What Are The New Recycling Rules?

A reader asks if everything can go in together now. We have the answer.

OK, my subject in question is the recycling program. The buzz around town is you don't have to separate anything anymore. Is that true? I went to the town website and it looks like the same info that has always been there. Did you do a piece on it and I missed it or am I just misinformed? If it is true that we can put everything together, does that mean we don't have to tie up paper or can we make it that it just doesn't fly away while waiting to get picked up?

Here's the scoop:

Indeed, everything can be thrown in together – in either bin – and put that way curbside. R.I. Resource Recovery Corp. has new machines that do the sorting for us. For a few of us, it may be a tough habit to break (ok, I admit it, I'm still sorting ... ) and, in fact, you can keep sorting. The important thing to know is that you just don't have to anymore!

There's more. These new machines can take all sorts of plastics. I know, most of you are thinking, plastic is plastic. You're used to throwing all your plastic containers into the recycle bin, regardless of type. Well, truth be told, a lot of our plastics used to be unacceptable at RIRR and they were hand-picked out.

But, NOT ANY MORE! So, if you were one of those people who scrutinized every container to see what number was on it, give your eyes a break. The new machines take practically all comers (for a list of items still not recyclable, click here).

So our new marching orders are, "Toss Away!"

If you are worried about fly-away newspapers, weight them down with your other recycles, or place them in a paper sack.

East Greenwich does pretty well compared to other communities in the state, recycle-wise, the folks at Public Works tell us. Let's keep it up!

Have a question about something in East Greenwich that you want answered? Leave it as a comment here. Or send an email to elizabeth.mcnamara@patch.com

DownTheHiller July 01, 2012 at 02:15 PM
The more we recycle the less money the town spends on tipping fees (weight of garbage). If we are able to increase our recycling the town becomes eligible for additional moneys for recycling. Warwick does such a good job that they were able to purchase the new trucks that lift the big bins, no more back breaking work by laborers (and one less laborer/truck - another savings). Composting is another way to lessen the weight of your garbage going to the landfill and it has a beneficial use for your garden/flowers. Vermiculture (worm composting) is another way to compost if you don't have space in your yard (apartment dwellers take note). If we can all reduce/reuse/recycle our trash/garbage going to the landfill (which is filling up once again and needs to be expanded) we will save the town money and help slow down a future crisis. This is something we have been teaching our children so let's all practice what we preach and we can all reap the benefits.
Naomi Martino July 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Great point, DownTheHiller! Elizabeth, thanks for doing the story and adding the links so we can get more info.


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