Blog Post

Meet our Environmental Experts: David Schwendeman

 Name: David Schwendeman

Title: Recycling Marketing Manager

How long have you worked at Rumpke? I have been with Rumpke for 22 years.

What are some of your job duties? I am responsible for moving all of the material that comes into our recycling facilities, which can be between 25 to 30 thousand tons each month. I work to sell the material we bring in to paper mills or companies that create an end use for recycled plastic and other recyclables.

Watch videos of the recycling process or contact Rumpke to learn more.

How has Rumpke changed since you began working here? I began working at Rumpke in Greenville, Ohio in 1991. In my time here, the main changes I have seen are just the growth of the company. With new developments in technology and business practices, the company has only continued to grow larger and stronger.

Tell us about one of your favorite work experiences.  Every day I face a new challenge, and no two days are the same because I have to keep moving material whether it is internationally or domestically. One of my favorite challenges has been the Dayton Glass Recycling Facility. Eight or nine years ago people said that it wouldn’t work out, so seeing it succeed has been a great experience.

Glass recycled at Rumpke’s Dayton Facility can be made into fiberglass insulation or new glass containers. Learn more about the glass recycling process here.

How has Rumpke positioned itself as a leader in recycling or environmental stewardship? The recycling market is constantly moving up and down, which has caused some companies to exit the market to try and save money during a down period. Rumpke has never swayed from recycling, even in a downtime, and continues to make investments to grow. This has allowed us to be known for quality domestically and internationally.

What do think Rumpke will look like in 10 or 20 years? The Rumpke’s are a very unique family, and currently the next generation is starting to come into the system. If they are able to work as hard as generations’ past and continue a strategic effort, the company will only continue to grow and become more competitive in the future.

What do you tell people who say recycling is not important? No one wants a landfill in their backyard, and recycling is one proactive way to try and keep that from happening. It’s very simple; by recycling materials we are saving landfill space. In addition to the environmental benefits, recycling helps stimulate our economy. The recycling industry creates jobs and keeps our country’s economy strong with the amount of material we are able to sell internationally.

Why do you like working at Rumpke (or in this industry)? While I enjoy the fact that there is never a dull moment, I also enjoy knowing that I truly am benefitting the environment. What some people may see as trash, I see as a commodity and something we can reuse and sell to make a new product.

About the author: Darby Fledderjohn was the summer 2013 corporate communications intern at Rumpke.

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