Earth Day ’22: Passion for recycling growing in The Cov

Some of the 424 new curbside recycling carts waiting to be claimed. (Photo used courtesy of Rumpke)

Delivery of 424 new carts expands households in free program

COVINGTON, Ky. – “The Earth is what we all have in common,” said the renowned Kentucky poet, essayist, environmental activist, AND farmer Wendell Berry, and it’s a fitting thought for the annual celebration of Earth Day today.

Sheila Fields, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling division coordinator, sees the day as an opportunity to give thought to, and act upon, fulfilling a responsibility for the planet’s well-being.

“Earth Day is a day to recognize our collective responsibility to protect the environment and promote conservation and sustainability,” Fields said. “Local awareness about how you can make a difference in your community through municipal curbside recycling is a great place to start.”

Fields and her team work daily to encourage and enable Covington residents and businesses to put good intentions into action through initiatives like the City’s curbside recycling program, which is free for homeowners.

They are seeing results.

Growing numbers

According to City data, at the end of March of this year, almost 63 percent of the City’s Rumpke Waste and Recycling’s residential accounts were recycling, up from 46 percent in January 2016, the first year for such data. That increase amounts to 2,425 more households that are recycling.

Altogether, Covington households recycled almost 179 tons of material in curbside carts in February 2022 alone.

That number is expected to increase: Faced with a waiting list of 120 households wanting to enroll in the free curbside recycling program, Covington’s Solid Waste & Recycling division was able to order and have delivered 424 new carts.

Rumpke is currently delivering orders for 102 medium-sized (65-gallon) recycling carts and 18 smaller-sized (35-gallon) recycling carts, Fields said. Once those 120 recycling carts are delivered, there will be 304 additional carts available for order through Rumpke. Larger (95-gallon) carts are also available.

“We’ve seen a steady climb in participation and passion for recycling among Covington residents, and with the new carts, we’re turning that enthusiasm into action,” Fields said. “Now we’re hoping more people step up to claim and use the remaining carts.”

The carts are available for free to any single-family property and to apartments with up to four units. Properties with more than five units have their own accounts with Rumpke. See the City’s TRASH & RECYCLING webpage for details.


Also to celebrate Earth Day this week, the City recently adopted a kindergarten class at John G. Carlisle Elementary, where members of the Solid Waste & Recycling team taught youth about the importance of reducing, recycling, and throwing trash away properly in trash cans.

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