As summer heats up, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) announces a hot new agreement with Recycle Across America (RAA). On Earth Day (April 22) Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to adopt RAA’s standardized label solution for recycling bins, making 36,000 free labels available to all of RI’s public schools.  As part of the same agreement, every state agency and municipality also became eligible for free labels.  Today, RIRRC is announcing it has entered into a first-of-its kind licensing agreement with RAA that enables RIRRC, a quasi-public agency, to also offer standardized labels to private businesses and institutions— including private schools—at no cost, for those whoparticipate in the state’s recycling program. This is the first time RAA has permitted a public entity to be the direct provider of their labels to the private sector.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with RIRRC,” says Mitch Hedlund, Executive Director and Founder of RAA.  “They really understand the fact that if the public is confused at the recycling bin, the entire system of recycling and the ability to reuse the materials in manufacturing is negatively impacted.   I’m in awe of their determination to fix the issue in a pragmatic and macro way for the greater good of their communities, for the environment and for the overall economics and efficacy of recycling and closed loop manufacturing.

When people have the ability to easily recycle right, wherever they are, recycling will finally begin to thrive and live up to its phenomenal environmental and economic potential.  Leaders such as RIRRC and other early adopters such as the National Parks, Whole Foods Markets, Disney, and Bank of America are creating the tipping point with this critical solution.   We couldn’t be more grateful for RIRRC’s leadership as a state—they clearly live up to their reputation of being Tiny but Mighty.” 

Expanding the offer of free standardized labels beyond public schools and out to businesses and institutions supplements RI Resource Recovery’s long-standing programs to help anyone start or improve recycling through free waste assessments and educational assistance.

“RI Resource Recovery is excited to provide free standardized recycling bin labels to any group in RI—public or private—that wants them,” says Krystal Noiseux, RIRRC’s Education and Outreach Manager. “This expanded availability brings us one step closer to the day when everyone in Rhode Island sees the same, basic, consistent message on recycling bins at home, at school, at the park, at the mall, and at work.”

To date, 196 schools in 26 school districts have received nearly 16,000 free labels, with Westerly and West Greenwich being the first to complete label placement throughout all district schools. Resource Recovery has created an informational label placement guide to assist schools with the process, and hopes to see labels affixed on school bins, from Woonsocket to Westerly, by then end of the year.

More than one million RAA standardized labels are displayed on bins throughout the nation. They have been proven to increase recycling levels between 50-100%, while significantly reducing contamination with trash—a challenge RI has been facing in recent years. The RI labels mimic the look of RAA’s standard mixed recycling labels, but feature those items recyclable in RI’s program. On Earth Day, RAA revealed the standardized labels and celebrated Rhode Island as the first state at a Hollywood launch of their national, star-studded, “Let’s Recycle Right” PSA campaign. Celebrities who have already joined the campaign include Kristen Bell, Anthony Mackie, Angie Harmon, Gabrielle Reece, Alanis Morissette, and many others.

For more information of the expanded label offering, or to get labels for your organization, contact knoiseux@rirrc.org.

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