City steps up recycling enforcement

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It may seem like reverse math, but it makes perfect logic that the more you take out, the more you save.

We’re not talking about a bank account, but rather trash.

Department of Public Works Director Richard Crenca is all about reducing the city’s waste stream by increasing recycling. Some people aren’t too happy with him either. Crenca has cracked down on the “no cart, no collection” city policy. In other words, if the recycling cart isn’t at curbside, the city won’t empty the trash cart.

That’s been the rule for some time, but it wasn’t strictly enforced until a couple of weeks ago. Over time homeowners discovered their trash was being picked up regardless of whether they put out a recycling cart. Soon, entire neighborhoods were doing it and one resident, said city recycling director Christopher Beneduce, thought the recycling program had been discontinued.

A relaxation in recycling hasn’t dramatically affected the city’s overall rate of recycling that hovers between 27 and 29 percent. But Crenca believes Warwick could do better if residents paid attention and realized what it could mean in costs to them as taxpayers. It’s here that taking items out of the waste stream, if done on a large enough scale, can result in significant savings.

In the last fiscal year, the city disposed of 25,367 tons of waste at the state landfill. That amount exceeded the city’s cap by 1,675 tons, resulting in an overcharge expense to taxpayers of $90,450. On the recycling side, 10,287 tons were collected for a recycling rate of the overall tonnage collected of 28.44 percent.

That is part of the story.

As of the next fiscal year not only will tipping fees increase but caps will be reduced. The tipping fee for solid waste, which is now $39.50 a ton, will climb to $47. The cap overage fee will go from $54 a ton to $67.

The incentive is obvious: recycle more and the waste tonnage goes down. In addition, Rhode Island Resource Recovery has built-in incentives. When the rate of recycling hits 25 percent, the city gets a $1 per ton reduction in the tipping fee for waste. Another $1 per ton reduction happens when the recycling rate exceeds 30 percent.

“It’s real money,” said Crenca, justifying his action to strictly enforce the no cart, no collection regulation.

Comments

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Denise123

Recycling is so important on so many levels. That is why I am confused as to why the weekly yard debris pickup is changed from once per week to every other week during the fall months when yard debris is at its heaviest. As we all know, the recycling bags are paper and get wet while waiting to be picked up. When you have to wait two weeks for a pickup, the bags are practically falling apart. I'm also confused as to why it is that while leaves are still coming down in December, yard debris pickup is completely stopped until Spring. This practice makes no sense to me. As a Warwick taxpayer, I would like to have yard waste picked up weekly at least until the snow falls. Although I cleaned all the leaves that have fallen from my maple tree in my yard this past Sunday, my yard is once again covered in leaves and it is December 6th. Putting them in paper bags until Spring is useless.

I hope someone out there can explain the reasoning behind this practice.

Wednesday, December 6
richardcorrente

Dear Denise,

Look up San Francisco's recycling program. They call it The Fantastic Three. It is three color-coded bins for recycling (blue), organics including grass and leaves (green) and everything else (black). It was introduced in 1999 and within seven months that city enjoyed a 90 percent improvement in their recycling and a 73 percent satisfaction rating. Today they enjoy one of the highest-rated recycling programs in the nation. Maybe it's an idea that could work in Warwick. Maybe. Like Mr. Crenca said, "It's real money." And we already have the right colors on our bins. I agree with you Denise. The organics should be picked up all year. We should look into the economics of that. I'll bet it would work.

Merry Christmas Denise

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, December 6
Justanidiot

How is it fiscally possibly to increase services, give teachers a raise, and cut taxes. Tell us the secret mr mayer. we erected you so that youse could save us from ourselves.

5 days ago
Kammy

Justanidiot - shhhhh it's a secret. We just have to accept that it can happen on blind faith and pixy dust.

5 days ago
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

Excellent question.

Here is your answer. If we increase the number of taxpayers, like Cranston did, we will increase the total tax revenue. Then we can decrease the amount-per-taxpayer needed to fund our services, still afford our teachers salaries, and give reasonable raises to other City employees.

Easily.

The Corrente plan will reverse the 5,800 person exodus that Warwick has experienced in the past ten years. (according to the U.S. Census).

I propose tax rebate checks for new home buyers from outside Warwick. I propose a 2 year moratorium on building permits to stimulate construction which will give Warwick new tax dollars "forever". I will promote Warwick to the rest of Rhode Island and, Justanidiot, I WILL increase the number of taxpayers. Everyone will benefit from the Corrente Plan. We should even have money left over to help you with your spelling issues.

Merry Christmas old friend.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

5 days ago
CrickeeRaven

- "I propose tax rebate checks for new home buyers from outside Warwick."

The fake "mayor" has never identified a source for funding this fantasy or any way to make up for the revenue lost. Discriminating against Warwick residents who purchase homes in the city is likewise an indication of his inability to understand basic government operations.

- "I propose a 2 year moratorium on building permits to stimulate construction which will give Warwick new tax dollars 'forever.'"

The fake "mayor" proves his terrible grasp of the English language. A moratorium means that no building permits are issued; as a result, no new construction could occur. Only in his fevered mind would a city-imposed prohibition on new buildings "stimulate construction." This is also the same person whose central campaign claim is that Warwick has lost thousands of businesses over the past several years, which indicates that construction of new businesses does not, in fact, provide tax revenue "forever."

[Of course, frequent readers know that this claim of his is a lie, meaning that, not only has he never admitted to his earlier falsehood, but he has compounded it with another false statement.]

Yet again, rather than provide anything approaching realistic, logical, or factual statements, the fake "mayor" proves himself unfit for any office and continues his unbroken streak of humiliating himself on this website. He will no doubt maintain that record in his future comments and find himself decisively defeated yet again next November when honest, taxpaying voters reject his doomed candidacy.

5 days ago