Updated March 23 at 12:28am

R.I. cities, towns share in $1.94M recycling profits


JOHNSTON – On Thursday Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee joined the R.I. Resource Recovery Corporation to distribute $1.94 million in recycling profits to the state’s 39 municipalities.

The $1.94 million, which was collected by selling recyclables during fiscal year 2012, is earmarked to be reinvested in each municipality’s respective recycling program.

“It is an absolute pleasure to take part in today?s profit-sharing ceremony,” Michael OConnell, RIRRC executive director said in a statement. “In the current economic climate, where municipalities are universally tightening their belts, every little bit helps.”

“Because the recycling markets performed well during the past year, Rhode Island’s municipalities are receiving a greater return than in 2011 – and when our municipal partners benefit, we benefit,” said OConnell, adding that the RIRRC is excited to see what positive changes the communities enact with their portion of the funds.

According to the release, the RIRRC expects municipalities to use the funds to invest in different aspects of their recycling programs, including purchasing automatic “toter” recycling carts, increasing education outreach in local schools and increasing informational collateral materials to help bolster recycling activity statewide.

Providence received the largest portion, 10.5 percent of the recycling profits, or $203,517. Warwick and Cranston followed up at 10.3 percent, or $200,300, and 7.8 percent, or $151,352, respectively.

“The annual profit-sharing event displays how the simple act of recycling yields a true economic benefit for the state of Rhode Island,” said the RIRCC release, which added that recycling in the Ocean State has become easier with the initiation of Recycle Together R.I., a program that lets state residents recycle plastic, glass and cardboard together.

During July 2012, the first full month of the single-stream recycling operation, the RIRCC processed 400 tons of recyclable material per day, a 7.5 percent increase from the same period in 2011.

“With Recycle Together RI, we are making it easier than ever for Rhode Islanders to recycle – and the benefit of that effort is clear. It?s represented in every dollar in the checks distributed here today,” said OConnell.

“It?s plain and simple – for every single item that lands in a recycling bin rather than the trash, we extend the life of the landfill, we help protect our local environment and, most importantly, we save money for the cities and towns of Rhode Island,” added O’Connell.


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