Thursday, April 04, 2019

Update: Recycling in Ann Arbor Remains Effective

A few days ago, I wrote about recycling food waste and food packaging, and how it's not working as well as it did a few years ago. Our local recycling efforts here in Ann Arbor, it turns out, are doing better than the national efforts, according to an update to their web page. They write: "While we have felt the impact of China’s National Sword [the recent cessation of China's acceptance of US recyclables] through decreased commodity prices, we have continued to uphold our commitment to the community and the environment and can assure you that Ann Arbor’s recyclables are not being landfilled or incinerated." Source: Recycle Ann Arbor, "Recycle Ann Arbor's Mission Weathers the National Storm."

At the Ann Arbor recycling facility: here's the garbage truck that I recently photographed in front of my house.
From the Recycle Ann Arbor update page.

Ann Arbor's success at having their recyclables actually processed into new products is possible because of their relationship with Rumpke Recycling in Cincinnati, Ohio. Through local midwestern connections Rumpke recycles all the glass that they obtain. They make recycled plastics into "products such as bottles, drainage pipe, and paint cans through regional and national companies in a variety of industries."

The history of Rumpke Recycling is especially interesting, as documented on their website. The company began in the 1930s as a waste disposal company, and has been owned and operated by the same family ever since. During World War II, when recycling was a very important part of the war effort, "Workers sorted tin and aluminum, which was baled and sold for about $40 per ton, or rags and items that could be reused. The remaining material was food scraps for the animals." As you probably know, after the war Americans stopped recycling, as did Rumpke, which was in the landfill business. According to the web page: "Although Rumpke had a long history of recovering materials for recycling, Rumpke Recycling was officially developed in 1989 with the purchase of a large recycling operation in Circleville, Ohio."

Today, according to Recycle Ann Arbor, despite the setbacks in recycling and especially the drop in prices for recycled material, Rumpke continues to accept recycling from Ann Arbor and many many other places:  "Over 97% of the recyclables Rumpke collects and processes are shipped to domestic markets. Rumpke can accomplish this domestic rate through long-term relationships with many regional and Ohio-based outlets."

My recent posts on recycling are:


Jeanie said...

This is very interesting, Mae. You know, I think I would expect A2 to do a good job with recycling. It strikes me as a responsible community.

Sherry's Pickings said...

thanks muchly Mae for adding this extra post so I could check the new Inlinkz linky thingy:-) Recycling is such an issue of our times isn't it? i know i'm trying harder all the time to get rid of plastic. cheers

Liz said...

Thanks for the update Mae, we should all be so lucky to have such a responsible company in our community.

Tiffin Fiona said...

This is good to know. Thanks for the update since your last post.

Kim Bultman said...

Ditto on what everyone else commented. Thanks for the update, Mae!