The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s annual master recycler program recently produced a dozen new graduates. The successful public program continues enrollment for the upcoming fall 2020 class. “Certified master recyclers” learn about waste reduction, material reuse, composting, recycling programs for residents and larger organizations, hazardous materials, alternatives to single-use packaging and more. “Our goal is to encourage everyone to live more sustainably and to recycle right,” says Cristie Snyder, communications specialist with the district.
The program benefits students while also helping Snyder and her small team share the recycling gospel. “The more that we can teach others who then have the ability to spread that message, the more we are going to accomplish our goals as a public agency,” notes Snyder. Graduates of the program must complete 20 hours’ worth of evening lectures and facility tours. The students are also required to log 20 hours of volunteer work. The program began in the fall of 2013, and a seventh class is currently in session. The district is also considering a mini-course for recycling enthusiasts who do not feel the urge to become fully fledged “certified master recyclers.”