Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recycling Field Trip

Today we traveled with a couple other families to Rumpke Recycling in Hanging Rock, Ohio to learn a little more about the recycling process. We've recycled for a long time. We started when we lived in Akron where recycling was easy. We had curbside pick up and only had to place our recyclables in blue bags and set them out with the rest of the trash. It was so easy, why wouldn't we recycle?

When we moved here about 4 years ago that easy recycling went away. They don't pick up here, and at first we had a hard time finding a place to take the stuff. We did eventually located a drop off that was convenient for Tim to drop off while driving for work. The only problem is they do not take glass. Since moving here our recycling has been mostly consistent. We save metals to scrap and get paid for. Plastics are taken to the drop off. We shred our paper and use it for chicken bedding. Cardboard we burn, but glass ends up the trash, though that may change. Rumpke takes glass. They are not close to us, but Tim drives right by there every week. They also pay for cardboard, paper, and newspaper.

Our visit to Rumpke was interesting. They are a multi-purpose facility with drop off bins and buy-back facilities for the public, general trash collection for nearby communities, and corporate recycling services. They purchase recyclables from the public or from businesses, sort them, and bale them for further processing.

The picture below is the baler. The second picture is shredded paper purchased from a company that provides shredding services to other companies. The third picture down shows cardboard that has gone through the baler. Our guide estimated that all the cardboard in the picture below would make about three bales.

This picture shows plastic products purchased from a nearby Pepsi facility. The white tubs were made to hold some sort of chemical, but the stacks to the right of that are brand new bottles and labels that had been discontinued and were no longer needed.

A couple of interesting facts we learned today:
  • Bauxite Ore, the raw material for aluminum, is no longer available in the US. All raw materials for new cans must be imported.
  • Making a new steel can from raw materials can take four times more energy than making a can from recycled steel.
  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60 watt light bulb for up to 6 hours!
Recycling just makes sense to me.


  1. Interesting.

    Out of curiosity, did they say why bauxite ore is NLA in the US? I wonder if it's due to gov't regulations and/or EPA restrictions as opposed to lack of availability.

  2. NLA he said we've mined all we have.