With the new year, comes some good news from SWACO’s partners at Rumpke Waste & Recycling. Earlier this week, Rumpke announced that they would be expanding their plastics recycling program to include polypropylene tubs and yogurt containers. In recent years, Central Ohio’s residential plastics recycling program has only allowed for the recycling of plastic bottles and jugs which feature a neck smaller than their base. This week’s announcement expands the existing recycling program to include a wide variety of plastic tubs such as butter, cottage cheese, and sour cream tubs, fruit, pudding, and applesauce cups and all yogurt containers. These items need to be empty and clean before being they’re put in the recycling cart. Lids and labels can be left on but the foil tops that sometimes come on yogurt containers should be removed and not recycled.

Like most businesses, recycling is commodities-based. Taking care to recycle correctly is an important act we can each make to support the businesses which make it possible for each of us to recycle our unwanted materials. In order to expand the plastics recycling program, Rumpke has secured several long-term buyers and users of our recycled plastics. In addition to securing end users, Rumpke is also investing in new equipment and the necessary workforce to separate and sort these materials at their Material Recovery Facilities (MRF). Once separated at the MRF, these materials are baled and shipped to businesses, many of which are in Ohio, to become new products – like water bottles and plastic lumber.

In order to recycle right, it’s important to know which items are still not accepted for recycling in Franklin County’s curbside and drop-off recycling programs. Items on the ‘no-no’ list include disposable plastic cups such as party cups, and plastic take out and clamshell containers like those used for strawberries and blueberries.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t able to avoid using these items, the only current options for disposing them are to either reuse them (look for someone in your local Facebook Freebies group who may use them for a craft, to organize art supplies or a school project) or put them in the trash where they’ll be safely disposed at the landfill.

For more information, visit RecycleRight.org or www.swaco.org.