Glass makes up 15 percent of what Cincinnatians throw out. Beginning this November, Rumpke will recycle it in a brand new St. Bernard facility that sits on the same site as one that burned down a year ago.
Although Rumpke will also recycle paper, plastics and metals at this facility, a big focus is on glass recycling. Very small, refined recycled glass particles are in big demand by glass container and fiberglass insulation companies.
There are eight steps in the glass recycling process:
- While in a hopper, a magnet extracts metal contaminants
- A vibrating finger-screen separates small pieces from large so contaminants can be easily removed
- A magnet and eddy current extract steel and aluminum
- Screens extract other contaminants
- Wet glass is sent through a dryer
- A screen extracts really small pieces for use in fiberglass insulation
- Larger glass pieces pass through a series of optical scanners to separate flint and amber glass
- Amber and flint glass are then separated according to rigid specs for use as new glass containers
Part of this process will be done in Cincinnati and the other part will be done at Rumpke's Dayton recycling plant.
Here is a video, made by Rumpke, explaining what happens at the Dayton plant.
The Dayton facility processes about 40,000 tons of broken and mixed glass each year for both the fiberglass insulation and container glass industries.