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Rumpke to save tons of glass from the landfill

Glass makes up 15 percent of what Cincinnatians throw out. Beginning this November, Rumpke will recycle it in a brand new St. Bernard facility that sits on the same site as one that burned down a year ago.

Although Rumpke will also recycle paper, plastics and metals at this facility, a big focus is on glass recycling. Very small, refined recycled glass particles are in big demand by glass container and fiberglass insulation companies.

There are eight steps in the glass recycling process:

  1. While in a hopper, a magnet extracts metal contaminants
  2. A vibrating finger-screen separates small pieces from large so contaminants can be easily removed
  3. A magnet and eddy current extract steel and aluminum
  4. Screens extract other contaminants
  5. Wet glass is sent through a dryer
  6. A screen extracts really small pieces for use in fiberglass insulation
  7. Larger glass pieces pass through a series of optical scanners to separate flint and amber glass
  8. Amber and flint glass are then separated according to rigid specs for use as new glass containers

Part of this process will be done in Cincinnati and the other part will be done at Rumpke's Dayton recycling plant.
Here is a video, made by Rumpke, explaining what happens at the Dayton plant.


The Dayton facility processes about 40,000 tons of broken and mixed glass each year for both the fiberglass insulation and container glass industries.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.