Rhode Island is seeing a high level of trash mixed in with its recycling.
Krystal Noiseux, education and outreach manager for Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, said the problem is people think every kind of plastic or metal item can be recycled, but that’s not the case in Rhode Island.
“If you have a plastic hanger, it’s not a plastic container, it’s not recyclable,” Noiseux said. “If you have a metal hanger, it’s not a metal can or foil, it’s not recyclable.”
Noiseux said because of the confusion, too many people are throwing trash into recycle bins.
“When that happens, that costs cities and towns money, it can put workers at risk for injury and if we have to landfill recycling that’s highly, highly contaminated, that’s taking up space in our central landfill,” Noiseux said.
Last year, Resource Recovery adopted standardized recycling bin labels, making Rhode Island the first state in the country to do so. The labels explain what can go into each recycling bin using pictures. Noiseux said the labels were given to all the public schools in the state for free.
Last night, Recycle Across America, a national nonprofit that created the standardized recycling bin labels, celebrated Rhode Island’s adoption with a live-stream photo shoot with local celebrities at the Providence Public Library.
Noiseux said information about the new labels will shared through advertisements and direct mail this summer.