There's a New Way to Recycle Shredded Paper
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation announced a new method for handling shredded paper as part of the company's new recycling system.
Along with the end of the old two-bin system for recycling, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, which runs the Central Landfill in Johnston, announced this week that there's a new way for residents to handle shredded paper.
Many people shred sensitive documents, like old bank statements and other records — and now, instead of packing them in brown paper bags and stapling the bag shut, RIRRC is asking residents to place the shredded paper in clear recycling bags, tie the bags shut, and leave the bundles in their recycling bins.
RIRRC held a ceremony to unveil its new recycling system on June 6.
“We are already seeing the benefits of [the state's new program called] Recycle Together RI in our Materials Recycling Facility and are constantly working to ensure that the new machinery is operating efficiently,” Brian Dubis, Materials Recycling Facility Operations Supervisor for RIRRC, said in a statement. “To achieve this goal, it is important that residents are informed of new recycling practices so they may properly prepare their recyclables for collection. We encourage all residents to adopt this new habit so that we may continue to process the state’s shredded paper uninterrupted.”
With the new recycling program, paper, plastic, glass and aluminum recyclables all enter the sorting facility together. At the first stage, a large spinning rotor or “drum feeder” meters out the mixed recyclables evenly onto the first conveyor belt. The drum feeder is so powerful that it rips apart the paper bags, causing the shreds to go everywhere, jamming up the machinery and contaminating the quality of the other recyclables.
A doubled-up plastic bag is durable enough to survive the drum feeder and can then be easily identified and plucked off the conveyor belts by employees.
This is the same reason that RIRRC can't accept loose shredded paper — and the company reminded residents that shredded paper is the only recyclable material that can be put into plastic bags for recycling.
All other plastic bags — like the ones from supermarkets and stores — should be returned to ReStore collection bins located at shopping outlets around the state.
Check out this article on the materials that can and can't be accepted under the new recycling system.
To learn more about Recycle Together RI or to contact RIRRC with a question, visit www.recycletogetherri.org or call 401.942.1430.