Butter And Yogurt Tubs Can Now Go In Your Curbside Recycling Bin

Jan 11, 2021

Rumpke is expanding its list of recyclable items. Polypropylene plastic tubs may now go in your curbside recycling.

"Customers can now toss in yogurt containers, fruit cups, butter tubs, sour cream tubs, cottage cheese tubs and whipped topping tubs in recycling carts with their other bottles, cans, cardboard and paper," says Molly Yeager, Rumpke's corporate communications manager.

The change applies to all Tri-State Rumpke customers, including city of Cincinnati residents. Some people were notified of the change, which began Jan. 4, late last year, but Rumpke is making the official announcement Jan. 11.

Yeager says Rumpke didn't need to add new equipment in order to make the change, though it is getting some new robotics this spring to improve the process.

"Previous problems with polypropylene - which is the type of plastic we're looking at, it's a No. 5 plastic but specifically we're looking at the cup shape - there were problems with the color and smell issues on being able to recycle that," Yeager explains. "But in recent years the manufacturers of that type of plastic have partnered with end-users and recycling companies like Rumpke to overcome these challenges and establish long term uses for these types of materials."

Yeager says Rumpke has found several companies, the majority being in the Midwest, to take these plastics and turn them into new plastic containers. The company says 95% of materials it collects go to domestic end users.

Clam Shells Still A No-Go

Unfortunately, the change only applies to tub-shaped plastics. That means those clear, clam shell containers should not go in your recycling bin. The containers do not need to be washed, however - Yeager says you should give them a rinse. Also, just toss them in your bin loose, not nestled into each other or other items. Lids can go in the bin too.

Rumpke says the change is also thanks, in part, to a grant from the Recycling Partnership, which will help fund the new equipment and efforts to get the word out about the changes.

From Rumpke: customers can recycle the following items:

  • Plastic bottles, jugs and tubs (butter, sour cream, cottage cheese tubs as well as yogurt and fruit and yogurt cups)
  • Cartons
  • Glass bottles and jars (any color)
  • Aluminum and steel cans
  • Paper, paper board (cereal boxes, 12-pack containers, mail, etc.) and cardboard

All items should be clean, empty and placed in recycling containers loose to ensure they can be properly sorted and recycled.