No Recycling Bins No Trash Collection

I received a letter last summer when I was living in East Providence and at the top it read No Recycling Bins / No Trash Collection!  I have to admit I was shocked but yet really excited that they would make such a bold statement.  I was one of the very few houses on my busy multifamily street that actually put out the recycling every single week.  The first week came and went with piles of trash lingering on the sidewalks for days and some till the next trash day.  The town really did it.  They really ignored the people who felt like they could get away with this.  I loved it.  Oddly the piles of trash got me excited because this was a step towards positive change. 

Nov 2nd was when Cranston joined Providence, East Providence, Lincoln, Cumberland and Smithfield in the No Recycling Bins, No Trash Collection policy.  After the letter went out to Cranston residents 6,000 recycling bins were picked up from the public works department.   As the state landfill fills up hopefully more of the towns will participate in this change.  The more trash we make the higher our taxes will be going up as the price per pound of trash will increase over the next few years. 

The policy notes that only one bin needs to be placed outside along with the trash either blue, green or preferably both.  If not the residents trash will not be picked up and the resident must bring their trash back off the sidewalk or they will receive a citation. 

This new policy will cut cost and protect the environment.  Going green never looked so good for these towns.  Hopefully this will be a positive model for other communities to follow.   

Here are just a few facts about recycling  from  www.dosomething.org

  • The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year – 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was recycled.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year! Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It’s also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons.
  • More than 20 million Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. Believe it not, ALL that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it so most it goes in the trash!
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!

Posted by: Kate Kiselka

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5 Responses

  1. Hi Just curious I am renting in an apartment in providence and we dont have any green recycle bins. Where can I get them?

    • Call RI DEM or call the E. Prov. city manager. It depends on if you have city or private trash collection where you get them from. Thanks, KDL

  2. Susan, call the Providence Department of Public Works. They are located on Allens Avenue. They usually have recycling bins for $5 each BUT they seem to frequently run out so do call ahead before driving there to get one (two)! With this new enforcement of policy, if they haven’t stocked up on bins, then surely they will be out of them right now. Let’s hope they had the foresight to stock the thousands of bins that Providence residents will surely be purchasing now.

  3. This is a very poorly implemented policy.

    First off: we now have a very serious public health problem in all the poorer neighborhoods in the City. Absentee landlords weren’t waiting in line to buy bins, and poor folks without transportation could hardly be expected to try to reach Allens Avenue by bus to cart theirs home — in a quick drive through Olneyville and the West End alone, I’ve counted more than 150 full bins, many of them VERY full. If these are not picked up very soon, the rats, which were happily almost eliminated by the new heavy-duty bins, will soon be back to enjoy the feast — and of course the quality of life of everyone will suffer.

    Not only that, but although I’ve recycled conscientiously constantly since the service was available (and I first moved to Providence in 1988), I’ve had all my bins stolen three times in the last week. Yesterday — trash day — I had only two bins (one green, one blue)for my two-family house, and so one of my big cans, the more full one, was left untouched. Thanks a lot.

    Will it help recycling? Not at all. Will it create a major public health headache, ill-will among neighbors, and make the city look like a cesspit? It’s well on its way.

    If such a policy is to be in force, there is a simple way to do it: instead of punishing the poorer citizens of our fair city (including those who just live next to a house with heaps of uncollected refuse) hand out free bins. It worked for the large rat-proof waste cans, and it would work for this.

    • Dr. Potter –

      Great comments. I agree that this policy could pose serious problems for the city’s poorer citizens. I think handing out free bins is an excellent way to jump start the program.

      Thanks for reading.

      -AD

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