Rumpke recycling facility has fire; company says to be careful what gets thrown out

CINCINNATI — A large fire temporarily shut down Rumpke’s largest recycling facility in the Cincinnati area.

The fire started around 4 a.m. Wednesday at the company’s Vine Street facility in St. Bernard.

All employees immediately evacuated.

Crews from multiple fire departments were called to assist in the two-alarm fire.

“We are thankful that no one was injured,” said Bridgett Biggs, Rumpke area safety manager. “The cause of the fire remains unknown. We are conducting a full investigation.”

According to the company, these types of incidents are occurring more often.

“We continue to see fires in our trucks and our recycling facilities from customers placing potentially flammable (items) in recycling and trash containers,” said Biggs.

Propane tanks, cleaning products, full aerosol cans, pool chemicals and lithium-ion batteries are items that people have previously disregarded that could cause a serious incident, the company said.

“Placing these types of materials in the recycling and trash can cause a situation like we’ve seen today,” Biggs said. “That’s why we ask our customers to review our collection guidelines.”

You can find a list of potentially hazardous items here.

Rumpke’s facility is partially closed but the company said it plans to fully reopen later Wednesday.

The company is asking customers to leave their recycling on the curb because service will continue Wednesday where possible.

Rumpke opened its Cincinnati recycling facility more than 30 years ago. According to the company, it processes 700 tons of material each day collected from homes and businesses throughout Greater Cincinnati, the Miami Valley and Greater Louisville.

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