Rumpke drivers seeing more trash, but also more support from customers

Drivers for the region’s largest trash hauler have not only seen an increase in discarded garbage and recycling since Ohio’s first stay-at-home order, but they’ve also received a few gems.

Since mid-March, Rumpke drivers have found words of encouragement drawn on the sidewalk in chalk, notes attached to trash cans, gifts and other motivations as they continue to provide an essential service during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The messages are coming in daily, said Rumpke Operations Manager Travis Martin.

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“It’s nice to feel appreciated for the important work we do to protect human health as well as the environment. Our team members are truly appreciative for the outpouring of support we are seeing from our customers,” he said.

Solid waste and recycling collection and removal has been included among the “essential infrastructure” services section in Ohio public health director Dr. Amy Acton’s two stay-at-home orders enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One customer provided a card that read: “Thank you, thank you, thank you for working so hard especially with all the craziness in our world today. I just wanted to let you know you are much appreciated. I am praying for your health and safety.”

A thank you note read: “We really appreciate you and your continued support to us and our community. Stay well and safe.”

Commercial customers are also showing their appreciation as Brain Brew Custom Whiskey in Newton, Ohio, donated five cases of hand sanitizer for drivers and workers at Rumpke’s Georgetown, Ohio, location.

In other parts of the company, local Domino’s and KFC franchises delivered lunches showing appreciation.

Rumpke is headquartered in Colerain Twp., just north of Cincinnati, and one of the country’s nation’s privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms. It provides services to Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.

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In addition to gifts and notes of appreciation are being left at the curbside, people are also discarding between 20 to 25 percent more trash. Rumpke officials want to remind people by “properly preparing the material, you can help keep Rumpke employees safe.”

The company said all trash should be bagged, but all recycling items should be discarded loose in the recycling container. (A list of acceptable recycling items is found on the bin or at

Other reminders include:

• Don’t place batteries, tires, liquids, flammable items or household hazardous waste in trash or recycling containers.

• Properly dispose of medical sharps by placing them in a rigid plastic container, taping it shut and labeling it “sharps.” Place the container in the trash, not recycling.

• Prepare large items for collection by removing Freon from appliances and wrapping mattresses, box springs and upholstered furniture in plastic.

As spring cleanups are happening around the region, Rumpke said anyone with excess trash should consider taking it to the transfer station (there’s one on Ohio 127 in Hamilton), the Colerain Twp. landfill or renting an open-top Dumpster.

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