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Recycling still voluntary in Narragansett

January 10, 2011

NARRAGANSETT–Narragansett has no single stream recycling program.  But Rhode Island’s Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) hopes to create a single bin a pick-up system for 2011-12. Without outside funding, independent businesses are purchasing toters at a discounted price in order to expand and deepen the town’s recycling program.

While an effort was made in 2007-2008 to draft an ordinance and apply for a state grant which would subsidize collection bins, there was "reluctance to pass [it] until the program funding was assured," according to Town Engineer Jeffry Ceasrine's December report on the town's recycling prospects. The council's delay ultimately resulted in a grant awarded to South Kingstown for bins and a recycling coordinator. 
And while there are many questions the Narragansett Times has about recycling issues, Mr. Ceasrine could not be reached for comment.

South Kingstown was flushed with $236, 931 in recycling funding after receiving the grant. The town hired a Recycling Coordinator and even offered to give Narragansett the unused grant balance.  Republican Governor Carcieri ignored the town’s request and the grant program expired on June 30, 2010.  Now citizens recycle out of the goodness of their hearts rather than as an expected necessity. Around 1,000 families recycle free of charge at the Rose Hill Transfer Station, according to Narragansett Rubbish Removal, Inc.

RIRRC, which awards the state’s cities and towns grants, is a 36 year-old quasi-public corporation responsible for managing the state's solid waste and recyclables.  The grants that it awards are market contingent meaning that if less recyclables are sold, then less money is awarded for recycling efforts. In fiscal year 2008, for example, less consumers and business made fewer purchases and consequently threw away 15 percent less material or roughly 172,000 tons. Less recycling means even less money for grants to cities and towns.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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