Making Recycling Bins Accessible
In an effort to increase the amount of collected recycled materials from Rhode Island households, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation donated $16,000 to the Arthritis Foundation, Southern New England Chapter, to purchase and distribute specially designed recycling bins. For the debut of the "EZ Recycler Program," the Arthritis Foundation distributed 500 sets of blue and green residential recycling bins with wheels and handles for ease-of-use to their members. The bins were distributed free of charge to members of the Arthritis Foundation.
In addition to offering the EZ Recycler bins to aid recycling among those suffering from arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation also distributed information about recycling to its members."The physical task of recycling requires both strength and flexibility," said Stephen Evangelista, president and CEO of the Southern New England Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. "Those with arthritis have activity limitations, which may otherwise prohibit them from using traditional recycling bins. The EZ Recycler program, however, will make recycling far easier for our constituents."
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Rhode Island and the nation. About 30 percent of those with arthritis or chronic joint pain report they are limited in their daily activities. While the prevalence of people with arthritis increases over the age of 45, more than half those affected with arthritis are under the age of 65. Even daily activities may become difficult, such as walking, buttoning a shirt, or recycling.
Resource Recovery Donates $25,000 to Town
In 1998, the town of Central Falls had a recycling rate of just eight percent. A tiny community in northeast Rhode Island, it's a town with an abundance of apartments and plenty of renters, many of whom don't speak English as their primary language. These factors were seen as minuses when town officials began to evaluate how they could improve their recycling rates and reduce the amount of fees paid for disposing trash. It wasn't an easy task but their hard work paid dividends - literally.
This week, Resource Recovery will present a grant of $25,000 to Central Falls city officials for boosting their recycling rate to 14 percent, or double what it was producing just five years ago. The funds will be earmarked for additional recycling projects within the town. To help increase their diversion, the city initiated a city-wide recycling program for its schools, and stopped collecting waste from apartments and condos of 6 units or more. They instituted a recycling program at municipal offices and began enforcing recycling compliance with homeowners. Offenders were given one warning and then received fines. The city also improved its metals and bulky waste collections to ensure that the material would be recycled instead of paying tipping fees.
RI Launches Nation's First Statewide Plastic Bags Recycling Program
On Labor Day, Rhode Island will launch the nation's first-ever statewide plastic bags recycling program. ReStore is a program offered by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) in partnership with the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA).
At the forefront of ReStore is a universal collection system for all plastic bags. These collection bins will be located in the vestibules of grocery stores statewide-from the largest chains to the smallest corner markets. All HDPE film bags are eligible for recycling and shoppers may deposit their bags at any store. Colorful displays were created to advertise the program. In addition, many stores are running ads in their weekly circulars and educating their shoppers with promotional materials and announcements over the loudspeaker.
The goal is to educate shoppers and encourage them to recycle not only their plastic grocery bags but all HDPE film bags -- newspaper sleeves, produce baggies and bags from the dry cleaners, pharmacies, and department stores.
The state's overwhelming and costly litter problem led to the creation of ReStore. Surveys demonstrated that shoppers will continue to use plastic bags and fill the landfill with them. The decision was made to revamp an unused paper baler at the MRF to bale plastic bags. One of RIFDA's members supplies inventory to grocers and will underwrite the cost of hauling the bags from the stores to his warehouse and then subsequently onto the MRF.
Nearly all the markets -from large chain stores to local corner shops-are part of the RIFDA and are participating in the first-ever statewide program. Resource Recovery is underwriting the cost of the promotional materials and collection barrels. They are also handling all of the marketing efforts for the ReStore program.
A recent Resource Recovery survey concluded that 95% of R.I. households use plastic bags. Each month, 16 million bags are used for groceries in R.I. alone. Virtually all of them end up at the landfill.