Recently, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation attempted to make recycling easier for Rhode Islanders by creating “single-stream recycling.” Now households do not have to separate paper from plastic – everything can go in the same bin and other items can also now be recycled, such as plastic cups, tissue paper and just about any plastic container 2 gallons or less in volume. Sounds simple and great, right? Sadly, it hasn’t caught on yet.
The state’s recycling rate is still only at 15.9 percent. And the state’s largest city, Providence, is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to recycling at all. With the lowest rate of diverting materials from the Central Landfill (18.2%), Providence is bringing down the state’s overall recycling rate. To see how your city or town is doing visit this website.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has stepped up to the plate by launching the Neighborhood Recycling Challenge (running until September 7) to get more neighborhoods to recycle. Five “teams” or neighborhoods will be competing for five new trees and a neighborhood barbeque if they improve their recycling rate by the largest margin. The goal is to get the recycling rate up to 25 percent. It’s not only better for the environment; the city saves $250,000 in recycling costs.
For those living in Rhode Island: help your neighborhood, your city, and your environment. Get your recycle game on.