A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 July 1992

Part 2.

Rhode Island’s Waste Management Goal:
70% diversion of waste from landfills.

Rhode Island State Senate Act 92-S 2502 banned municipal solid waste incineration in the State. This act was passed when it was attached to the State’s 1993-1994 budget which was signed into law on July 14, 1992 by R.I.’s Governor Bruce Sundlun over the fierce objections, intensive lobbying efforts and threats of a $100 million lawsuit against the State by OGDEN MARTIN. This act was first introduced on 2-13-92 by Rhode Island State Senators Paul P. Pederzani III, Montalbano, Acciardo, Sabatini, D’Ambra, et al, and lobbied for by the Rhode Island chapter of the national War on Waste Campaign spearheaded by Clean Water Action and Concern Inc. of Rhode Island (not affiliated with the national Concern group). Over 20 groups in R.I. signed on to the WOW campaign which included: Sierra Club, R.I. Group for Alternatives to Spraying Pesticides, Rhode Islanders for Safe Power, Hispanics Against the Incinerator of Central Falls, WATER of Johnston, and the National Education Assoc. of R.I. This act would never have been signed into law were it not for a combination of informed and determined state legislators and dedicated, alert and untiring citizens groups. State Senator Pederzani authored Act 92-S 2502. Pederzani was a co-founder and President of Concern Inc. of R.I. and was elected to the Rhode Island State Senate while campaigning against municipal solid waste incinerators.

The following are excerpts from Act 92-S 2502, approved on July 14, 1992,
which banned municipal solid waste incineration in Rhode Island.

* “The following are declared to be policies of the state of Rhode Island. That the ultimate solid waste management objective of the state is to maximize recycling and reuse of solid waste.”

* “That solid waste management facilities and services be provided for municipalities, institutions, and persons in the state at reasonable costs, by state solid waste management systems and facilities, where the services and facilities are considered necessary and desirable...”

* “An integrated approach shall be adopted with respect to solid waste management planning and implementation activities which shall be based on the following priorities to the extent economically feasible:
(a) Reduction of the amount of source waste generated;
(b) Source separation and recycling;
(c) Waste processing such as recycling based technology to reduce the volume of waste necessary for land disposal...”
* “That the Rhode Island solid waste management corporation will operate the central landfill in a manner designed to afford to the environment and to the citizens of the state who reside near the landfill the maximum protection which is available, for the land disposal of rubbish and minimize or eliminate land disposal of solid waste.”

* “That due to the myriad of over four hundred (400) toxic pollutants including lead, mercury, dioxins and acid gasses known to be emitted by solid waste incinerators, the known and unknown threats posed by solid waste incinerators to the health and safety of Rhode Islanders, particularly children, along with the known and unknown threats to the environment are unacceptable.”

* “That despite the use of state of the art landfill liner systems and leachate collection systems, landfills and particularly incinerator ash landfills release toxic leachate into ground and surface waters which poses an unacceptable threat to public health, the environment and the state’s limited ground and surface water resources.”

* “That incineration of solid waste is the most costly method of waste disposal with known and unknown escalating costs which would place substantial and unreasonable burdens on both state and municipal budgets to the point of seriously jeopardizing the public’s interest.”

* “Resource recovery system means the corporation’s integrated system of resource recovery consisting of a series of waste processing facilities designed to process a minimum of seventy percent (70%) of the municipal and commercial solid waste streams by employing an on site waste separation technology for the purpose of recycling and or/reusing a minimum of seventy percent (70%) of the solid waste stream, and minimal use of landfill capacity and residue disposal from waste processing facilities and any other related facilities and services.”

* “ ‘Waste processing facility’ means a solid waste facility employing recycling based technology employing an on site waste separation technology designed to process both nonsource separated and source separated solid waste for the purpose of recycling, and/or composting, and/or reusing a minimum of seventy percent (70%) of the municipal solid waste stream.”

* “The plan shall not include incineration of solid waste.”

* “The plan shall limit the use of landfills to providing temporary backup or bypass disposal capacity and residue disposal from waste processing facilities. The plan shall also seek to minimize landfilling of any type of waste and phase out the use of landfills for waste disposal.”

* “The plan shall include composting of yard waste and other appropriate organic wastes...”

* “The plan shall primarily rely on a system of waste processing facilities.”

* “The plan shall provide that the corporation actively pursue research and develop new uses for materials recovered from solid waste to maximize revenue from recycled materials.”

* “In choosing vendors for the facilities, preference shall be given to vendors who:

(1) Provide private financing and privately own the facilities with minimal or no financial risk to the corporation or state;

(2) Provide a waste processing facility technology which on-site separates, recovers for recycling and composting the highest percentage of the waste stream and lowest amount of residue;

(3) Demonstrate the highest number of primary and secondary markets for materials recovered from the waste stream and alternative material uses in the event a material market fails or becomes economically infeasible;

(4) Can provide the greatest degree of flexibility in the type of materials outputed from the facility in order to adjust to changing markets for recovered materials; and

(5) Guarantee a fixed rate tipping fee and/or fixed escalation rate of tipping fees for the longest time periods...

(i) In addition to any source separation programs for household hazardous waste, the facilities shall have the capacity to separate household hazardous wastes and hazardous wastes from the waste stream and it shall be the responsibility of the corporation to provide for proper disposal of such wastes at a licensed facility. The corporation may enter an agreement with the facility vendor to provide for such disposal.”

For more information contact: Cindi Roper, War on Waste Campaign, c/o Clean Water Action, 2 Charles St., Providence, RI 02904. Tel: 401-331-6972.

WASTE NOT # 199. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US45; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.