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Commercial Recycling

Organization(s) Narragansett Bay Commission
Project Description Rhode Island requires all businesses that have 50 or more employees to institute a formalized commercial recycling program. The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) initiated its current in-house recycling program in September 2001 when it moved into its newly constructed Corporate Office Building adjacent to its Field's Point WWTF in Providence, RI. With an average annual workforce of 240, NBC employees have recycled an impressive 206,087 pounds (103 tons) of solid waste since this program's inception and are now recycling an average of 33,000 pounds of mixed material each year. In addition to office product recycling, NBC recycles scrap metal and Universal Waste (i.e., lamps and batteries) and is exploring opportunities to utilize on-site generated waste for energy recovery.

Solid waste recycling helps to ease the burden on the state's only landfill and helps to conserve natural resources and energy. For example, at NBC employees recycle an average of 15,000 pounds of office paper each year - this is equivalent to saving about 18 barrels of oil or 37,000 kilowatts of energy. NBC uses an "at-the-source" separation recycling process that is specifically designed so that various types of recyclable materials are collected in separate containers - office paper (green bin), newspaper (grey bin), and plastic and glass (blue bin) at the point of generation. The benefits of at-the-source separation, as opposed to post disposal separation, include: a higher value recycle stream, direct employee participation, a more organized framework for janitorial staff, and accurate tracking of monthly recycling efforts as provided by NBC's recycling contractor.

NBC's Pollution Prevention Program has been using lessons learned through development and implementation of its successful in-house recycling program to help educate Rhode Island's Hospitality Industry with their recycling efforts through participation in Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's (RIDEM) Green Hospitality and Tourism Certification Program.

Project Contact
Name Dave Aucoin
Phone 401-461-8848 ext. 418
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Energy Efficiency
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 19 No. 1, Spring 2009 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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