Recycling efforts put $24,800 in town's wallet
Councilman William Kelly announced good news for Jamestown at the Aug. 25 Town Council meeting. The town has received a check for $24,800 from the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, Kelly said.
Town Administrator Bruce Keiser and Department of Public Works Director Steve Goslee met last week at the RIRRC offices in Johnston with other officials from communities throughout RI to pick up their share of funds from the state's sale of recycled materials.
Governor Carcieri was on hand to distribute the checks and emphasize the importance for each community to improve recycling efforts. Jamestown recycled 971 tons of refuse during fiscal year 2008, Kelly said.
"If these materials had not been recycled, they would have more then likely wound up in the waste stream, costing the town a substantial sum of money," Kelly said. "Instead, the town was the recipient of a check that was more then three times the amount of the profit sharing incentive that the town received in fiscal year 2007," he added.
RIRRC said that Jamestown recycling rates were the eleventh highest of the 37 cities and towns in the state, with a rate of 23.28 percent. Middletown had the highest percentage rate with 34.33 percent of the town's waste recycled, while the city of Providence was the lowest with a recycling rate of 10.51 percent.
According to RIRRC, Middletown recently introduced a "pay as you put" program to their municipality. Keiser initiated a discussion with the Jamestown Town Council for this type of program to be introduced to Jamestown. Keiser said he is looking forward to discussing the possibilities with the council in more detail.
Both the Town Administrator and Councilman Kelly emphasized that cost avoidance, which adds directly to the town's bottom line, is an important concept in recycling efforts. If the town had not recycled the 971 tons of recycled material and sent it to the landfill instead, the town would have been charged an additional $54,404, he said.
By recycling the materials and sharing the profits with the state, Keiser said that $79,204.56 was actually added to the town's bottom line because the premium for the tons over the town's cap did not have to be paid.
Each community in the state is given a cap for the number of tons of waste it can bring to the Johnston Central Landfill that is operated by the RIRRC. The charge for each ton below a town or city's cap is $32.
Once a community exceeds its cap, it is charged a premium of $56 per ton for the waste delivered. Jamestown exceeded its cap by 801.55 tons, costing the town $44,886.80. The town is not charged for recyclables, including compost materials.
Michael Mancuso from Cartridge World gave a slide presentation at the council meeting concerning the proper disposal of electronic waste, also called "e-waste." Mancuso explained the legislation governing the disposal of televisions, computers, printers and other electronic products.
According to Mancuso, the landfills are overtaxed and are refusing to take electronic equipment. "They don't want it," he said. Now, businesses, municipalities, and other organizations are required to go through an asset recovery service such as Cartridge World to properly dispose of electronic and electronic-related debris like ink cartridges. He said that the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will now enforce the ordinances and will charge businesses for improper storage and disposal of e-waste.
He suggested engaging his company to start a recycling program as a fundraiser and community awareness campaign. He explained how recycling ink cartridges and properly disposing of e-waste can add up to big dollars and count towards the town's diversion rate.
The town administrator said he will discuss the matter with the Town Council.
For more information about recycling and ways to reduce waste, visit the Rhose Island Resource Recovery Web site at www.rirrc.org.