In my circle of friends, you have heard me talk about Rumpke and my comments haven’t always been that fond. We have a subscription service with Rumpke to pick up our recycling curbside every Thursday. It’s worth it to us to pay for this service because we want to recycle but with our busy schedules need the convenience of curbside pickup. Although the relationship has been rocky, I think I am ready to clear the slate and have a fresh start. For now.
Rumpke will be the new waste and recycling hauler for the Zero Waste operations at the Ohio State University for this upcoming football season. I was skeptical going into the planning meeting with Rumpke but the representative gave me pause. To say the least, this gentleman was impressive. He listened to our obstacles and played an active part in identifying solutions. He exceeded my expectations and that’s not something that happens very often. This guy wasn’t being a vendor. He was a partner. Something I am sensitive to because of my day job.
I received an invitation to the kickoff of the City of Columbus Curbside Recycling program from Corey Hawkey, the Sustainability Coordinator at OSU, and fellow Zero Waste dumpster diver. The kickoff included a tour of the recycling located facility right here in Columbus off 5th Avenue between High and I-71 area.
Here are some facts I captured from the day:
- Columbus wants to reach a 25% diversion rate by 2016 (Diverting waste from the landfill)
- Rumpke’s recycling facility can recycle 10,000 tons in 10 minutes
- Rumpke invested $15M into facility upgrades and new equipment in order to handle a commitment to city-wide curbside recycling
- It is the most advanced recycling operation in the state and maybe US (self-proclaimed, I don’t know)
- Glass goes to Dayton
- Some recyclables go to Tennessee and Kentucky. I missed specifics.
The pictures and explanations that follow won’t do the facility justice. The overall facility seems about 2 football fields long, about equally as wide with a multitude of conveyor belts going in every direction. It is organized chaos. Very impressive. The room is very loud and the people working there wear ear protection. I tried to get some details to share with you but I know I missed a lot of information because of the noise volume. You should inquire about a tour. It’s totally worth it.
Any incorrect facts or inaccuracies were made in error and not intentional.