JOHNSTON - A ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) on Wednesday, Aug. 24, to distribute profit shares to the 39 cities and towns of Rhode Island. Over $1.8 million of profits yielded from the sale of recyclables was divied up, and Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton and Westerly each got their share.
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, RIRRC Director Michael O’Connell, Charlestown Town Manager William DiLibero and Richmond Town administrator Steven Sette were all on hand at the Central Landfill in Johnston for the ceremony. DiLibero and Sette each accepted profit share checks on behalf of their respective towns.
“The recycling markets performed very well in 2010 and early 2011, which translates to more dollars that RIRRC can share among our municipal partners,” said O’Connell. “Better still, the improved performance by municipalities helped to prolong the life of the Central Landfill and divert valuable recyclables from being buried there.”
According to Sarah Kite, the director of recycling services for RIRRC, recycling profit shares are directly related to the tons of material that each municipality produced.
Charlestown produced 342 tons of recyclable material, and received a check of $6,908 This is the least amount of any municipality in the state, and DiLibero feels that is an unfair representation of Charlestown’s recycling efforts.
“It’s a complicated issue,” DiLibero said, “we have a lot of private haulers in town, and I fear that the material is not properly being recycled and separated. I’m disappointed with the number, it’s dismal. I plan on meeting with the haulers and making sure the right number is recorded for next year.”
Richmond, on the other hand, received a check of $12,271 for 608 tons of recyclable material.
Hopkinton uses the Westerly Transfer Station for trash and recycling services, and thus the two towns were combined for the purposes of the program. Hopkinton/Westerly produced 2,883 tons of recyclable material, and received a check of $58,171.
According to Kite, the program not only gives municipalities around the state incentive for recycling programs and the collection of recyclable material, it is a fair way of using the profits.
“We know it costs the cities and towns capital to collect material, so when there is profit we think it’s best to share,” she said.
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