Last month, the City of Cincinnati celebrated the one year anniversary of the launch of its enhanced recycling program, and based on initial results, the City has a lot to celebrate.
On Oct. 4, 2010, Rumpke Recycling collected the first 96-gallon recycling cart, marking a shift in the way Cincinnatians handle waste disposal. As part of the enhanced recycling program, each resident received a 64- or 96-gallon recycling cart to use for every-other-week recycling collection. Each resident could also earn rewards for diverting waste through the Recyclebank program.
In its first year, the City:
- Grew recycling participation by nearly 75 percent
- Increased the amount of recyclables collected curbside by nearly 50 percent
- Saved nearly $1 million
Both the City and Rumpke credit a lot of the success of the programs to the adoption of larger recycling carts, which allow residents to recycle three to five times more material than the traditional 18-gallon bins.
Rumpke Recycling also noticed positive results for its business due to the increase in recycling from the City.
“We are seeing a greater volume of material coming to our Cincinnati Material Recovery Facility, in large part due to the addition of larger recycling containers, not only in the City of Cincinnati but in other parts of our service area,” said Jeff Rumpke, vice president, Rumpke. “The addition of these carts helps us with our company’s overall goal to reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills through increased recycling efforts, and we are glad many Cincinnati residents are helping us with our mission.
Rumpke began preparing for the expected uptick in recycling in the Cincinnati in 2009 with a $6.5 million renovation of its Cincinnati Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The upgrade included the most advanced recycling technology available to allow more material to flow through the plant and allow Rumpke to easily expand its acceptable items list as markets become available for other material. Rumpke’s Cincinnati MRF ranks in the top 50 facilities of its kind nationwide.
The City of Cincinnati hopes to continue to gain momentum with its recycling program in 2012, with the launch of a new recycling contest that asks the City’s 52 community council leaders to encourage their neighbors not currently recycling to start. To help incentivize the councils to participate in the recycling challenge, Rumpke is providing financial rewards to top performing neighborhoods.
Learn more about the City of Cincinnati’s program at CincinnatiRecycles.org.
About the author: Molly Yeager is a corporate communications coordinator for Rumpke.