New campaign launches to improve recycling rates in RI

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JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders’ efforts to recycle have improved in recent years but could still be better, according to the RI Resource Recovery Center (RIRRC).

Dumping recyclables is free in RI communities as since the Resource Recovery Center sells the bottles, cans and paper to companies for recycling. If trucks have trash or an excess of non-recyclable items, they can be turned away at a cost to the community where the load originated.

“We have seen improvement of the condition of the recycling coming in,” Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Resouce Recovery Center Krystal Noiseux said.

Searchable A-to-Z list of recyclable items

If communities recycle appropriately, they can actually receive money back from the Resource Recovery Center. To further improve recycling rates, the state has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Recycle RIght.”

“The idea here is to get as many Rhode Islanders as possible to recycle everything they can in the mix recycled campaign, but nothing more,” Noiseux said.

She said that is nothing more than the usual paper, metals, glass and plastics.

“The first category is fiber. We accept paper, cardboard and cartons. With metal, we take cans, lids and foil. With glass, it’s bottles, jars and plastic containers,” Noiseux explained.

The biggest infraction workers see in the recycling facility involve plastic bags. Noiseux said plastic bags should not be disposed of in a recycling bin. There should be no bags or plastic bags and no recycling inside of plastic bags since recyclables have to be loose.

In an effort to limit what goes into the landfill and help local economies, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo will be featured in radio PSAs, asking people to join her in recycling plastics right to keep the recycling program strong and the state’s waters clean. 

Noiseux said recycling can extend the life of a landfill and help local economies. 

“It’s also good for the environment because it conserves natural resources and conserves energy,” Noiseux said.

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