Rumpke Waste & Recycling, headquartered in Colerain Township, Ohio, has come a long way since founder William F. Rumpke first started collecting waste in the Cincinnati area in the 1930s. Rumpke, who ran a junkyard and coal delivery business, had the resourcefulness of a lot of other business owners operating during the Depression. Back then, if you wanted to stay in business, you had to be willing to be creative with what you’d accept as payment. After a customer bartered six young pigs in return for his services, Rumpke decided to fix up some of the trucks sitting in his junkyard and enlist relatives to go out searching for garbage to feed his new additions.
Just like that, Rumpke Waste & Recycling was born. Now, more than 80 years after those first trucks hit the road, Rumpke Waste & Recycling is one of the nation’s largest privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms.
With that kind of background, it should come as no surprise that there was no silver spoon in hand when current Rumpke President & CEO Bill Rumpke Jr. was coming up in the business.
“I grew up in the business. My grandfather, William F. Rumpke, founded Rumpke Waste. Eventually, my father and Rumpke’s current President Emeritus William J. Rumpke purchased the company with his cousin Tom Rumpke,” Rumpke says. “Those two started Rumpke’s commercial services and expanded the company to multiple states.
“I’ve spent the last 40 years working in the waste and recycling industry. Growing up in the business, our house was just a few miles from Rumpke Sanitary Landfill near Cincinnati, now one of the largest landfills in the country. I was involved at a very young age,” Rumpke says. “My father always made the point that it was our name on the trucks, so it was important to make every effort to be the best and to offer the highest standard of service. As a member of the family, nothing was handed to you. You had to earn it and you were expected to work harder than everyone else. While still very young, I started out working as a general laborer and later became a driver.”
While working as a driver, Bill attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in general business. After school, he earned promotions to multiple management positions within the company. During the late 1980s, Bill founded Rumpke’s Central Ohio service regions, where he added landfills and opened multiple recycling facilities. He was named chief operating officer in 2002 and later president and CEO in 2014.
A closer look
Today, Rumpke Waste & Recycling operates throughout parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia serving the residential, commercial and industrial waste and recycling needs of several million customers.
In all, Rumpke has around 3,000 employees and 60 locations, including 17 transfer stations, 12 landfills and 10 recycling centers. In 2017, the company provided collection for about 1.6 million accounts, and the company’s landfill volumes topped 500 million tons. Rumpke-owned and -operated recycling facilities also processed about 1 billion pounds of material last year. In all, Rumpke topped $600 million in revenue in 2017.