Glass bottles
Sims Municipal Recycling workers at the company's New Jersey MRF
Sims Municipal Recycling

Glass Recycling Coalition awards gold-level MRF Glass Certification

Rumpke Waste & Recycling and Sims Municipal Recycling have received the coalition’s highest certification level.

September 10, 2020

Rumpke Waste & Recycling
Workers at Rumpke's material recovery facility in Columbus, Ohio.

The Glass Recycling Coalition, Ann Arbor, Michigan, has awarded a gold-level MRF Glass Certification to material recovery facilities (MRFs) operated by Rumpke Waste & Recycling, Cincinnati, and Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR), Brooklyn, New York. Two Sims MRFs and three Rumpke MRFs received this honor for their processes for cleaning up glass and integrated beneficiation, according to a news release from GRC.

“These MRFs are leading the way by not only cleaning up glass in the MRF, but their integrated glass beneficiation ensures a higher quality glass,” says Jim Nordmeyer, global vice president of sustainability at Ohio-based O-I Glass and a member of the GRC leadership committee.

GRC reports that SMR and Rumpke have a precleaning process to remove glass early. That MRF glass is then taken to company-owned glass processing sites for further cleanup, color sorting and marketability. End markets for these facilities include furnace-ready bottle-to-bottle options, fiberglass and roadbed.

“Environmental sustainability is a core pillar of our company mission,” says Bill Rumpke Jr., president and CEO of Rumpke. “We continue to invest in recycling and look for innovative ways to put material to good use. Over the last 10 years, we made significant investments to operate the most technologically advanced recycling systems in our service footprint.”

Family-owned and operated Rumpke operates a glass recycling beneficiation plant in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton plant produces about 60,000 to 70,000 tons per year for glass insulation and bottle manufacturing. End markets are found in Ohio and neighboring Indiana at fiberglass and bottle manufacturers.

“It made financial sense to build our own glass beneficiation plant; however, that may not be the same for other facilities based on factors like volume and proximity to glass cullet customers,” says Tom Outerbridge, general manager of SMR. “In those instances, we encourage communities to remain committed to glass recycling and to reimagine how to best capture this resource given local and regional conditions.”  

SMR’s New Jersey location is home to SMR’s beneficiation facility for all of the curbside glass SMR produces at its New York and New Jersey MRFs. The glass plant includes optical sorters to color sort cullet for sale to glass furnaces and cleaning equipment to make glass aggregate from the glass that cannot be color sorted. SMR’s glass plant processes more than 100,000 tons per year and can ship by rail and barge in addition to trucks to extend its market reach for processed glass. 

The GRC MRF Glass Certification was launched in the fall of 2019. To date seven U.S. MRFs hold this certification. The free certification program recognizes MRFs with additional equipment and operational procedures to clean up glass in both single- and dual-stream systems. The glass certification criteria are judged on current infrastructure and a glass purity measure. An independent committee scores certification levels into gold, silver and bronze certifications. MRFs holding this certification will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, the GRC says.

GRC’s website currently hosts an interactive map showing MRFs, glass processors and end markets across the country. GRC certified MRFs will be noted on this map along with public recognition of this certification.