When officials from Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns gathered at Rhode Island Resource Recovery in Johnston on Sept. 30, their shares of the state's profits from the sale of recyclables were much lighter than they were the past two years.
Where the towns shared nearly $2 million in 2012, this year the number was about $740,000, down about 62 percent.
For Narragansett, that meant a $8,965 payment in 2013 — a drop of 60 percent from the 2012 tally of $22,471.
RIRRC requires that the money is used for recycling programs, which this year brought in more total recyclables than in 2012.
More than two dozen towns increased their recycling — Narragansett went from 976 tons in 2012 to 1,154 tons in 2013 — while 11 sent less to the Central Landfill. Overall, the amount of recycling at the Landfill increased by about 5 percent statewide.
Resource Recovery Director of Recycling Sarah Kite told the Providence Journal that a tougher policy on recyclables in China and the general economic downturn have hurt prices.
This year's payments were based on a per-ton price of about $15, compared with last year's $42-per-ton price.