Litter prevention and recycling awareness education will now be required in Rhode Island schools, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. McKee. The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Walter Felag, requires the state’s elementary and middle schools to work with Rhode Island Resource Recovery to make yearly presentations in schools. Felag says, “We have a responsibility to teach the new generation of environmental stewards, and what better stewards of our environment than our children?”
According to Felag, the idea came from one of the residents in his district who was concerned about how much litter he was seeing around the state. Felag says educating children early on about the importance of proper waste disposal, including recycling, is the key to making a difference. Felag says, “School age children can bring this home to their adults and help their adults in deciphering what’s the differential between a recyclable and waste material.”
He says besides cutting down on litter, by sending more to recycling and less to the landfill, we can help extend the state landfill’s life expectancy. Right now, Rhode Island Resource Recovery estimates the landfill will reach capacity in just 19 years. Felag also says cities and towns would save money since each truckload of trash costs taxpayers a tipping fee. And of course, there’s the environmental benefit.