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Recycling Guidelines

Following are recycling guidelines for Shaker Heights.

What Belongs in Your Residential Recycling Container?


  • Plastic bottles, jugs, and tubs
  • Gable-top milk and juice cartons, soup and juice boxes
  • Metal food cans and aluminum cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Cardboard boxes, flattened
  • Mixed paper, junk mail, magazines, catalogs
  • Boxboard, flattened (like cereal boxes and toilet paper tubes)

And follow these guidelines when recycling them:

  • NEVER bag your recyclables. NEVER. EVER.
  • Place comingled, loose (NOT in a bag) recyclables in recycling bucket
  • Empty and rinse all containers
  • Leave the caps and lids on
  • Request free recycling buckets by calling Public Works at 216-491-1490


  • Aluminum foil, baking trays, pie plates
  • Plastic bags and plastic wrap
  • Plastic containers used for produce (like lettuce and berries)
  • Plastic egg cartons
  • Styrofoam (including no meat trays, no Styrofoam egg cartons)
  • Plastic cups, plates, utensils, or straws
  • Paper plates or cups (note: plastic lids for coffee cups are also not recyclable)
  • Paper or plastic take-out containers
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Food scraps
  • Pots, pans, or ceramics
  • Glass and ceramic drinking glasses
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Plastic or metal hangers

Want to know the biggest threat to the entire recycling program? A contaminated recycling stream (non-recyclables mixed in with recyclables).

Can't figure out what to do with a certain item? Visit or get the ShakeRecycles app to learn how to recycle some of the items not allowed in your residential recycling bucket (use the Waste Wizard).


What Belongs in Your Yard Waste Bag?

Use only brown paper leaf bags (available at area stores). No plastic bags.


  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Other leafy yard waste (e.g. plant cuttings, weeds)


  • Brush (place brush directly on your tree lawn, not in a yard-waste bag)
  • Dirt
  • Gardening-related plastic (e.g. plant pots, trays, mulch/fertilizer/soil bags)
  • Other inorganic materials (e.g. other plastics, metal, aluminum, paper/cardboard)
  • Dog waste in plastic bags

Effective 2018, the City will not collect yard-waste bags contaminated with inorganic materials. Read more about the City's leaf, grass, and brush collection policies or view a video about what does (and does not) belong in your yard-waste bag.


Recycling in Cuyahoga County is Easy. Don't Overthink It!

Why do plastics have numbers inside recycling symbols if they’re not recyclable?

The numbers on plastic containers are resin codes used by the plastics industry to identify the type of plastic used to make the container. Not all plastics with the 1-7 symbol are recyclable. See the chart below from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

Plastics Web


Can some materials not allowed in a residential recycling bucket be recycled elsewhere?

In some cases, yes. Several area grocery stores — includng Heinen's — accept plastic bags for recycling. Use the Waste Wizard in the ShakeRecycles app ( to find out if a particular material is recyclable elsewhere. Use the calendar feature to learn about community recycling events


The City's former Director of Health Scott Frank notes the following:

"Because of the age of the housing stock in Shaker Heights, families should be vigilant about lead exposure. Overall, there has been a dramatic decrease in lead poisoning among children in Shaker Heights over the past several decades.* While the primary source of lead is from dust or paint chips arising from lead paint, water has become an increasingly questioned source of lead exposure."

*Lead testing is done routinely once a year at ages one and two in children who live in high risk neighborhoods. If those tests are negative, doctors usually stop doing them on a routine basis. If parents have concerns, they should ask their doctor explicitly for lead testing.

Cleveland Water has very effective treatments that remove lead and minimize leaching of lead from pipes that may be in your home. Certain precautions are listed on the door hanger and should be taken in neighborhoods where waterline replacement is underway, since work “could cause a temporary increase in lead” in the drinking water.

Cleveland Water provides detailed information about lead pipes and the safety of the water supply on their website:

If you are concerned about lead in your water, further information about "point-of-use" water filtration can be accessed through links provided below.

All questions should be directed to the Cleveland Water Lead Inquiry line at 216-664-2882.

Additional information:

Lead in Shaker: Shaker Heights Community Forum, July 11, 2016:

Types of Point-of-Use Devices for Lead Reduction (Minnesota Department of Health)

Lead in Drinking Water – FAQ (Water Quality Association)

Certified Product Listings for Lead Reduction (National Sanitation Foundation) 

Recycling Events


Community Shredding Days, 9 AM-1 PM
April 28
October 6

Computer Round-Up, 8 AM-4 PM
April 7-8
April 14-15
August 11-12
August 18-19

Habitat for Humanity Restore, 9 AM-1 PM
May 19

Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up, 8 AM-4 PM
May 5-6
May 12-13
September 15-16
September 22-23

Phone Books may be recycled with your paper.

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Service Center
15600 Chagrin Blvd.

Snow Collection

After the unusually harsh winter of 2013-14, the City evaluated how to improve conditions during winter weather events to make the City easily passable by car or bike, and on foot.

With more than 300 miles of streets and sidewalks to clear, winter presents unique challenges in a densely populated city like ours. We ask that you join us in efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our snow-clearing operations.

Here is an overview of snow-clearing operations and policies. For more detailed information, please visit the Snow Policies FAQ.

Parking Ban

The City enacted a Parking Ban effective November 27, 2014 on residential streets when snow exceeds two inches. The law enables plows to clear snow from the streets so that cars and emergency vehicles can move through the City safely and efficiently.

Sidewalk Clearing

City ordinance (Ordinance 743.01) requires residents to clear sidewalks, including corner property curb ramps, of snow, ice, and slush by 9 am the day after a snowfall. If snow on the sidewalks reaches at least six inches, the City will plow after streets are cleared and when crews are available.

Fire Hydrants vs. Snow

During winter months when the snow and ice piles high, Shaker’s 1,500 fire hydrants often are buried.

If you are able, please clear snow from around hydrants and avoid shoveling snow on top of them so that fire crews can quickly gain access during an emergency.

However, if fire hydrants are buried in snow and you are unable to dig them out, don’t worry! The Shaker Heights Fire Department has detailed maps indicating the specific locations of all hydrants. In the event of a fire where a hydrant is not immediately accessible, each truck is equipped with 700 gallons of water – enough to fight a fire for approximately 10 minutes – while crews simultaneously dig out the closest hydrant.

Private Snow Plow Operators

Homeowners are responsible for clearing their own driveways. Snow removal contractors must be registered with the Police Department, display a permit and adhere to guidelines about where snow may be deposited. View a list of registered snow plow operators.

Snow plow operators should bring a completed application to the Police Department to register.

(See FAQ: What are the restrictions where snow can be deposited by shovel, snowblower or snow plow?) If you see a contractor violating the snow removal rules, call 216-491-3292.

City street plowing will result in some snow pushed onto driveway aprons, which homeowners need to clear.

Public Snow Plowing

The City is responsible for keeping more than 100 miles of roadway cleared of snow. Roads are plowed in this order of priority: main streets, streets around the schools, side streets.

Sensible Salting Practices

Along with other communities, the City uses Sensible Salting Practices to minimize damage to roads and to the environment, and to save overtime and salt costs. A combination of sensible salting and frequent plowing keeps roads safe and passable. Sensible salting means:

  • No salt is used between midnight and 4 am
  • Only key areas and intersections are salted during heavy snow events
  • Limited use of salt on secondary and side roads

How to Recycle Holiday Items

Do not recycle wrapping paper. Recycling best practices change frequently and we've learned the heavy dyes, wax coatings, and additives (such as glitter) in wrapping paper contaminate
the quality of paper recycling. Throw wrapping paper in the trash — do not burn it in the fireplace. 

Boxes and cartons should be flattened and may be disposed of in the same way as paper and put out for weekly collection. Large containers may be flattened and taken to the Service Center at 15600 Chagrin Blvd. on Saturdays or Sundays from 8 AM to 4 PM for recycling.  

Styrofoam block packaging can be recycled at the Service Center. Note: styrofoam packing peanuts and food trays can't be recycled through Shaker's program. The UPS Store at 16781 Chagrin Blvd., Shaker Towne Centre will accept packing peanuts.

String lights can be taken to the Solid Waste District in Garfield Heights. See details.

Christmas trees should be placed on the tree lawn. Do not wrap the tree in anything. Trees are collected and ground up for compost and mulch.

Visit ShakeRecycles for more information on recycling in Shaker.

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Service Center
15600 Chagrin Blvd.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


fall 2018 2

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