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Recycling: Beyond the Bin


This is the final project during my internship at Rhode Island Resource Recovery Co.(RIRRC). I spent two months researching the recycling system under the guidance of the education and outreach manager. This experience helped me to build a better understanding of the complexity of the recycling system both at the local level as well as in the country and around the world.

RIRRC’s material recycling facility accepts most of the state’s bin/cart recycling at no charge. One frequent question from the residents is “why xxx is not accepted at your place?” The answer varies, but the questions indicate a common phenomenon --- “wish-cycling”, a term made by the staff at RIRRC. People wish to recycle more. They want the state bin/cart recycling program to accept more items. However, many restrictions apply to whether certain items can or cannot be accepted. There is almost no standard answer, but I aimed to communicate this issue better to the audience by using animation.

Research on recycling claims on packaging.


This video can also be found on Recycle Across America and RIRRC's YouTube channel.


Left (top to bottom): 

1. Materials dumped on the floor.

2. Items going through Material Recycling Facility, separated by machine and by hand.

3. Cardboard and plastics bailed into cubes.

Right (top to bottom): 

1. Propane tanks picked out of the recyclables.

2. Metal wires picked out of the recyclables.

3. Staff cleaning plastic bags out of the sorting machine.

wishcycling final_3-1 copy 2.jpg
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