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City Reminds Residents of Recycling

Pawtucket – The City of Pawtucket’s Department of Public Works reminds residents of the City’s Recycling Ordinance in an effort to minimize rejected loads and additional unforeseen costs.

When the City transitioned to mixed recycling back in 2013, all eligible residential properties received blue recycling bins with the intention of making the process easier for residents. Rhode Island’s mixed recycling program accepts the following materials: (1) paper, cardboard and cartons (2) metal cans, lids, and foil (3) glass bottles and jars, and (4) plastic containers. 

“There are a number of benefits to recycling including protecting the environment, conserving resources, and reducing the waste that ends up in our landfills,” said Public Works Director Eric J. Earls. “The process will not work, however, if our loads continue to get rejected by the RI Resource Recovery due to contamination. It is important that we are all diligent when disposing of waste such as garden hoses, clothing, food, TV’s, air conditioners, car tires, and plastic bags as they do not belong in recycling.”

Over the last nine months, the City has paid an additional $61,000 in unforeseen charges due to rejected loads.

“Every time a load is rejected the city is fined $250.00, and then there is the cost of the weighted material now going as waste at an average of $282.00 for a total of $532.00 for each rejected load,” said Public Works Business Manager Richard Karsulavitch. “If we continue on this path, we as a City are looking at $75,000 in additional expenses this year that could have been averted with proper recycling techniques.”

In response to these additional costs, the Department of Public Works will be out enforcing the City Charter on Recycling. Recycling bins will be inspected throughout the city for proper recycling and compliance. An orange sticker will be left on the container informing that the contents must be corrected before the following collection two weeks later, where it will be re-inspected for compliance.

Below is the City Ordnance for recycling and the fines that could be imposed for not recycling properly. 

§ 347-48 Penalties for noncompliance.

[Amended 11-10-2011 by Ch. No. 2983]

A.        On the first violation for failure to separate recyclables and non-recyclable materials or for leaving recyclables in a manner inconsistent with the Department of Public Works regulations, the resident(s) shall receive a written warning/notification from Public Works of their noncompliance detailing the violation of this article and fines that will result from subsequent violations.

B.        On the second violation, the resident shall be subject to a fine of $25. Fines may be paid by mail. Mailed-in fines must be received by the Office of Zoning and Code Enforcement within 14 days of the date of the summons. Anyone who does not pay the fine by mail in a timely manner must appear in Pawtucket Municipal Court.

C.        On the third and subsequent violation, said resident(s) shall be issued a summons pursuant to the pertinent sections to appear in Municipal Court and shall be fined no less than $100 and up to $500 for noncompliance.

Proper recycling can result in keeping your taxes low, if we continue to be fined taxes may have to go up to cover these additional expenses.

For additional recycling information please visit the RI Resource Recovery Page at Any further questions can be directed to the Public Works Office at 401-728-0500 Ext 260, or email at


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