by Kevin Osborne
It took awhile, but it's finally out. Firefighters battled a huge blaze at Rumpke's recycling plant in St. Bernard for 26 hours, finally clearing the scene around 8 p.m. Wednesday. In all, 150 firefighters from 10 departments responded to the fire at the massive Vine Street facility. Officials think a truckload of recyclables contained something hot that ignited the surrounding trash, although the exact cause remains under investigation.Judge Robin Piper has recused himself from ruling on Ryan Widmer's murder conviction appeal that will be argued next week. Piper was assigned to hear the case in the 12th District Court of Appeals but decided to step aside because he is a former Butler County prosecutor. Widmer is serving 15 years to life in prison for drowning his wife in their bathtub after he was found guilty in his third trial. Defense attorneys have filed an appeal for a fourth trial, stating that errors were made that violated Widmer's constitutional rights.Three students were caught vandalizing an anti-abortion display at Northern Kentucky University, and a fourth student later turned himself in. The students allegedly cut a display, erected by National Right to Life, that consisted of baby clothes on a line with a red "x" through every fourth one. Campus police have charged the students with criminal mischief, and college officials will hold a separate hearing to determine whether further discipline is needed.Ohio's largest gay rights group isn't supporting a ballot initiative that would overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriages. A representative for Equality Ohio said he's concerned there might be problems with the language proposed by the amendment's backers and that more analysis is needed. The ballot issue would ask voters to repeal a 2004 amendment that says Ohio recognizes only a marriage between a man and a woman. Supporters must collect about 385,000 valid voter signatures for the issue to appear on the ballot. Some critics believe the amendment is designed to increase voter turnout among conservatives in a presidential election year.A Butler County man who was convicted in the 2010 beating death of a baby alpaca is in trouble with the law again. Marcus T. Miller, 19, has been charged with receiving stolen property in Middletown Municipal Court. Miller was sentenced to 14 months in prison in January 2011 for his part in the theft and beating death of a baby alpaca from a Browns Run Road farm in January 2010.In news elsewhere, media is abuzz about the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman that was announced Wednesday evening. Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Although Zimmerman alleges he acted in self-defense, special prosecutor Angela Corey said facts in the case prove otherwise. Zimmerman is in a Seminole County jail cell, and will appear today at a 1:30 p.m. court hearing.A Republican congressman from Florida told a town hall meeting audience that "he's heard" up to 80 U.S. House Democrats are Communist Party members, but wouldn't name names. U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Plantation), who made the remarks, is a Tea Party candidate first elected in 2010 and is being pushed by Sarah Palin as a potential vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney.In a significant setback for so-called “ex-gay” programs, Dr. Robert Spitzer is repudiating his much-criticized 2001 study that claimed some “highly motivated” homosexuals could convert from gay to straight. His retraction occurred in an American Prospect magazine article published this week. Spitzer’s rejection of his own research, which originally was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, is a devastating blow to “pray the gay away” organizations because it eliminates their claim that homosexuality can be reversed through therapy and prayer.Meanwhile, a new study has found a link between conservative ideology and "low-effort" thinking. The study's lead author, University of Arkansas psychologist Dr. Scott Eidelman, cautioned that the findings don't necessarily mean conservatives are lazy thinkers. "Our research shows that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, not that political conservatives use low-effort thinking,” he said.A baby that was born prematurely in Argentina was declared dead and spent nearly 12 hours in a coffin at a morgue before the parents, opening the coffin to say their last goodbyes, discovered the girl was alive. A health ministry official said five medical professionals involved have been suspended pending an investigation.
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: Environment
at 02:53 PM | Permalink
Nearly 19,000 tons of waste were diverted in 2011
It's always good news when a multi-million dollar investment turns out to reap more than it sows. So it goes with the city of Cincinnati's 2011 $3.6 million investment in its expanded recycling program. According to a report delivered to City Council's strategic growth committee, 18,880 tons of waste were diverted from Rumpke landfill in 2011. The expanded recycling program featured three key changes, including doling out recycling carts to every household eligible for curbside recycling, the highly successful Recyclebank incentive program and switching pick-ups to every other week instead of weekly. According to Sue Magness, Recycling Coordinator for the city of Cincinnati's Office of Environmental Quality, the jump marks a 75 percent increase in household recycling participation since prior to the expansion's implementation; the city earned 20,000 new recyclers during the transition. Cincinnati reached an all-time recycling low in 2007, when only 10,850 tons were recycled. Since then, rates have been slowly increasing, says Magness, thanks to strong local proponents and a serious focus on easing the process of recycling. The numbers are encouraging, says Magness, but she's confident rates could continue to increase with higher community awareness and education. "Based on waste audits, we know what 60 percent of what's going into the landfill is recyclable," she says. "That's 32,000 tons that people are still putting in the wrong can." The popular Recyclebank program, according to Magness, has proven to be the a strong ally in increasing recycling rates. The average recycler, she says, earns about $250 in coupons and savings just by recycling. Promoting multi-family recycling and continuing to improve recycling technologies will help. The next big step in boosting participation? Instituting a pay-as-you-throw program in every Cincinnati municipality. She admits it's a lofty goal — and likely far off from actually being implemented in Cincinnati — but it's also one that's proven most effective in the 8,000 communities across the country that currently have such programs in place. "Just like with other utilities, when you have to pay to use something, you're more cautious. Here, you can consume, consume, consume and throw away as much as you want with no penalty."
Company earlier promised no more growth
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A group of concerned citizens who have been fighting the expansion of a local landfill for over four years insist they have no intention of giving up, despite facing several recent legal setbacks. The group, Property Owners Want Equal Rights (POWER), has been fighting the proposed expansion of Rumpke Consolidation Cos. landfill in Colerain Township.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It’s common among men who are afraid of homosexuality to ignore its existence, convincing themselves that every Ricky Martin music video is just another example of a very attractive, well-groomed man who loves dancing and also his wife.
Residents offer options to landfill expansion
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Some Colerain Township residents are proposing methods for drastically reducing or halting the thousands of tons of trash that's dumped daily into Mount Rumpke, the landfill nicknamed for its distinction as Hamilton County's highest point. Colerain Township's Property Owners Want Equal Rights (POWER) and Ohio Citizen Action have banded together for an effort dubbed the Good Neighbor Campaign.
Rumpke: Ex-employees unqualified for same jobs they held before
2 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Little more than six months after helping a group of temporary workers claim better wages and put an end to bizarre fees that ate into their already meager incomes, local activists are suddenly less sublime about the battles they won last year. Of the 50 workers they represented in legal tussles with their employers, less than half are still working at Rumpke's St. Bernard recycling center.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The Hamilton County Parks District recently bought 184 acres of land in Colerain Township from the Rumpke waste removal and landfill companies. Located next to the Oak Glen Nature Preserve, the site will be preserved as greenspace and was purchased for $1.1 million, with most of the money coming from a Clean Ohio Conservation Grant. We like the smell of that.
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A little more than a year ago, I moved to South Korea to teach English to spoiled kindergartners. I was crammed into a small box apartment in the outskirts of Seoul furnished with only a mattress and a television I found in the trash. As the weeks went by, I started to notice that near the entrance of every single building in Korea was a "Garbage Watcher" who watches people take out their trash during the day, ensuring efficiency and respect for the dumpster.
Tons of ways (and reasons) to recycle around the Tristate
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A large percentage of material currently occupying landfills could have been recycled if only given the chance. We can all help by using city- and county-sponsored recycling programs and by recycling through independent facilities.
What happens to your trash and recycling after it’s hauled off
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Rumpke Sanitary Landfill in Colerain Township, colloquially known as Mount Rumpke, is massive. This behemoth monument to our mass consumption and throwaway culture towers as the highest point in Hamilton County, yet it's just the part visible from U.S. Route 27.