To combat rising levels of contamination, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. has removed shredded paper from the state’s mixed recycling program.
While shredded paper is being discontinued curbside, Resource Recovery will continue to accept shredded paper, secured in a bag, at a self-serve Small Vehicle Area in Johnston, R.I.
In addition to the drop-off container, Rhode Island residents can attend shredding events, compost shreds in backyard compost bins, or dispose of them in the regular trash.
According to the organization, when it launched single-stream recycling in 2012, shredded paper remained an acceptable material in the mixed recycling program. But it has had problems properly processing shredded paper.
“Even when properly prepared, overly compacted recycling trucks can cause bags to break open,” the group said in a release. “When bags break, the loose shreds cover the other recyclables which lowers their value. Keeping shreds out of the mixed recycling will greatly improve the quality of the 450 tons of recyclables that Resource Recovery’s materials recycling facility (MRF) processes each day.”
“The two biggest contaminates in our MRF, by far, are shredded paper and plastic bags,” Krystal Noiseux, education and outreach Manager for Resource Recovery said in a statement. “For the safety of our workers, longevity of our equipment and quality of our recycling, our messaging going forward is clear and simple: No shredded paper, and no plastic bags, bags of plastic bags, or recycling inside of plastic bags, ever.”