PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Less than half of Rhode Island's cities and towns are complying with a July 1 mandate that they recycle 35 percent of their solid waste.
Lawmakers voted in 2008 to require municipalities to hit the recycling goal by last summer. So far, only 15 of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns have done so, and only two -- South Kingstown and Middletown -- recycle more than 35 percent of common household waste.
There are no penalties for not meeting the requirement, though municipalities could pay higher landfill fees if they exceed their garbage quotas. The statewide recycling average is 32.5 percent.
Providence's household recycling rate was 14.6 percent before the city rolled out new recycling bins and began accepting unsorted recyclables. Now, the rate is higher than 20 percent.
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