Warwick, RI Pilot Recycling Program Involving Area Schools
Status: Announced on 10/22/07
Mayor Scott Avedisian announced today that a pilot recycling program at three city schools – Warren A. Sherman Elementary, Winman Junior High and Toll Gate High – is officially underway.
The program, which began at Sherman and Toll Gate today and will be up and running at Winman by week’s end, will allow students, faculty and staff to begin recycling bottles and cans and paper, instead of tossing those materials into Dumpsters. There is no start-up cost to the schools, Avedisian said, because Recycling and Sanitation supervisor Chris Beneduce secured a grant from Rhode Island Resource Recovery for new Dumpsters, and blue and green recycling carts were available from the city’s automated trash program. Recycling and Sanitation crews will collect the trash and recycling from these school buildings.
Although it’s currently unclear what savings will be realized, it’s expected that significant money will be saved over time; Sherman School began an in-house program last spring, and school maintenance staff and teachers have reported a reduction of approximately 50 percent in the amount of trash being thrown away. All that can eventually translate to less money that the School Department will have to pay to private trash haulers, Avedisian said.
“Whenever we speak with our students about environmental protection, recycling is always a popular topic,” Avedisian said. “Our children are enthusiastic about recycling and very knowledgeable about what they can be doing to preserve and restore our natural resources. What never made sense to them was why their schools weren’t recycling. This is an important first step in bringing an effective recycling program to our schools. I applaud those in our school district who have embraced this initiative, and thank the members of our Recycling and Sanitation Division, who continually rise to the challenges we put before them.”
This is the latest step in a series of Avedisian’s environmental initiatives. This summer, blue and green recycling bins were installed at City Hall, the annex, Thayer Arena, the police station, the sewer authority, the animal shelter, Buttonwoods Community Center, the Pilgrim Senior Center, the main library on Sandy Lane, the police firing range and at the Department of Public Works. The Recycling and Sanitation Division took over trash and recycle collection in those buildings.
Earlier this year, the city signed on to the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to reduce carbon dioxide pollutants to seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012. In April, the city was awarded a “Cool Cities” designation for the environmentally-friendly programs and policies it has implemented during Avedisian’s tenure as Mayor. These include a no-idling policy, installation of LED lights in municipal buildings, expansion of the annual tree planting program, legislation pending before the City Council, and, most recently, installation of LED lights in traffic signals.
Earlier this month, Avedisian joined on to the Energy Star Change a Light Campaign, which is a national challenge to encourage citizens to help the environment one energy-saving step at a time. This year’s goal is to get 100 residents to pledge to replace at least one light in their homes with one that has earned the Energy Star rating. Residents may sign on to the challenge via the city’s website, http://www.warwickri.gov, and clicking on the link.