COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Think twice about what you put in your garbage or recycling.

That warning comes from Rumpke Waste and Recycling after a two-alarm fire broke out at a recycling plant in Las Vegas as well as fires at several other centers across the country in September.

Investigators said the fire in Las Vegas started from a “hot load,” referring to the contents of a garbage truck that could spark a flame.

The massive fire prompted the company to issue the reminder after it also saw an increase in fires locally.

So far this year, Rumpke said it’s seen 44 fires at its recycling facility in Columbus. That’s compared to 41 fires in all of 2020.

Rumpke said the fires were caused by unacceptable and hazardous items, including batteries, propane tanks, pool chemicals, and improperly prepared aerosol cans.

Materials are accepted

  • paper and cardboard
  • glass bottles and jars
  • aluminum cans
  • plastic bottles
  • cartons

Rumpke said its employees are trained to look for flammable items both curbside and once the material enters the facility, but bagged recyclables are hard to catch. That’s why the company has asked customers to clean, empty, and place all items “in recycling carts loose,” not enclosed in plastic bags.

In a statement, Rumpke said, “We are extremely dedicated and committed to our recycling operation. We want to keep our employees and communities safe.”

Click here to see Rumpke’s complete list of acceptable recycling items, items that are not for recycling, and tips for the best ways to dispose of them.