Bill Rumpke Sr. Receives Award
The Colerain Chamber of Commerce will honor William J. Rumpke Sr., Rumpke Waste & Recycling president emeritus in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 300 during their annual Hometown Hero Dinner Gala 7 p.m., tonight at Wunderland Banquet Center, 7881 Colerain Ave.
Gala Emcee and 700 WLW Host Scott Sloan, will conduct a live interview with Mr. Rumpke about his life growing up in Colerain Township and his role in growing Rumpke’s 85-year old family business into one of the nation’s largest waste and recycling firms.
“I was fortunate to be surrounded by good and qualified people who helped and encouraged me in all endeavors,” said Bill Rumpke Sr.
Bill says he didn’t achieve his success alone. "There are so many I want to acknowledge, I especially want to thank my mother, Catherine and my father, William for instilling certain values, like the mindset to never give up. I want to thank my wonderful wife Bonnie for her love, patience and understanding as she raised our children and for always being a sounding board. I want to thank our children for taking the bull by the horns and running with it. And finally, I want to thank my friend and business partner Tom Rumpke, together we were the perfect business fit,” added Bill.
In 1945 the Rumpke family moved from Carthage, Ohio to Colerain Township. At the time the family had a flourishing farm with 70 head of black angus beef cattle, 100 head of sheep and 2,000 hogs at its peak. In fact, the hogs were the heart of the family business. To feed their stock, the Rumpke’s developed routes to collect trash from customers each week. A young Bill Rumpke already had a hand in the business. At just 5 years old he joined his father and cousins on trash collection routes.
During the late 1950s the Food and Drug Administration put an end to feeding hogs garbage spurring the official birth of Rumpke as a waste collection company. Growing up in the business, Bill spent many mornings before school picking up trash in North College Hill, Delhi and Mount Healthy. Evenings were wrapped in business-related activities, as he joined his father at municipal meetings where they discussed service contracts. By the time Bill had graduated from high school, he had worked for the company as laborer, mechanic, heavy equipment operator and driver. As he aged, he took on more prominent roles working in sales and then serving as company treasurer and vice president.
Bill’s Uncle Bernard Rumpke was business partners with Bill’s father William F. Rumpke. Bernard’s son, Tom, was about the same age as Bill. The two grew up together and became fast friends. In 1965, Bill and Tom formed Rumpke’s commercial service line-Rumpke Container Service. Throughout the early 70s, they formed Rumpke of Indiana and Rumpke of Kentucky. In 1978 the two purchased Rumpke from their fathers and became the official co-presidents and CEOs at Rumpke, Inc. During Bill’s tenure, Rumpke turned its focus to environmental safeguards, compliance, safety, employee relations and innovation.
The Bill and Tom duo fearlessly expanded the company completing more than 200 acquisitions and growing annual revenues from just $8 million to $100 million. During the 1980s alone, Rumpke’s service territory grew to multiple states.
In 1986, Bill made the decision to make Rumpke’s Colerain Township landfill one of the first firms in the country to recover landfill gas for energy. That facility became one the world’s largest landfill to direct energy pipeline systems producing enough natural gas to supply 25,000 homes in Colerain Township. Later, Rumpke added a second landfill gas recovery system at its Butler, Ky. landfill and this year the firm will open a third plant at its Georegtown, Ohio Landfill. Both of those sites use landfill gas to produce electricity.
Bill placed great emphasis on recycling. In the early years, his father had removed rags, glass and metals from the waste he collected, but under Bill’s direction, Rumpke grew to become a leading residential and commercial recycler. In 1989, Bill and Tom purchased Rumpke’s first material recovery facility in Circleville, Ohio. Today the firm operates 10 recycling centers including a one of a kind mixed glass recycling facility. During Bill’s final decade as President and CEO, Rumpke invested more than $50 million in recycling upgrades to grow accessibility and add an expanded array of acceptable items to Rumpke’s recycling services.