High contamination levels are nothing new in the State of Rhode Island. In 2014, representatives from Rhode Island Resource Recovery instituted a $250 fine for those who had contaminated bins in an effort to help reduce contamination. And in 2016, the state became the first state to adopt Recycle Across America’s simple standardized recycling labels, which are designed to reduce confusion and help boost recycling rates.
Despite these efforts, the state continues to see high contamination levels due to confusion of what can and cannot be recycled.
Rhode Island Public Radio has more information:
Krystal Noiseux, education and outreach manager for Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, said the problem is people think every kind of plastic or metal item can be recycled, but that’s not the case in Rhode Island.
“If you have a plastic hanger, it’s not a plastic container, it’s not recyclable,” Noiseux said. “If you have a metal hanger, it’s not a metal can or foil, it’s not recyclable.”
Noiseux said because of the confusion, too many people are throwing trash into recycle bins.