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Rumpke Recycling getting stuff it can't recycle

Emily Wendler

Items that cannot be recycled are causing some issues for the Rumpke recycling center in St. Bernard.  Company workers are being forced to trash some things that are not recyclable and should have never been sent to the facility in the first place.  

“Some non-recyclables can easily be sorted out with our advanced technology,” said recycling operation manager Brad Dunn in a statement.  “However some of these non-recyclables can injure our employees, damage our sorting equipment or contaminate other recyclables.”

Items to avoid:

  •     Plastic bags
  •     VHS video cassettes
  •     Propane tanks
  •     Lithium ion batteries
  •     Holiday lights
  •     Furniture and clothing
  •     Car parts
  •     Food waste

“Items like plastic bags and VHS tapes get tangled around the spinning discs at our recycling facility and damage costly equipment,” Dunn said.  “While other items like propane tanks and batteries are flammable and could cause bigger problems for our plant.”
Rumpke had a fire at its old facility in 2012.  While the exact cause remains unknown, officials believe it was caused by something flammable in a load of recyclables.

The following items are accepted by Rumpke:

  •     Plastic bottles and jugs
  •     Cartons
  •     Glass bottles and jars (any color)
  •     Aluminum and steel cans
  •     Empty aerosol cans (with lids and tips removed)
  •     Paperboard (cereal boxes, 12-pack containers, etc.)
  •     Cardboard
  •     A variety of office products including paper, newspaper, and magazines

“Only recycle what we put out there that we can accept at this time,” said Molly Yeager, Senior Corporate Communications Coordinator.  “We’re always looking to expand that list, and we hope that we can expand that list in the future.  But the list is there for a reason.”
Right now about 10 percent of what is coming into the recycling center is non-recyclable.

The company also will give tours to customers to learn more about the process.