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Recycling up but confusion over what to recycle

Emily Wendler
Large stacks of sorted plastics ready to be sold and recycled into new products.

More Tri-Staters are recycling but some are still confused as to what Rumpke, the area's largest recycler, will accept.

In the first quarter of this year Rumpke reports a 7 percent increase in recycling when compared to the same period last year. Its Cincinnati recycling center processed about 40,000 tons, up from 37,000 tons in the first quarter of 2014.

The Cincinnati facility is getting a workout. Rumpke processed more than 318 million pounds of material in 2014.

But the company hopes customers recycle correctly.

Rumpke doesn't recycle:

  1. plastic bags
  2. VHS tapes
  3. batteries
  4. hoses
  5. wires
  6. clothing
  7. food waste

The Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District also reports on the popularity of recycling. Michelle Balz adds that plastic containers with berries are also not recyclable.  In 2014 people recycled 40,350 tons of metal, glass, plastic and paper in 2014. Here are the top ten communities for recycling:

  • Mariemont 33.28%
  • Wyoming 28.83%
  • Montgomery 27.64%
  • Terrace Park 27.32%
  • Indian Hill 26.66%
  • Madeira 25.66%
  • Glendale 25.00%
  • Blue Ash 24.16%
  • Amberley Village 23.10%
  • Evendale 22.10%

Recycling contamination makes Rumpke's commodities hard to sell. Rumpke's Steve Sargent says he goes into a convenience or grocery store where he sees a different kind of packaging and wonders if the manufacturer thinks about the impact it will have on recycling. Rumpke met with some of these manufacturers last year to alleviate the problem.