Circular Cleveland


Circular Cleveland is a collaborative initiative between Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the City of Cleveland. Launched in partnership with Neighborhood Connections, Circular Cleveland will help transition Cleveland from a linear economy to a circular economy to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents of Cleveland, while creating more local and green jobs.

To learn more about the circular economy and Circular Cleveland, visit the Sustainable Cleveland website: 

Circular Economy in Cleveland

Building a Circular Cleveland


Video #1

Circular Cleveland Engagement – Private Sector
notes | slide presentation

This is a partial recording of the Circular Cleveland Stakeholder Engagement 2. This session is a preview into Cleveland’s material flow analysis with explanation from Metabolic Inc. as a first part of the roadmapping process. This video captures breakout sessions focussing on the opportunities for the Private sector to transition to a more circular economy starting with industry and the built environment.

Video #2

Circular Cleveland Engagement – Public Sector
notes | slide presentation

This is a recording of the Circular Cleveland Stakeholder Engagement 2. This session is a preview into Cleveland’s material flow analysis with explanation from Metabolic Inc. as a first part of the roadmapping process. This video captures breakout sessions focussing on the opportunities for the Public sector to transition to a more circular economy starting organic sector, and then building on projects done by community members to address pollution in the community. Kindly note that due to tech difficulty, the video for the Organic breakout session is unavailable but copious notes capture the session.

In May,  Circular Cleveland hired circular economy advisors – Metabolic In, PXYERA Global and the Council of Great Lakes Region to develop a detailed and implementable circular economy roadmap for Cleveland, Ohio. This roadmap will provide creative strategies and a practical implementation plan based on Systems/Design Thinking for Cleveland’s just and equitable transition from a linear ‘take, make, waste’ model to a newer and bolder regenerative circular economy approach. Cleveland aspires to make a transition to become a circular city: one to offer a new economic model where production and consumption are in balance; one that fosters manufacturing and distributive innovation to support new local wealth generation opportunities; an inclusive city where health and well-being are prioritized while strengthening Cleveland’s sustainability and climate resilience goals. Find the full RFP here.

Circular Cleveland Community Grants: 
We are pleased to announce the first round of funding (phase I) for the Circular Cleveland Community Grants. A total of $40,771 was awarded through this process to fourteen (14) groups and organizations in the city of Cleveland and city of East Cleveland. Circular Cleveland grant award recipients are utilizing the funds to divert waste from the landfill and reduce pollution, keep products and materials in use and restore and renew the natural system. 

The Circular Cleveland Grant Making Committee, all local residents involved in Circular Economy initiatives, chose these groups and organizations for funding based on their level of focus on circular economy principles, on their connection to their neighborhood, and on the potential replicability of their initiative. Congratulations to these groups and organizations:


A Circular Cleveland Ambassador is a City of Cleveland resident engaged in a leadership role to represent and engage Cleveland residents and their community* in our transition to a more circular economy. Circular Cleveland Ambassadors will participate in the Circular Cleveland initiative for the duration of the grant program funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (approximately 22 months). *Community may refer to a geographic location and/or an association with a particular group, e.g. youth, faith-based, group or club, etc. 

More information on the Circular Cleveland Ambassadors is located here. A story map to the Ambassadors is located here.


Cities consume about 75% of natural resources and contribute to nearly 60% of GHG emissions. When consumptions patterns are out of balance with the production and often rely on long and deep supply chains to keep the flow, several stresses and redundancies occur. A system that does not consider the full life cycle of materials, plans solely for economic efficiency, only to keep current systems in place is linear and overburdens the environment through extraction and excretion.

Circular economy on the other hand, moves away from the take-make-waste model to rethink growth and development to provide society wide community benefits. Circular cities strengthen resilience by increasing economic productivity, creating new business and job opportunities, shortening critical supply chains, protecting natural systems, and reducing pollution to improve health outcomes.

In the U.S. there is the potential to divert more than 85% of the 837 million tons of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris generated each year. Yet, the national recycling rate in 2017 was 35%, with another 10% composted. Like many cities across the U.S, Cleveland’s recycling program is paused due to skyrocketing costs, high contamination rates, fiscal pressure resulting from COVID-19, and limited local markets to divert materials. Creating a circular economy in Cleveland will help reduce the waste, improve community health and provide new local economic opportunities for communities – supported by innovation and reimagining of systems.

Localizing the circular economy in Cleveland addresses health and equity from two other key perspectives: environmental justice and poverty reduction. Cleveland joins several cities across the US and the world to make a transition to a circular economy. Over the next 28 months, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress  and the City of Cleveland will launch Circular Cleveland, an initiative, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant that will build on collaborations to create circular economy strategies in Cleveland. Through innovation incentives and joint efforts, the project hopes to advance better environmental and community health outcomes. Additionally, Cleveland will join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Network of Circular Cites.

What does this mean?

This means good food rescued the waste stream to nourish the community; community gardens where organic waste lends to nutritious food for the community; development and support of distributive, mutual aid type programs and repair programs to keep commodities in use longer; material and manufacturing innovations to decrease the waste from material upgrades and transition to renewable energy systems.

A few examples of existing Circular Economy/type projects and assets in Cleveland

  1. Rust Belt Riders
  2. Rid-All Green Partnership
  3. Stone Soup Cleveland
  4. Upcycle Parts Shop
  5. RBX
  6. Summer Sprout Community gardens


City of Cleveland, led by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

Neighborhood Connections

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation



Email Divya Sridhar, Manager of Climate Resiliency and Sustainability, at

Frequently Asked Questions, Updates and Clarifications

Click here to download the Development of Circular Cleveland Roadmap Request for Proposal

Click here to read Circular Cleveland proposal narrative