In advance of Earth Day, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, the agency that runs the Central Landfill, has launched it's annual education campaign focused on recycling. The campaign includes TV and radio spots and a series of web videos on how to recycle properly.
Sarah Kite, director of recycling services, said workers at the recycling facility continuously find items that don’t belong in there.
“You really shouldn’t be putting dirty diapers in your recycling. You shouldn’t be putting garden hoses. You shouldn’t be putting plastic bags. Food does not belong in your recycling bin.”
Neither do small propane tanks, which Kite said are never completely empty. Containers that still have flammable liquids not only damage recycling equipment, but also endanger workers.
Kite said about 14 percent of what ends up in the recycling facility is re-directed to the landfill, either because it's not recyclable or it's contaminated.
“It’s far too high. It needs to come down. It’s not just wear and tear in our equipment. It’s not just that it costs cities and towns money. It’s that it has the potential to injure our workers. And that’s a problem,” said Kite.
The campaign has started in advance of Earth Day, April 22.
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