Last month, we helped raise the alarm about a dangerous proposal for a garbage depot near Washington Park and South Providence neighborhoods. The garbage depot – and the dust, odor, traffic, and water pollution that would come with it – would have forced more pollution on communities already overburdened by other nearby industrial facilities. The reckless proposal spurred weeks of community action and resulted in an unqualified victory for residents.
At the corner of Allens and Thurbers avenues in Providence, Rhode Island, sits a less-than-four-acre lot that could soon be home to a massive garbage depot. The proposal has nearby residents in South Providence and Washington Park worried and angry – and with good reason. These communities are already burdened by daily pollution from other nearby industrial facilities.
Think for a moment about the trash you produce every day, either directly or indirectly. First, there’s what you throw out at your home or your job; then there’s the trash that restaurants, laundromats, doctors’ offices, and other businesses you frequent throw out after you leave. Next, add the waste from the farms that produce…
Most people are unaware that we have a serious – but preventable – municipal solid waste problem here in New England and across the country. We explain what’s in our waste and why it’s so dangerous.
On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, I testified at the Rhode Island General Assembly, at a hearing of the Environment Committee, against Bill S-728, which would remove a long-standing statutory ban on the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) putting incineration into its long-range plan. At the hearing, a staff person from RIRRC testified that there…
Burying our garbage in landfills is a waste of resources, but it’s also a convenient way to get rid of stuff we don’t need or want. If there were clear alternatives to trashing our resources, would we use them? The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) believes the answer is yes. The DEP has finalized…
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.
We throw away a lot of food. Sometimes the scraps are inedible, like banana peels. Sometimes we forget about things in the refrigerator until we notice the smell. And sometimes our eyes are just bigger than our stomachs. Regardless of the reason, a lot of food scraps end up in our trash and ultimately the…
Earlier this week the Maine Department of Environmental Protection made a formal determination that Maine would benefit from an expansion of the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill located in Old Town. In doing so, it cut in half what the State and Juniper’s private manager Casella Waste Systems Inc.’s subsidiary NEWSME had asked for, authorizing an expansion that would increase capacity of the landfill by up to 9.35 million cubic yards, thereby adding ten-plus years of capacity. By cutting the proposal down to size, the DEP sent the clear message that it doesn’t want Maine to continue to be the dumping ground for New England’s waste. That relatively conservative approach is a good start but more work needs to be done to define the role of Juniper and other landfills and to fully address other flaws in Maine’s waste management system.
Many of us here in Rhode Island recycle, but the sad fact is that a lot of what we “think” can be recycled, can’t. Currently, only numbers 1 and 2 get through the recycle cops at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC). But come Earth Day, that’s going to change: RIRRC is implementing Single-Stream…