ohio manage the value inherent in everything now being lost into landfills. Jobs will also be created throughout the supply chain. Looking forward, the creation of a glass recycling infrastructure represents the first significant step towards establishing Ohio and Ohio's manufacturers as leaders in green business practices that can continue to reap dividends for generations.

Recycling is good business, and it is good policy. Going forward, recycling glass represents an opportunity to begin systemic change that will be felt throughout our economy and our communities.

Related Documents

Ohio Wood Waste Markets and Resource(s) Study

There are specific industries in Ohio that create, use and/or provide a significant amount of wood waste. The Construction and Demolition Association of Ohio (CDAO) received a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to conduct a wood waste study, in order to research the quantity and quality of wood waste/biomass circulating in the state of Ohio from all sources of wood. The study had five main goals:

  • Identify readily available wood waste sectors, including:

    • Construction and demolition landfills and recyclers

    • Forestry residues

    • Material recovery facilities

    • Compost facilities

    • Other sources

  • Identify/quantify what is currently readily available

  • Identify general economics

  • Perform a limited waste sort to confirm similar studies

  • Make conclusions and observations regarding the overall findings

The recently released Wood Waste Markets and Resource(s) Study provides a better understanding of the existing wood waste market(s) in Ohio, including producers, users and estimated volumes. Major sources of wood waste/biomass include but are not limited to:

  • Forestry residues

  • Construction and demolition debris (C&DD) processors

  • Mill residues

  • Landfills (both C&D and MSW)

  • Other sources (i.e. material recovery facilities, wood manufacturing facilities)

In some instances, such as wood derived from construction and demolition debris, less-than-adequate markets represent an opportunity for increasing the recycling of wood biomass in Ohio. Potential future markets are extensive including fuel uses to manufacturing feedstock. All potential sources may be needed if the state is looking to attract, renovate and/or expand existing industries to Ohio.

For more information, read the entire report or review a summary of the findings.

U.S. EPA's Co-Digestion Economic Analysis Tool (CoEAT)

The Co-Digestion Economic Analysis Tool assesses the initial economic feasibility assessment of food waste co-digestion at wastewater treatment plants for the purpose of biogas production. Co-digestion is when energy-rich organic waste materials (for example, food waste, fats, oil and grease) are added to an anaerobic digester currently processing less energy-rich organic waste (for example, sewage or manure). Co-digestion allows facilities with excess digester capacity to save and make money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing a renewable energy source and diverting valuable resources from landfills and/or sewer pipes.

U.S. EPA's Waste Reduction Model (WARM)

The WARM Waste Reduction Model was originally developed for small to moderate-scale waste managers enabling them to understand how their “business-as-usual” waste management practices compare to alternative practices, such as recycling, source reduction or composting, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. Its user base has expanded to include various community officials, U.S. EPA WasteWise partners and municipalities interested in learning more about the climate and waste connection. However, the results garnered from using WARM are estimates and the model approach is not appropriate for use in inventories because of the diffuse nature of the emissions and emission reductions within a single emission factor calculated in WARM.

Ohio EPA's competitive grants provide opportunities for communities, local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations to establish and implement recycling, recycling market development, litter prevention and scrap tire recycling programs.

Grants are awarded on an annual basis. Applications are generally available in October and the deadline for application is early February.

If you have questions regarding any of these grant packages, please contact Dave Foulkes at (614) 644-3118.

Community and Litter Grant

Local governments can receive funding to purchase equipment for the collection and processing of recyclables. Communities and non-profit organizations can also receive funding to implement litter collection events and tire amnesty programs (tire amnesty programs require a minimum $0.50 collection fee per tire). Keep America/Ohio Beautiful-related fees are eligible costs for this grant program. Up to $200,000.00 is available with a 25% required match. The grant has a maximum duration of 12 months.

Market Development Grant

This grant provides manufacturers and material processors opportunities to create or expand processing capacity and recycled material production. Funding is available for equipment specifically needed to remanufacture recyclable materials into bulk raw material or finished product. To be eligible for this grant, the applicant must have a governmental sponsor. Up to $200,000.00 is available with a 100% required match. The grant has a maximum duration of 24 months.

Scrap Tire Grant

This grant program offers manufacturers and material processors funding to create or expand processing capacity and product manufacturing. Funds are also available for beneficial use projects that incorporate the use of ground tire rubber and recycled asphalt shingles. Business applicants must have a governmental sponsor. Up to $300,000.00 is available with a 100% required match. The grant has a maximum duration of 24 months.

Past Recipients

Manager Manuals

Resources and Publications

The Recycling Partnership

Ohio EPA and The Recycling Partnership are seeking grant applications from communities to engage with residents directly and indirectly to change the curbside recycling behavior of those contaminating the stream. To accomplish this, we will be working within four specific Material Recovery Facility sheds in two specific Ohio regions (northeast and southwest). Please see the application request for proposal and recycling contamination application for more information and to apply.



Courtright, Katie Environmental Supervisor (614) 705-1147
Barnett, Marie Grants Administrator (614) 705-1019
Limbert, Travis Grants Coordinator (614) 644-2827
Foulkes, Dave Environmental Specialist (614) 644-3118
Heyob, Kelsey Environmental Specialist (614) 705-1013


Solid Waste District Coordinators and Policy Committee Chairpersons