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Commercial Recycling in Rhode Island

The Commercial Recycling Program of the Department of Environment Management is dedicated to increasing the amount of business recycling in Rhode Island and diverting commercial waste from the landfill through outreach, education, and enforcement. Our mission is to work with businesses to overcome the barriers to recycling, and monitor the commercial recycling rate throughout the state.

A full 60% of the waste that goes into the landfill is commercial. Unfortunately, many businesses have not been recycling for numerous reasons — added cost, space constraints, or time commitment for training staff. Although these reasons may have appeared daunting in the past, it has recently become clear that from both an environmental and business perspective, the state needs to take a more active role in diverting waste from the landfill.

In order to facilitate this process, DEM has reestablished its Commercial Recycling Program and will provide assistance to RI businesses upon request. The Rules and Regulations for Reduction and Recycling of Commercial and Non-Municipal Residential Solid Waste ("Commercial Recycling Regulations") effective September 1996 require companies with 50 or more employees to submit yearly recycling reports to DEM. The Department has created an online reporting form in order to make it easy for your company to comply with the Commercial Recycling Regulations requirements. This is a result of the DEM's efforts to reinvigorate the Commercial Recycling Program, which has moved from the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy to the Office of Waste Management (OWM).

Over the course of the next year, DEM hopes to build momentum and support businesses who wish to do their part by establishing an active recycling program or enhancing an existing recycling program. Moreover, it is the Department's goal to complement recycling activities undertaken by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.

For more information, please contact DEM's Commercial Recycling Coordinator, Alyson Silva, at 401-222-2797 Ext. 7134 or alyson.silva@dem.ri.gov.

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