JOHNSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island’s first commercial-scale anaerobic digester still isn’t ready, but company officials say it's getting closer to completion. And when it’s operational, New England's largest digester may be a test case for similar facilities in neighboring states with food-diversion laws.
The disposal of syringes, bandages, sharps containers, dialyzers and other potentially infectious material known as medical waste is expensive, risky and a major source of pollution.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — It's been considered a political third rail for years, but on July 1, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, the operator of the state's Central Landfill, will be raising tipping fees for the first time since 1992.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island is on the verge of opening its first industrial anaerobic digester, offering another option in the long process to reduce waste and find a better use for the millions of pounds of food scrap wasted each year.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued a report which found that the state’s commercial food waste ban has created more than 900 jobs and stimulated $175 million in economic activity during its first two years.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scrap accounts for 21.6 percent of all trash, the most of any item in the country's waste stream.
A new advocacy group is trying an innovative solution to address an age-old problem: trash.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Cardboard and compostables are two of the most common categories of waste filling up Rhode Island's Central Landfill, according to a recently published study by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. The study aimed to identify materials that could be diverted from the landfill, presently or in the future, to recycling facilities or for reuse.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island’s first two anaerobic digesters were expected to be up and running by now, based on timelines provided by the owners of each project.
Last year Rhode Island state law required electronics manufacturers to pay for every state resident to recycle 5 pounds of electronic waste (e-waste). It turned out, Rhode Islanders had more computers, monitors and TVs lurking in their closets and basements than the people who set the 5-pound target expected.
Since switching to single-stream recycling in June 2012, Rhode Island’s recycling rate has risen less than 2 percent and remains stubbornly below 25 percent. During that same period, the market for sorted and baled recyclables, the end product of the statewide recycling program, has bottomed out.
Under current Rhode Island regulations, any composting operation larger than a backyard pile must be registered with the state Department of Environmental Management. Because the regulations don’t factor in a compost operation’s size, are extremely stringent, and, in many cases, are wildly inappropriate for smaller operations, they effectively prohibit small- and medium-sized compost operations from opening in the state.
The $32 a ton it costs Rhode Island municipalities to tip garbage into the Central Landfill in Johnston is artificially low. For each ton of municipal waste buried, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation loses $11.
The state of Massachusetts recently awarded $3.57 million in grants to 80 municipalities, regional groups and nonprofits to increase the diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials.