Together with an all-star cast of Rhode Islanders, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (Resource Recovery) recently unveiled a campaign aimed to clean up the Ocean State’s mixed recycling.
Created in partnership with Recycle Across America (RAA),
the campaign provides a call to action – recycle everything that is accepted in Rhode Island’s mixed recycling program, but nothing more. By reinforcing the importance of not only recycling but recycling right, the campaign seeks to help keep Rhode Island’s recycling workers safe, save cities and towns money, provide high-quality raw materials to manufacturers, and preserve space in the Central Landfill.
“We, as well as all recycling facilities around the country, have been struggling with an increased amount of contamination in the recycling stream,” said Katherine Hypolite, communications coordinator at Resource Recovery. “Basically, things that shouldn’t be there, from diapers to food waste to textiles to scrap metal, it’s been a problem we’ve had for years.”
Rhode Islanders received a preview of the campaign back in April, during a live-streamed celebrity photoshoot directed by Timothy White (RISD ’79). The images captured during the event have been resurrected to create public service announcements featuring prominent Rhode Islanders, including Lt. Governor Dan McKee, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, American Idol finalist Erica van Pelt, RI Foundation CEO Neil Steinberg, dancer Shura Baryshnikov, Ed Tarbox of Tarbox Toyota, Rhody the Ram of URI and others.
“As a former mayor, I know firsthand the positive effect that recycling has on reducing costs for cities and towns,” said Lt. Governor Dan McKee. “When our municipalities save money and our landfill is preserved, Rhode Island wins. I challenge every Rhode Islander to join me in recycling right.”
According to Hypolite, on Earth Day 2016 Resource Recovery partnered with RAA, a non-profit that developed the first standardized recycling label in the country. Rhode Island is already the first state in the nation to adopt RAA’s standardized recycling bin labels. Now that labels are making their way onto bins across the state, Resource Recovery and RAA have created this complimentary Let’s recycle RIght! campaign to make recycling right as easy as possible.
“The label serves as a stop sign, so when someone is going to the recycle bin and they’re ready to make that decision, the sticker serves as a reminder that these items are the things that are recyclable,” said Hypolite. “The labels have categories, such as paper and cardboard; milk cans, lids and foil; glass bottles and jars; and plastic containers. This labeling system is something we’re really committed to.”
“Being a perfect recycler is tough,” added Krystal Noiseux, Resource Recovery’s education and outreach manager, “but being a good recycler? That should be easy.”
As part of the campaign, 390,000 households received bilingual recycling guidelines in the mail last month, designed to provide the most basic instructions that anyone can follow to be a good recycler. In addition, Resource Recovery is also unveiling matching “How-To” videos, in both English and Spanish. The videos are available on Resource Recovery’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/rirrc, and those Rhode Islanders craving more information can still download detailed guidelines at www.recycletogetherri.org.
Let’s recycle RIght! PSAs will be on display around the state from July 31 until November 30. Rhode Islanders can expect to see and hear bilingual radio ads, digital and static billboards, online banner ads and social media posts via Resource Recovery’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Rhode Islanders are also encouraged to visit Resource Recovery’s new website, www.rirrc.org.