Last week, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation announced that Rhode Island has become the first state to adopt Recycle Across America standardized labels for recycling bins. Recycle Across America is a nonprofit group that has developed the first-ever society-wide recycling bin labels, aimed at making bins look similar across the United States and eliminating confusion.
Here are five things to know about this first-in-the-nation initiative:
The labels: Recycle Across America labels are proven to increase recycling and decrease contamination. They’ve been adopted by major brands such as Sony, Bank of America, Disney and Whole Foods.
Recycle Across America created labels that reflect Rhode Island's program, picturing paper, cardboard and cartons; metal cans, lids and foil; glass bottles and jars; and plastic containers. Sticking to these bare-bones rules will keep the state's recyclables in solid shape.
Public schools: To kick things off, 36,000 free, bilingual labels will be distributed to all of Rhode Island's public schools and administration buildings. Distribution has already begun. If you’re a teacher, staff member or administrator and want labels for your school, email email@example.com.
Other public entities: Beginning in July, the RIRRC will give more than 8,000 free labels to all state agency buildings, and nearly 40,000 to municipalities for use in municipal buildings and public spaces. Some cities and towns may also opt to purchase more for their bins and carts.
Private entities: Also beginning in July, private businesses and institutions (including private schools) that have a recycling program set up, and pledge to fully participate in the recycling program, will also be eligible for free labels. (RIRRC can help with setting up a program.)
The big picture: RIRRC envisions a day when every child growing up in Rhode Island, from kindergarten through college, no matter the school district, sees the same, simple, consistent message on recycling bins at school, at home, at the park, at the mall, and eventually … at work.
— Krystal Noiseux is the education and outreach manager for the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.