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Cleveland has a new recycling processor: Rumpke Waste & Recycling

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 22, 2022

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced Friday that the city selected Rumpke Waste & Recycling to process curbside recycling.

This has been a long time coming, considering the city hasn't had a recycling program for the past 2 years when its contract expired and leaders couldn't decide on a new bid.

"All of the recycling in that two years has been going into the trash, into the landfill, which is a bad thing," said Ren Brumfield.

Brumfield was hired in October 2021 to spearhead the new recycling program. He said they chose Rumpke out of three other bids.

"There’s so much that they do. There’s an expanded list of recyclables, bigger than what we had before. We want to make sure that people know that the recycling program we are entering into now is not the old program we had back when recycling started 15 years ago," he said.

Recycling in the city will be handled in several stages. Here's how it works:

The Cleveland Public Work's Department will first collect the items curbside. Next, the items will be sent to the Ridge Road Transfer Station. Rumpke will pick up the items from there and take them to the Medina County Recycling Center. Items there will be pre-sorted and glass and cardboard will be removed. The cardboard will be shipped out and glass will be sent to Rumpke's processing plant in Dayton. Finally, the remaining items will then be taken to Columbus and processed at another Rumpke facility.

"On Earth Day, we are proud to announce a fresh start for recycling in the City of Cleveland with a trusted local vendor as our partner,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “Thanks to our program coordinator, the sustainability team and all involved in the process so far. Residents across the city have let me know that recycling is important to them, and we are ready to get started.”

Gayane Makaryan with Rumpke said that 100% of the city's recycling processed by Rumpke goes to domestic end users, 80% to end users in Ohio and 95% in the Midwest. The company recycles and processes more than a billion pounds of items each year.

"Most importantly, we want city residents to know that their material is 100% getting recycled. We are really hoping residents see the value in this program and recycle the acceptable items," she said.

Brumfield said it will still be an opt-in program, but over the next month there will be a new enrollment period and information sent out to every city resident about the new program.

"Now that we have the right company, everyone’s been ready for a long time, we can really take advantage of this. Cleveland can be a leader. We are coming from a place where we are building from the ground up, so we can be in the lead on this. We can show people how it should be," he said.

Here's some tips on what you can recycle in Cleveland through Rumpke:

In 2021, Rumpke added tubs to the acceptable items list. This year, Rumpke announced the addition of paper, plastic and aluminum cups.

Examples of acceptable cups include paper beverage cups from fast-food restaurants (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.), plastic souvenir cups and Ball brand aluminum cups.

Additional guidelines include:

  • Plastic lids should be reattached to plastic cups.
  • Plastic lids from paper cups should be removed and discarded.
  • Straws and stoppers are not accepted.
  • Colored Solo brand cups are not accepted. These cups are made from polystyrene and we currently do not have a secure, long-term end user for this material.
  • Ceramic and glass cups are not accepted. In fact, they can be damaging to the glass recovery process.
  • K-cups are not accepted.

Paper cups processed at Rumpke’s recycling facilities will be made into cardboard and paperboard products, plastic cups will be used to make new plastic containers and aluminum cups will be made into aluminum cans.

City of Cleveland Rumpke customers can recycle the following items:

  • Plastic bottles, jugs, tubs (butter, sour cream, cottage cheese tubs as well as yogurt and fruit and yogurt cups) and disposable plastic cups, NOT Solo cups
  • Cartons
  • Glass bottles and jars (any color)
  • Aluminum cups and cans and steel cans
  • Paper, paper board (cereal boxes, 12-pack containers, mail, etc.), cardboard and paper cups

For City of Cleveland residents, all items should be clean, empty and placed in recycling containers loose to ensure they can be properly sorted and recycled.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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