Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cincinnati is Above Average... garbage.

I went to the library today over lunch to check out the latest issue of the Cincinnati Magazine to read the article about the Rollergirls. The new issue wasn't on the shelf yet. It's a good magazine so I browsed through the April issue. There was a short Earth Day article containing facts about our local landfill run by Rumpke.

Fresh from reading Stepf's post about our carbon footprint at the Foodie Report, I was intrigued. Also, I used to work out that way and drove by Rumpke Mountain every work day for several years.

Folks do refer to it as a mountain since it is huge and actually the highest point in Hamilton county! According to the Cincinnati Magazine article it is about 1050 feet high. For perspective, the elevation of the Blue Ash airport (on a plateau in northeast metro area) is about 850 feet. That's sad!

The article also mentioned the mountain produces enough methane gas each year to heat about 20,000 homes. But what caught my attention was the fact that this is the 7th largest landfill in the country thanks to the fact that the average Cincinnatian dumps 650 pounds of trash there every year. That, combined with industrial waste, grows the mountain by about 2 million pounds each year.

I thought the landfill size ranking seemed large given our population. The City Data site has the Cincinnati metro area ranking 23rd in the US in 2000. So I guess the people in the Cincinnati metro area throw away more stuff than average in order to have made such a large landfill.

OK...I know it could be Rumpke Mountain is big because it's an old landfill (started in the 40's). Nevertheless, it'd be nicer to be above average in the recycling department instead of the garbage mountain department.

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