As I was returning today from a tour of the Resource Recovery Center's Central Landfill in Johnston, I circled by Prospect Terrace Park in Providence to find out if it was true that the Landfill can be seen from that overlook.
Usually you see this view of downtown buildings from the park, and never think about the landfill. But yes, if you look beyond the Providence Place Mall, you can see the 700-foot-above-sea-level heap of our state's garbage now from Providence, about 9 miles away. And from the top of the landfill, which they say is covered in Shasta daisies in summer, there's a panoramic view of most of Rhode Island, all the way down to the Newport bridge. We were also lucky enough to see one of the bald eagles and a pair of red tail hawks that have their own resource recovery program at the landfill involving small animals and other birds.
We also saw gazillions of plastic bags blowing around that crews pick up every day. If you saw this mess, you would want to stop using those plastic bags, invest in some canvas or string grocery bags, and try to reduce what you throw in the trash! Those plastic bags are definitely NOT COOL, but recycling plastic bags IS!
The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) is an impressive business, making money for the state from recycling materials, charging towns and cities for "tipping" loads of trash, and producing enough methane gas to heat at least 21,000 homes a year. It is quite a complex operation, with separate places for demolition waste; clean wood; compost heaps helped along with huge bags of turkey manure to keep the earthworms at work digesting the yard waste; Christmas trees; recyclable paper, cans, bottles, etc. (things that belong in the blue and green bins don't cost our towns or cities anything to dispose of ~ recycle and reduce your taxes a smidge); a quarry for storing different types of stone for capping and covering the landfill (no more open dumps are allowed in the United States); toxic materials (ECO DEPOT); TVS and computers; and, of course, all the other stuff we put at the curb every week.
The Providential Gardener is concerned that we reduce the trash we produce so we don't have to turn any more of the state into a landfill than necessary! The Providential Gardener is most interested, though, in garden waste recycling. The RIRRC has a lot of information on composting, as well as composting bins for sale. By the way, Providence is now picking up yard waste every week if it is in separate containers from those enormous "Big Green Cans" all residents now have. But Providence recycling stinks, so to speak. According to Groundwork Providence, only 10% of trash is recycled. Actually, 40% of what we throw out each week can be recycled.
There's so much more to say about this. Meanwhile, you might want to sign up for a tour yourself. They focus on tours for school children, but adults will find it amazing. Everybody in the state ought to go see this place up close and personal, not just from far away hills.