Scariest Items Found in the Recycling

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Oct. 28, 2016 – Rumpke recycles nearly one million pounds of recyclables a day at its Columbus recycling facility on Fields Avenue. While the majority of materials entering the plant will be made into new products, a few pose serious dangers for employees and the equipment.

1. Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium ion batteries are used in cell phones, cameras, laptops and power tools. If the battery breaks, it becomes a fire hazard, and Rumpke can’t prevent batteries from breaking during the recycling process.

While lithium ion batteries pose the greatest risk, batteries of any kind should not be placed in your Rumpke recycling container. Several retailers, including electronic and home improvement stores, offer battery recycling options.

2. Pressurized Tanks & Canisters
Propane tanks and canisters, like the one from your home or tailgate grill, are dangerous on multiple levels when placed in the recycling.

“Tanks and canisters could explode under pressure when compacted in the collection truck or during the recycling process,” said Jim Horrox, regional recycling manager, Rumpke. “Also, an item of this size could cause expensive damage to the recycling equipment.”

Pressurized tanks should never be placed in the recycling. Many stores that sell these tanks offer an exchange option.

3. Containers from Hazardous Materials
Gasoline cans. Motor oil jugs. Bleach bottles. Spray paint cans. Even empty, these items contain residue of the original contents and pose a safety concern.

“It’s important to remember these items could react or spontaneously combust under the right conditions,” said Horrox. 

Horrox and Rumpke are cautious about flammable material entering the recycling facility. Rumpke’s Cincinnati recycling plant was destroyed by a fire in April 2012.

“Residents and communities in Central Ohio have fully embraced recycling, and we encourage more of it,” said Horrox. “However, there are certain items that don’t belong in the recycling and put our employees and facilities at risk.”

A list what you can and can’t recycle is available at Residents should contact their local solid waste district for options about items not accepted for recycling.


Media Contact
Jonathan Kissell

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