Non-Recyclables Causing Problems at Recycling Center

CINCINNATI – Oct. 15, 2014 – Rumpke’s Cincinnati recycling center is getting ready to celebrate its first anniversary in November.  The plant has processed hundreds of millions of pounds of recyclables this year, but it has also removed millions of pounds of trash that residents and businesses incorrectly attempted to recycle.

“Some non-recyclables can easily be sorted out with our advanced technology,” said Brad Dunn, recycling operations manager, Rumpke. “However some of these non-recyclables can injure our employees, damage our sorting equipment or contaminate other recyclables.”
According to Rumpke, about 10 percent of what is coming into the recycling center is non-recyclable.

“We all need to do a better job to make sure only those items that can currently be recycled are placed in recycling containers,” Dunn said.

Non-recyclables to avoid:

  • Plastic bags
  • VHS video cassettes
  • Propane tanks
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Holiday lights
  • Furniture and clothing
  • Car parts
  • Food waste

“Items like plastic bags and VHS tapes get tangled around the spinning discs at our recycling facility and damage costly equipment,” Dunn said. “While other items like propane tanks and batteries are flammable and could cause bigger problems for our plant.”

In April 2012, Rumpke’s Cincinnati recycling center was destroyed by a fire. While the exact cause remains unknown, authorities believe the fire was caused by something flammable in a load of recyclables.

“Rumpke is committed to recycling, and growing recycling in the region; however, to do so, we need customers to recycle right,” said Jeff Rumpke, regional vice president. “We encourage are customers to review and follow our acceptable item list and ask us questions if they are unsure if something can be recycled.”

Rumpke accepts the following items in its recycling program:

  • Plastic bottles and jugs (please 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 
  • A variety of paper products, including:
    o Office paper
    o Newspaper
    o Magazines
    o Junk mail and envelopes (with or without windows)
    o Telephone books
    o Paper grocery bags

Rumpke maintains a list of recyclables at its website, Rumpke also encourages customers to tour its recycling facility to learn more about the recycling process. For tour information, email

Rumpke Consolidated Companies, Inc. has been committed to keeping neighborhoods and businesses clean and green since 1932 by providing environmentally friendly waste disposal solutions. Headquartered in Colerain Township, Ohio, Rumpke is one of the nation’s largest privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms, providing service to areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Rumpke divisions include Rumpke Recycling, Rumpke Portable Restrooms, The William-Thomas Group, Rumpke Hydraulics and Rumpke Haul-it-Away. Please visit for more information.


Molly Yeager

« Back.