Need to Know

RISD Joins RIRRC's Effort to Standardize Rhode Island's Recycling Bins

As a result of the collaboration, RISD will feature Rhode Island’s Recycle Across America (RAA) labels on recycling bins campus-wide.

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) announced a partnership with Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to increase recycling levels and decrease confusion at the recycling bin.

As a result of the collaboration, RISD will feature Rhode Island’s Recycle Across America (RAA) labels on recycling bins campus-wide. RISD is the latest institution to adopt the standardized label solution for recycling bins since Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to adopt them on Earth Day. The RI labels mimic the look of RAA’s standard mixed recycling labels, but feature those items recyclable in RI’s program. Resource Recovery hopes seeing a consistent recycling message repeatedly will make it easier for RISD students, employees and visitors to recycle correctly.

“We’re thrilled to see our world-class design school use the standardized labels, and join the movement to reduce confusion at recycling bins in Rhode Island,” Krystal Noiseux, RIRRC’s Education and Outreach Manager, said in a statement. “RISD is clearly committed to a strong recycling program that conserves natural resources and provides high quality raw materials to manufacturers.”

More than one million RAA standardized labels are displayed on bins throughout the nation. They have been proven to increase recycling levels between 50-100 percent, while significantly reducing contamination with trash—a challenge RI has been facing in recent years. RISD’s campus isn’t the only place in Rhode Island you’ll find RAA labels. In April, Resource Recovery began distributing 36,000 free labels to Rhode Island public schools. To date, more than 18,000 labels have been distributed to just over 200 public schools. Resource Recovery hopes to see labels affixed on all Rhode Island school bins by the end of the year.

“At RISD our new trash and recycle bins simply read: “Trash” and “Recycle.” Transitioning from multiple separate containers (for trash, paper, bottles and cans) into single stream recycling can be a bit confusing for users at times,” notes Alan Cantara, RISD Environmental, Health & Safety Manager. “The RAA labels will help our community to identify what exactly can be put into single stream recycling and what should be put into the trash container. We have affixed about half of the 200 smaller stickers we are putting on the bins so far, and will also be adding larger stickers on the walls above the containers in certain areas, such as dorms.”

With institutions like RISD leading the way, Resource Recovery expects to see more private entities adopt Rhode Island’s standardized label solution this fall, as well as more public institutions, like schools, state agencies, and municipal buildings. RIRRC is offering, 5.5” x 8” standardized labels to any RI group—public or private—at no cost, if they participate in the state’s recycling program.  

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