Legislation for a State-Wide Commission To Study Improved Recycling For Multifamily Complexes in Rhode Island
STATE HOUSE -- Representative Robert Quattrocchi (R-District 41, Scituate, Cranston) testified before The House Environment Committee on his bill (H-5606) “An Act Creating a Special Legislative Commission to Study the Efficacy and Cost of Implementing a Recycling Program for All Multi-Family Residential Units Including Condominium Complexes”. The goal of H-5606 is to reduce the amount of waste tonnage and perhaps, also reduce the cost of waste removal for all users of the Central Landfill.
Representative Robert Quattrocchi stated in the committee, "Our state municipalities are looking at a, not-so-well-publicized, 47% increase in their waste removal budgets in the next two years. These increases will come in the form of higher tipping fees at the state's landfill which will go from the current $32/ton to $47/ton. There is zero tipping fee on recyclables. A study commission, considering all available data regarding multifamily complexes, which are currently exempt from recycling, costs us nothing but could give us great insight which could benefit all of us, both financially and environmentally."
"Our commission would study the challenges facing the landfill: why they have raised the tipping fees to our communities so dramatically and ways to mitigate the strain on their available space and operations. These higher tipping fees will translate into higher property taxes and whatever we can do to lower them, the better for all."
"We want to understand the difficulties that multi-family recycling would encounter and how we can promote a responsible, easily implemented and less expensive system." explained Rep. Quattrocchi. "It is of great importance to Rhode Island to find good solutions."
RI Resource Recovery Corporation’s Acting Director, Mike McGonagle, wrote in support of the legislation, “Although existing commercial recycling rules require such facilities to provide recycling programs to residents, in many cases property managers fail to do so because of the additional costs associated with handling and transporting separated recycling. When residents are provided the opportunity to recycle at multi-unit housing, individual household compliance is difficult to enforce because each complex has many households contributing to one collection point. However, Multi-unit recycling, even though commercially managed, is residential in nature, making it quite suitable for processing at the Resource Recovery Materials Recycling Facility when delivered free of contaminants.”
In conclusion, RIRRC summarized stating, “In order to maximize the efforts to divert recoverable wastes from the Central Landfill, Resource Recovery welcomes the opportunity participate in a study of multi-unit recycling this legislative session.”
In written testimony, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (Ameripen) Vice President Lee Anderson, backed Rep. Quattrocchi’s bill, “According to the 2016 Sustainable Packaging Coalition Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling, only 53% of the U.S. population has recycling automatically provided at their home and the majority of those are in single family units. Many of the households that lack access to recycling in their homes are in multi-family residential units. The Recycling Partnership (http://recyclingpartnership.org/) also concluded in their 2016 State of Recycling Report (pg. 21):
- “…there is a great opportunity to understand and improve the other major form of residential recycling – multifamily collection.
- Multi-family homes do not have a consistent collection system in this country and are thus difficult to measure.
- Understanding the best management practices for multi-family collection is an essential step forward. This should be coupled with funding to support local governments in the operation of multi-family programs around the country.”
For these reasons, AMERIPEN urges the Committee to support House Bill 5606, to help explore cost effective ways to improve access to recycling in multi-family residential units in Rhode Island.”
Representative Quattrocchi states, "The Resource Recovery Corporation has been warning about the strains on its capacity for years, we must waste no time in convening this commission and working on solutions that will benefit all our communities. I am eager to help."
For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903