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Increased recycling may save Providence $250 K

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 

Recycling in the city of Providence has seen a strong increase, so much so that Mayor Angel Taveras is projecting the city may save upwards of $250,000 this year alone in tipping fees at Johnston’s Central Landfill.

According to a press release issued by EcoRI, a nonprofit organization focused on environmental issues in Rhode Island, Providence’s “Your Big Green Can Just Got Greener” recycling initiative has increased the Capitol City’s recycling rate, which measures the amount of recyclable materials collected as a percentage of the total amount of garbage put out for curbside collection by residents, from less than 15 percent to better than 25 percent.

Taveras, of course, was pleased with the news.

“My administration is taking critical steps to increase Providence’s recycling rate and make our city a more sustainable and livable place for everyone,” Taveras said. “Recycling only works when everyone participates. Together, we are ensuring a better future for our children and saving our city money.”

That’s not the say things have been entirely smooth, however.

In the time since Providence switched to its new two-bin curbside collection program, EcoRI says, some residents have been confused as to where to place their recyclables.

“Many residents are still placing recyclables in the new smaller 65-gallon trash bins and throwing trash into the old green bins which were redesignated as recycling bins,” EcoRI said. “Recyclables should be thrown in the old 95-gallon bin, many of which have received a new blue top in the past month or so.”

When a resident’s trash is put in the wrong bin, it can contaminate the stream and lead to recyclable materials being deposited in the state landfill. In addition, some property owners may face a potential fine if a truckload of recyclables is mixed with trash improperly put into the “Big Green Cans” results in the load being rejected at the landfill.

At the end of last year, Providence had delivered a total of almost 54,000 new 65-gallon, gray trash bins to households throughout the city.

Next week, Waste Management will collect and recycle the old blue and green bins from residents who leave them at their curbside on their collection day. Residents can also return them to the Department of Public Works on Allens Ave during normal business hours as well as on Thursdays from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. 

 

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