Town eyes big savings through increased recycling
Following the approval of a new contract between the Town of Jamestown and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. (RIRRC), Councilman William Kelly is urging island residents to make a more concerted effort at composting and recycling.
Under the contract, which was presented to councilors at the Nov. 26 Town Council meeting, RIRRC has maintained the $36 per ton tipping fee, however, the town would face a 6.7 percent increase for over-the-cap tipping fees from $52 to over $56 for any tonnage above the town's 2,486 ton limit.
According to RIRRC data, last year, the town exceeded its cap by close to 50 percent.
For Kelly, cutting into that excess number would represent a boon for both tax-payers and the environment.
"If we can reduce Jamestown's waste by one trailer per year, we will save the town $1,500," Kelly said. Multiply that number out, he said, and the savings could be significant.
While Jamestown can stand to do a better job at reducing its per capita waste, it nevertheless ranks in the upper tier of Rhode Island communities in recycling. According to data published by RIRRC, Jamestown was ninth best statewide in its recycling rate in 2006 - 2007, with 21 percent of the island's total waste recycled. However, that's still under the RIRRC goal of 26 percent and Jamestown was one of only seven communities to exceed its allowable dumping cap.
According to Town Administrator Bruce Keiser, the island's resident summer population, which is not included in census data, and therefore is not included in RIRRC calculations could account for a portion of the town's excess trash.
Kelly, who has been a vocal advocate for both fiscal accountability and environmental issues, recommended that islanders take advantage of the town's composting program, which allows residents to dump their yard waste free of charge and without a permit at the town transfer station. The program, which is sponsored through a grant from RIRRC comes at no expense to island residents or government. Composting bags are available for free at Jamestown Hardware and the Secret Garden.