The Franklin County Sanitary Landfill, owned and operated by SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio), receives more than a million tons of material every year with the majority arriving from area businesses. In a unique and unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sectors of Ohio’s waste industry, SWACO, WM (Waste Management) and Rumpke Waste & Recycling are working to help more Franklin County businesses start new recycling programs and reduce their reliance on the landfill.
SWACO’s Business Recycling Champions program provides local businesses with financial incentives and technical assistance needed to start a recycling program. As a result, those businesses will be able to collect a full suite of materials for recycling including paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, and metal items – similar to what can be recycled at home today.
“Central Ohio’s business community is an important partner in our region’s ability to meet our waste diversion goals and I applaud all of the partners who are working collaboratively to keep these valuable materials out of the landfill and moving through Ohio’s circular economy,” said Joe Lombardi, Executive Director of SWACO. “When we can find common ground and work together, our communities, businesses and environment reap the greatest reward.”
As part of the program, Rumpke and WM have agreed to monitor and share information about the types and quality of materials being collected, and any contaminants in the waste stream to help improve the success of a business’s recycling program.
As participating haulers, they will also advise businesses participating in SWACO’s program on the type and quantity of recycling services needed to ensure a program that is right-sized for their operations. Finally, they will certify whether any businesses they work with are a new customer and therefore eligible for additional Service Start Up Support funding from SWACO.
On September 15, WM unveiled their new, 100,000 square-foot recycling facility in Cleveland – which is capable of processing 144,000 tons a year of material, giving materials a second life, and providing greater opportunity for local solutions for single stream recycling across the state of Ohio. The addition of WM’s new Cleveland Recycling Facility – with state-of the-art technology, including glass recovery equipment, optical sorters, non-wrapping screens and ballistic separators – is intended to help allow the region’s recycling programs to expand and produce higher quality material for customers that use the recycled material as feedstock to manufacture new products.
“WM is thrilled to collaborate with SWACO and help businesses in central Ohio achieve their recycling needs. WM is North America’s leading provider of environmental solutions, and this initiative reinforces our commitment to the environment, as we work to drive circularity and a more sustainable future” said Aaron Johnson, Great Lakes area vice president for WM. “Leveraging our infrastructure, innovation, and expertise, WM is setting a bold sustainability vision for the future; one where material is repurposed, energy is renewable, and communities are thriving.”
“As the recycling leader, it is imperative that we assist area companies and businesses develop robust recycling programs,” said Mark O’Brien, Rumpke vice president, Columbus region. “This is the work we’ve done for over 90 years. Our goal is to make the most of the material we have access to, and to increase the amount of material collected to further fuel Ohio’s circular economy and be responsible stewards of our environment.”
Earlier this year, Rumpke broke ground on a new $95 million, 223,000 square foot facility that will be the largest, most technologically advanced facility of its kind in North America. The privately funded Rumpke Recycling and Resource Center is being built right here in Columbus and Franklin County. It will include AI technology, infrared optical scanners and ballistic separators that will allow Rumpke to increase the amount of recyclable material it processes annually from 150,000 tons to 250,000 tons from Columbus and nearly 50 Ohio counties, helping to further position Franklin County as one of America’s greenest communities.
Additionally, collaborations with COSI and The Ohio State University will allow Rumpke to further expand education opportunities for the community and its customers.
In addition to connecting businesses with a hauler participating in SWACO’s program, the Business Recycling Champions program includes financial incentives to help businesses obtain containers and signage to improve their programs.
“SWACO and partners are working together to leverage our collective strengths and knowledge of implementing recycling programs to better serve the business community in Franklin County and we look forward to growing the number of haulers participating in our Business Recycling Champions program in the future,” said Andrew Booker, Programs Manager for SWACO.
For more information and to learn how to apply to participate in the Business Recycling Champions program, visit swaco.org.