By ANTHONY aRUSSO
JOHNSTON - The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) made a profit of $1.94 million from the sale of recyclables in the Fiscal Year 2012, and last Thursday, Sept. 6, that money was divided up to the cities and towns of the state.
RIRRC Director Michael O’Connell and Gov. Lincoln Chafee personally handed out checks to all the municipal officials in attendance, including those from the North Kingstown and Exeter areas.
With 3,017.97 total tons, North Kingstown received a check for $64,713.98. Exeter, meanwhile, received $13,019.47 for its 607.17 tons.
“It is an absolute pleasure to take part in today’s profit sharing ceremony,” O’Connell said in an RIRRC statement. “In the current economic climate, where municipalities are universally tightening their belts, every little bit helps. Because the recycling markets performed well over the past year, Rhode Island’s municipalities are receiving a greater return than in 2011 - and when are municipal partners benefit, we benefit, We are excited to see the positive change that these monies will enact in our communities.”
This year’s recycling profits are earmarked to be reinvested in each municipality’s recycling programs.
According to RIRRC, the profit sharing event is a display of how a simple act like recycling can create a large economic upswing. RIRRC does not charge a fee to dispose of recyclables, while landfilling trash comes at a cost.
“For every item that a resident places in their recycling bin or cart, they contribute to their city or town’s end of the year profit share,” according to RIRRC.
Recycling was changed in the state and became easier for residents this past June, with the launch of Recycle Together RI, a program that allows more items to be recycled, and for all recyclable materials to be delivered in the same bin or cart. During the first month of the program, RIRRC recorded a 7.5 percent increase in the amount of recyclables processed 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,” continued O’Connell. “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.”
Among the projects that RIRRC expects to see the money used for are the purchase of large, automated “toter” recycling carts, an increase of informational collateral materials, and an enhanced educational outreach in local schools, to help bolster recycling activity statewide.
Of all the cities and towns in the state, Providence delivered the most tons of recyclables in FY12 with 9,491, yielding a profit of $203,516. The town of West Greenwich received the smallest check, a total of $7,378, for 344 tons.