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Rumpke reports two fires in two days at recycling facility

Company asks customers to keep combustibles out
Posted at 10:16 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 19:55:56-04

ST. BERNARD, Ohio  – After two fires in two days, Rumpke is asking customers to be careful about what you’re putting in recycling containers and trash.

“Items like propane tanks, batteries and full aerosol cans aren’t accepted in our recycling program; however, we continue to see these types of materials daily at our recycling facilities, often resulting in fires,” Rumpke safety manager Bridgett Biggs said in a news release Thursday.

In 2012, Rumpke’s Cincinnati recycling facility was destroyed by a fire. Since the new facility opened in 2013, there have been numerous smaller fires, according to the release.

Rumpke says it accepts the following items for recycling:

  • Plastic bottles and jugs (please empty, flatten and reattach the lid)
  • 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
  • Paper products, including office paper, newspaper, magazines, junk mail, envelopes (with or without windows), telephone books and paper grocery bags.

Rumpke keeps a list of recyclables on its web site at Workers pore through everything that comes in. When everything goes well, they can sort through a mountain of bailed recyclables in just a few minutes. But in cases like the past two nights, it doesn't always work out that way.

"People have good intentions," said Rumpke communications manager Molly Yeager. "We like to call it 'wishcycling,' if you will. People see something, they see metal, and think it can be recycled."

They're trying to prevent another fire like the one in 2012.

"We're trying to protect our employees, protect this plant, so Greater Cincinnati can continue to recycle," Yeager said.