Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling
How can I sign up for curbside recycling?
Where are the drop-off box locations for recycling?
Each and every community is different. Some offer curbside recycling, some offer drop box recycling and some are currently unable to offer a program. Click on the link below and enter your zip code to learn if drop box recycling is an option in your community.
Where do materials go after Rumpke Recycling collects them?
To the Rumpke Recycling Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located closest to you. Rumpke Recycling operates material recovery facilities in St. Bernard (near Cincinnati), Circleville, Columbus, Dayton and Ironton, Ohio (near Ashland, Ky. and Huntington, W. Va.), and Louisville, Ky.
How is the material separated at Rumpke Recycling’s Material Recovery Facility?
At nearly all of Rumpke Recycling’s facilities, single stream technology combined with manual sorting is used to separate the materials. Separated materials are baled and sent to various manufacturers. For more details about the single stream recycling process, click on the link below.
How can I obtain a new recycling bin?
Additional or new recycling bins can be ordered by contacting Rumpke Recycling. If you would like to order a new bin, please click on the link below.
Why are Rumpke Recycling bins red?
Red is not just Rumpke Recycling’s corporate color, it’s also a color that your driver can easily see as she or he completes her or his route.
Why doesn’t Rumpke Recycling make the recycling bins larger?
Rumpke Recycling’s bins are designed to protect the health and safety of our employees. Rumpke Recycling’s bins ensure a maximum weight is not exceeded. This helps prevent lifting injuries among our drivers. On one route, a driver may pick up and lift a full recycling bin, to at least shoulder height, 500 to 600 times a day.
What are my recyclables made into?
Recyclables are made into more paper, paper hand towels, carpet fibers, piping, plastic lumber, more cans and containers, appliance parts, car parts and fiber glass. Please click on the link below for more details.
What materials are acceptable?
In general, plastic jugs and bottles, broken down cardboard, office and mixed paper, glass bottles and jars and aluminum and metal cans are accepted by all curbside recycling programs. However, an expanded list of plastics is accepted in some areas. Click on the link below for details.
Do I have to separate paper from the other materials?
At most locations, single stream technology at Rumpke Recycling facilities does the sorting for you. Simply place all of your recyclables in your bin, mixed together. Currently, the Louisville Rumpke Recycling facility does not have single stream sorting technology; therefore, customers participating in recycling in the Greater Louisville region are still required to separate paper and fiber materials from other containers. Paper materials should be place in paper grocery bags.
I have seen my recycling bin picked up by a truck that is marked Rumpke Recycling, but it looks like a Rumpke trash truck. What’s going on?
Rumpke Recycling trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Some recycling trucks are the older box trucks that have compartments that used to be used to separate the paper materials from the other recyclables. Other trucks look like our garbage trucks, but are marked as Rumpke Recycling vehicles. With the birth of single stream recycling in 2002, it was no longer necessary to pre-sort the materials. The box trucks, which offer limited capacity and demand smaller routes, are still used here and there, but for the most part, Rumpke Recycling is converting its fleet into traditional rear load trucks which offer much greater capacity and a compaction system.
Do I need to rinse out my containers before I place them in the bin?
We encourage you to rinse all containers to prevent insects and minimize odor.
Do I need to remove lids from my recyclables?
Yes, please remove all lids. The lids are not made from the same material as the recyclable container, therefore they are considered contaminates to the recycling stream.
Did I need to remove labels before placing recyclables in my bin?
No, the labels will disintegrate in the recycling process.
Why doesn’t Rumpke Recycling accept all types of plastics?
Rumpke Recycling accepts all plastic bottles. Common plastic bottles include soda bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, and contact solution bottles. Plastic bottles are manufactured through a process called "blow molding." The end-users who buy the bottles for manufacturing of new products prefer the "blow molded" plastic bottles for their processes.
Other plastics, such as butter tubs and plastic food trays, are manufactured through a process called "injection molding." These plastics are are not accepted in Rumpke Recycling's residential programs.
What should I do with plastic bags, such as grocery bags?
Plastic bags cause major problems in Rumpke Recycling's mechanized single-stream equipment. They become entangled in the rotating discs, dramatically affecting the operating efficiency of the process.
Rumpke Recycling encourages residents to return plastic bags to the stores that used them. Nearly all major retail chains have collection bins for the plastic bags.
Rumpke Recycling offers segregated collection programs for all types of film plastic generated by commercial and industrial organizations.
Oil jugs are plastic. Can I place them in my recycling bin?
No, oil is considered household hazardous waste. Please contact your local solid waste management district for appropriate disposal or recycling options.
Paint cans are metal. Are they recyclable?
No, liquid paint is a household hazardous waste. Mix kitty litter with the paint to make the remaining liquid a solid. Place the paint can with the lid off at the curb with your trash for disposal at the landfill.
Are dishes, mirrors and window glasses accepted?
The single stream sorting technology employed to sort recyclables cannot sort these items. Also, the type of glass used to make these items is not useful to the manufacturers using the glass Rumpke Recycling processes.
How much waste does recycling divert from landfills annually?
On average, recycling diverts about 84,000 tons from the landfill each year.
Why do I have to pay for recycling?
Rumpke Recycling is a separate division of Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. It is a separate business operation with its own set of fixed costs associated with operations. It costs millions to employ and provide insurance benefits to drivers and plant employees. Meanwhile, the operational costs, including the installation of new sorting equipment and maintenance fees, reach into the tens of thousands each month. This doesn’t include the cost of trucks (each truck costs $100,000 to $150,000), fuel or other expenses associated with the routes and truck maintenance. The value of the collected recyclables constantly fluctuates; meanwhile Rumpke Recycling’s fixed costs remain constant. Therefore, there have been times when Rumpke Recycling has made money on recycling and times when we have not been as successful. No matter the market circumstances, Rumpke Recycling is committed to recycling today and for years to come.
Can I take a tour Rumpke Recycling?
Tours by appointment are available during business hours for guests ages 13 and older. Hard sole shoes are required. Rumpke Recycling will provide a guide and additional safety equipment. To schedule a tour, please contact Rumpke Recycling.
Click here to request more information.
Are photographs accepted in Rumpke Recycling's residential programs?
No. Rumpke Recycling's paper buyers request photographs NOT be included in our material due to water resistant chemicals used in some photographs. This does not pulp properly in water during the manufacturing process.