FFC friends, did you know that you can take a tour of Mt. Rumpke (a.k.a. Rumpke Sanitary Landfill)?
I didn’t know you could take a tour until a troop leader from the Cosmos Girl Scouts of Western Ohio coordinated a day of tours for some local Mason Girl Scout troops. The tour will really make you stop and think about all the trash you throw away and hopefully jump start you into recycling more (read more about their “The Recycle Challenge” and how Cincinnati schools can earn up to $3000 annually by collecting cans).
Rumpke provides free bus tours of their landfill on Wednesdays. You’ll need a group of 10 or more to go on a tour and the tour is best for ages four and up. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and you will get to see and learn so much (click here for more information).
Our tour guide was awesome. We met in the parking lot and after boarding their tour bus; our guide gave us a bit of background history about the company. Rumpke has been a family owned business for over 75 years and originally the Rumpke brothers, William & Bernard, were hog farmers. Now, they have over fifty family members working at one of their eight landfills, recycling centers, and/or transfer stations. The tour really made me appreciate my garbage man too. Many of these men and women are at work by 3am to start their day. One residential garbage collector may service as many as 500 houses in one day. That’s a lot of trash to pick up. The workers also take a lot of pride in their job and their vehicles. On site, they have their own truck washing station as well as a wheel wash. There were also these large yellow water tanks spraying water throughout the landfill. They do this to keep dust to a minimum. Rumpke seems very conscientious of its local neighbors and really works hard at keeping dust, odors and debris to a minimum. They even have workers who are out collecting trash that escapes from the main landfill and they have these humongous large screens to try to catch any wayward plastic bags or other trash that may get caught up in the wind and drift away. (Note to self: I will work hard on either using recyclable grocery bags or return any plastic grocery bags to the recycling bin at the grocery store since these bags cannot be recycled by Rumpke – by the time they get to them they are usually too yucky to use.)
After seeing the main landfill, the bus headed past the methane gas plants. The GSF Plant Operations work in conjunction with Rumpke to take some of the methane gas that gets produced from buried trash. This methane gas is then converted to usable natural gas and actually helps heat over 20,000 homes in Greater Cincinnati. This was another tidbit of information I had no clue about and is another way Rumpke is helping our community by recycling gas. Rumpke has recently been in the news regarding having elevated temperatures underground. You can read more about what they are doing to help alleviate the problem. Since the company was the one who brought the issue to the EPA, I think this speaks volumes regarding their high ethical standards. Rumpke has also done so many things for our community.
Our bus headed higher and higher until we were at the top of Mt. Rumpke. Since it was a bit overcast, we didn’t get to see as much of the view as we wanted, but, it was really cool being on one of the highest points in Cincinnati and overlooking the massive landfill. I hope you’ll get a chance to tour the landfill one day. It is a great way for kids to learn where their trash actually goes. Hopefully, it will make them better stewards of their environment by showing them the importance of recycling (I also learned to throw away the cap tops to plastic bottles since these are not recyclable). Thank you Rumpke for a great day!