Polypropylene bale
Rumpke's new robotics will be used to help its Cincinnati plant sort polypropylene.
Candace Nelson Photography LLC

Rumpke invests in robotics to sort PP

The company received grant funding from The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition earlier this year to help with this investment.

Rumpke Waste & Recycling, headquartered in Cincinnati, has invested almost $2 million to install three robots at its recycling facility in Cincinnati. The company says this investment will help the facility to “better sort plastic containers from the rest of the recycling stream and supports new recycling growth for the region.”

“Robotics are the latest and greatest technology in the recycling industry,” says Jeff Snyder, recycling senior manager at Rumpke Waste & Recycling. “We are very excited to be the first recycling facility in Ohio to add this cutting-edge technology.”

He adds that the facility is the first among Rumpke's facilities to integrate robotics and one of the first recycling facilities in the Midwest to incorporate robotics.

Rumpke says the investment was partially funded by a grant from The Recycling Partnership to help the plant to recover polypropylene (PP). Funding from The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition must be used to improve PP sorting in the MRF. Rumpke also plans to add two more robots in the coming months to help the plant to further improve on quality with sorting PP scrap.

Rumpke says it invested in Machinex SamurAI robots. The company says the robots use artificial intelligence to identify materials and engage articulated arms to grab the material and direct it through the plant. The robots also can make about 70 picks per minute.

Prior to this investment Rumpke reports that it recovered "some PP" but with the robots the facility can "significantly increase" its PP recovery rates.