Neighbor Dave and his family recently returned from vacation. As many of us do prior to leaving for a week away, he pulled his trash and recycling carts to the curb. While doing so, he noticed a child’s bicycle and helmet leaning against another neighbor’s trash cans. It obviously wasn’t meant for trash pickup, but it made him curious if the Rumpke crew would take it by accident.
Neighbor Dave’s Question: “Do you have any summer reminders?”
My Answer: 3 Summer Tips from Rumpke
1. Only Place Items Meant for Pickup Near Your Trash & Recycling Carts
Let’s first address the kid’s bike. Only place items meant for pickup near your trash and recycling carts. Remind children and babysitters too. Rumpke’s team of professional drivers will use their best judgment. They’ll consider the time of day and keep a lookout for kids playing in the area.
However, each Rumpke driver makes 500 to 800 stops daily, and they are trained to pick up items placed at the collection point. But sometimes the decision to pick up an item is not an easy one. Just as soon as we leave an item in good faith, the customer calls to let us know we missed it. It’s easiest to decipher when an item – like the bike – is clearly labeled with a sign identifying it as “TRASH”.
2. Keep a Safe Distance from the Truck
Kids are drawn to big trucks. If your kids are outside, help them keep a safe distance until the truck leaves the area. Always make eye contact with Rumpke drivers and help them acknowledge your presence with a wave or head nod. Never go behind or in front of the truck.
3. Don’t Start a Fire
Common summer items that should NEVER go in your trash or recycling include:
- Propane Tanks: When your gas grill goes out or at the end of a camping trip, don’t toss the old propane tank in the trash. These pressurized canisters can explode in Rumpke trucks or at the landfill or recycling facility. Consider swapping the empty can for a full one at a gas station, convenient store or supermarket. Also, never place hot grills or charcoal in the trash or recycling.
- Pool Chemicals: Not only are these dangerous for our employees to handle, but pool chemicals can spontaneously combust under the right conditions in our trucks.
- Lithium Ion Batteries: We have traced several recent fires at our recycling facilities back to lithium ion batteries that have busted during collection or processing. One small battery can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Please check with your local solid waste district for proper disposal procedures for these items, or any potentially hazard materials.
About the author: Jonathan Kissell is the communications manager for Rumpke Waste & Recycling.