Fayette County has various Rumpke multi-material recycling drop-off locations that residents use, but residents also continuously recycle things they shouldn’t.
Ross-Pickaway-Highland-Fayette Joint Solid Waste Management District (RPHF SWMD) was established in 1989. The RPHF has goals it must meet routinely. Some of those goals include education on waste management, including recycling, organizing programs and information and various other activities.
Erica Tucker, the director of RPHF SWMD, said, “We’re really trying to get out there and re-educate people and change how they’re recycling.”
Tucker said, “Just because it is one way in one state or county does not mean that is how it is here.”
The reason that certain things cannot be recycled here even if they are recyclable elsewhere, is because companies that recycle the products must be able to find somewhere for them to go once recycled. The market for those items here is different than what they may be in another state. It is important to follow guidelines of the company doing the recycling to make sure items are actually recycled.
Items that are accepted in the Rumpke bins include glass bottles and jars, paper products, aluminum cans, cardboard and paperboard, steel cans, plastic bottles and jugs. The plastic bottles and jugs must have a wider base than the mouth. The bins have postings on them of what is accepted.
Medical sharps and syringes cannot be recycled as they have specific guidelines for disposal provided by the Ohio EPA.
Other items that cannot be recycled in this location include plastic bags, pressurized tanks, hoses, chains, cassette and VHS tapes, hangers, hazardous materials, clothing, sheets and trash. Make sure there are no straws in cartons being recycled.
When placing the items in the recycling bins, they cannot be in garbage bags. Items must be dumped into the bins or must be in a recyclable container such as paper bags or a cardboard box. If left in plastic bags, they will not be recycled. Reusable totes can also be used to take recyclables—simply dump the contents into the bin and keep the totes for future recyclables.
There are bins in several locations. In Bloomingburg: town hall at 62 Main St.; in Jeffersonville: Detty’s Market at 10 W. High St.; in Washington Court House: Fayette County Transfer Station at 1600 Robinson Road and Heritage Memorial Food Pantry at 412 Rose Ave.; in Milledgeville: Community center at 850 Main St.; in Mt. Sterling: Deercreek State Park at 20635 Waterloo Road; and in New Holland: fire station at 17 N. Church St.
Other items not able to be recycled in the bins may be recyclable through other companies besides Rumpke. These items include electronics, batteries, cell phones, auto, scrap metal, plastic shopping bags, furniture, tires, fluorescent bulbs and household hazardous waste.
For an updated list on the Rumpke bins and other companies accepting specific recyclables, please go to www.rphfsolidwastedistrict.com/services/fayette.html.
For information on RPHF, the general website is www.rphfsolidwastedistrict.com. There is also a Facebook page where updates are posted, including special events for certain items to be recycled such as tires and electronics. To find the Facebook page, search “RPHF Solid Waste District 4.”
Tucker explained the staff tries to keep the community updated and educated. They occasionally give out tote bags when they have them to people who are recycling.
Lauren Grooms is the assistant director and the education specialist in the RPHF for Fayette County and Ross County. She can be contacted for questions and for anyone wishing to set up an information session — whether it be schools or a different organization. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tucker suggested to “be mindful when you go shopping. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.” This, according to her, would help to decrease the amount of waste just sitting around and eventually going to landfills. This would be the reduction mentioned in the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Tucker explained recycling is struggling right now, but she believes this creates the opportunity for entrepreneurs to open businesses that utilize these recycled materials. She said, “I believe that we have an awesome generation of people right now that really care about the environment.”
RPHF can be reached at 740-420-5452. Tucker can be reached at email@example.com.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @kenanipel.