Sustainable Cleveland and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress co-hosted a virtual meeting yesterday afternoon to launch Circular Cleveland, an initiative that will build on collaborations to create circular economy strategies in Cleveland, including ways residents, nonprofits, businesses and institutions can get involved.

What is the circular economy?

Our current economic model is linear and can be summarized as Take, Make, Waste. The circular economy reduces waste and pollution by designing it out so there is no waste, it keeps products and materials in use by reuse, repair, and regenerates nature with programs like composting, no-till farming, and restoration. The circular economy also creates local wealth and opportunities.

In late 2020, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress was awarded a $476,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch Circular Cleveland in partnership with the City of Cleveland and Neighborhood Connections.

“We’re going to build a roadmap to a circular future, together,” said CNP staffer Divya Sridhar.

Sustainable Cleveland’s Cathi Lehn added that stakeholder engagement opportunities would be held throughout the year to gather community knowledge and input.

The duration of the grant is November 2020 through April 2023, and is split into two phases of implementation:

Phase I

  • Completion of a Roadmap that includes a comprehensive review of current and potential resources in the region, along with a plan that outlines the major steps needed to create a Circular Cleveland.
  • The Request for Proposals for the Roadmap
  • Composting at the West Side Market
  • Community workshops held in Cleveland neighborhoods
  • Grants up to $3,000 available to residents through Neighborhood Connections
  • Selection of Circular Cleveland Ambassadors from Cleveland neighborhoods.

Phase II 

  • Implementation of the Roadmap.
  • Additional community workshops.
  • Additional grants up to $3,000 available to residents through Neighborhood Connections.
  • Incentives for small businesses through the City’s Economic Development Department.

For more information on the circular economy visit the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. You can view a recording of the meeting here.