Emily Wendler / WVXU

More Tri-Staters are recycling but some are still confused as to what Rumpke, the area's largest recycler, will accept.

In the first quarter of this year Rumpke reports a 7 percent increase in recycling when compared to the same period last year. Its Cincinnati recycling center processed about 40,000 tons, up from 37,000 tons in the first quarter of 2014.

The Cincinnati facility is getting a workout. Rumpke processed more than 318 million pounds of material in 2014.

Maryanne Zeleznik / WVXU

The company that owned those popular green and yellow paper recycling containers often found in church and school parking lots, sold off its business early last month. Now locations with the recycling bins are finding they have a problem: the bins are full but no one is emptying them.

Abitibi sold its Paper Retriever fundraising program to a corporation that has, in turn, sold the containers, and just the containers, to Rumpke.

"We ended up purchasing the containers - not the customers or the service - on October 1," says Rumpke spokeswoman Amanda Pratt.

Emily Wendler / WVXU

Items that cannot be recycled are causing some issues for the Rumpke recycling center in St. Bernard.  Company workers are being forced to trash some things that are not recyclable and should have never been sent to the facility in the first place.  

“Some non-recyclables can easily be sorted out with our advanced technology,” said recycling operation manager Brad Dunn in a statement.  “However some of these non-recyclables can injure our employees, damage our sorting equipment or contaminate other recyclables.”

Items to avoid:

GE Aviation

Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, challenged by Governor John Kasich to outcompete neighboring states for jobs and capital, points to a plan his agency used with GE Aviation to fast track permits. What normally could take up to 18 months to approve took just five months. Because it was so successful, the system of using six people instead of two to process the permit may be modeled around the state and nation.

GE Aviation's urgency

Emily Wendler / WVXU

Rumpke realizes your (recycled) trash could be another company's treasure. Armed with a brand new $32 million, 100,000 square foot sorting center in St. Bernard, Rumpke is taking tons of recyclables off the street and marketing the material to paper mills and businesses that buy plastic and other goods.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

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:

WVXU news staff

The Ohio EPA is holding a public hearing Tuesday night on Rumpke's request to increase the amount of odor neutralizer being used at its Colerain Township site.  The new permit would allow the company to use up to 2,741  gallons of the neutralizer mixed with more than 2.7 million gallons of water monthly. 

The deodorizer is made from essential plant oils, mainly from fruits and vegetables.  It's applied using 200 spray nozzles attached to more than 6,100 feet of hose, 20 industrial fans and mobile spray dispensers

Rumpke says it will build a 32-million dollar recycling center in Saint Bernard to replace its former facility destroyed by fire last year.

In a release the company says the facility will be 85-thousand square feet and will create one of the largest and most technologically advanced residential recycling systems in the U.S.  It will be capable of sorting up to 55 tons of material every hour, more than doubling the capabilities of the previous system.

Rumpke estimates the new facility will bring about 100 new jobs to St. Bernard.

WVXU news staff

The Ohio Supreme Court says the Rumpke landfill in Colerain Township is not a public utility and not exempt from the township's zoning authority.

The unanimous ruling from Ohio's high court overturned lower court decisions from a Hamilton County Judge and the First District Court of Appeals. 

The case started in 2006 when the Colerain Township zoning commission and the trustees denied Rumpke's request to expand its landfill facility.