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Mistakes people make when recycling

CINCINNATI (Josh Knight) -- On a typical day Rumpke's recycling center will process up to 1 million pounds.

As we get closer to summer and warmer weather, that number will only go up.  Jonathan Kissel is Rumpke's communications supervisor. He says you can think of this process like an onion.

Kissel said, "We're slowly peeling off layers of that onion.  We're going to peel off cardboard and paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans until it is all separated by type."
But everyday they get things here that can't be recycled.  At least not here.

"There's a specific list of things that we do want, and some items that we don't want," said Kissel.
Plastic fits both categories.  One simple rule, it needs to be a bottle.  Kissel says if it's bigger at the base than it is at the opening, they want it.  But something like a butter container or a strawberry container, they don't.
If you go one step farther and crush it, you're helping out even more.  It helps for the machine actually scanning for plastic bottles.  When it sees one, it shoots it off the belt with a perfectly timed and placed puff of air.

Kissel tells Local 12 Meteorologist, Josh Knight, "Big no, no though: plastic bags.  Whether it's your grocery bag or a trash bag, this can't be recycled and even though inside is a lot of stuff that could be recycled, often times, they won't have the time to empty this out and get to those other products."

He continued, "The system is an intricate set of rotating discs and spinning belts and plastic bags and VHS tapes can get wrapped around those discs and cause unexpected downtime and even expensive damage to the equipment."
And those repair costs  will be passed on to all of us.  The goal is to keep recycling as cost effective as possible for Rumpke customers.  The better the system runs, that helps them lower the cost of the operation.
Even though Rumpke can't process your plastic grocery bags, Kissel says you still don't' have to worry about them ending up in the landfill.  Many grocery stores are now collecting them and they will make sure they get recycled.

Follow Josh Knight on Twitter @joshknightwx and LIKE him on Facebook

Video HERE



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