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Rumpke opens resource recovery facility in Indiana

Jul 21, 2023Jul 21, 2023

Rumpke Waste & Recycling, headquartered in Cincinnati, has opened its $14.3 million Monroe County Resource Recovery Facility in Bloomington, Indiana. The company hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility May 16.

Rumpke began construction at the site in May 2022. According to Rumpke, the facility is located in an industrial park with good transportation access as well as proximity to local waste generators. The 25,000-square-foot facility serves as a recycling and waste transfer facility, accepting recyclables and waste from residential, commercial and institutional sources. At the new facility, Rumpke says waste will be unloaded from collection trucks and reloaded into tractor trailers for same-day transportation to Rumpke's landfill in Jackson County, Indiana. Recyclables will be processed and transported to Indiana manufacturers or to other Rumpke recycling facilities for further processing.

According to Rumpke, the enclosed facility features a modern design with a large tipping floor to receive municipal solid waste on one side and recyclables on the other side. The facility will process recyclables with a Machinex baler, which Rumpke says was partially supported by a $366,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Recycling Market Development Program.

Jeff Snyder, director of recycling at Rumpke, says the new facility serves as more of a transfer facility than a traditional material recovery facility (MRF). "The facility accepts a variety of recyclable materials, including mixed residential recycling as well as large quantities of separated cardboard, fiber, plastics and glass from commercial and industrial entities. Mixed residential material will be loaded into tractor-trailers and transported to Rumpke's MRF in Cincinnati for processing. Source-separated material will be baled on-site and sent to Rumpke's network of end users, many of which are located in Indiana."

He adds that the company is excited that the facility provides the opportunity for glass recycling. "The facility was designed with glass recovery in mind, featuring a glass bunker where we will accept truckloads of glass bottles and jars. Glass will be transported to Rumpke's one-of-a-kind glass recycling facility or to Indiana manufacturers in the container glass and fiberglass insulation industries who are in need of more postconsumer glass."

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"Rumpke is committed to providing enhanced recycling and disposal options for residents and businesses in Monroe County and the surrounding region, and this facility is an important part of that mission," says Eric Curtis, region vice president for Rumpke. "When planning for this project, we recognized a critical need for increased recycling in south central Indiana. Rumpke's Monroe County Resource Recovery Facility is a vital component of the infrastructure needed to ensure communities have access to innovative, long-term recycling and disposal options for years to come."

Snyder tells Recycling Today Media Group that a review of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's solid waste facility database indicates that Monroe County is uniquely underserved by current solid waste infrastructure. Rumpke says, "Of the 17 counties in Indiana with a population of greater than 100,000, the vast majority (12 counties or 70 percent) have two or more competing solid waste facilities (including landfills, transfer stations or incinerators) within their borders. Monroe County has only a single facility: the Hoosier Transfer Station. This effectively [made] the county reliant on a single facility to handle the majority of its waste. Rumpke's Monroe County Resource Recovery Facility will help make the county's solid waste system more resilient."

Snyder adds that the county and its surrounding service area also are underserved with access to recycling options. "When we began planning for this facility, we recognized a need for more recycling and diversion opportunities in and around Monroe County. That was one of the main reasons we decided to pursue this project—to provide necessary infrastructure to ensure the region has access to enhanced, long-term recycling options," he says.

The site also includes a separate building with a maintenance garage and office space to house sales, operations and administrative employees. Initially, 25 Rumpke employees will work at the location.

Snyder adds that the site aims to serve as a one-stop waste solutions provider for Monroe County and the surrounding area, offering expanded recycling options and additional disposal options for municipal solid waste. He says, "We are actively working to partner with third-party haulers and will be available for municipal crews and institutions performing their own collection. We also plan to partner with communities and businesses to find ways to divert more material from the waste stream."

Rumpke operates 10 facilities in Indiana, including three waste transfer stations, two landfills, two recycling facilities and three truck depots.

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