Editorial: The cost of composting

Posted 8/27/21

The Barrington Town Council deserves a gold star for its decision to approve a composting program at its recent meeting, although we can’t help from wondering if it was really necessary to fund …

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Editorial: The cost of composting

Posted

The Barrington Town Council deserves a gold star for its decision to approve a composting program at its recent meeting, although we can’t help from wondering if it was really necessary to fund the purchase of an electric bike and bike trailer as part of the program.

In fact, the e-bike and trailer combine for nearly half of the program’s total price tag — the e-bike (a used bike, according to the proposal) will cost an estimated $1,500, while the trailer runs another $950. The total program is running the town $5,100.

Stepping back, it’s easy to see that these are small dollars in comparison to the overall annual municipal budget, but it’s still worth considering cheaper alternatives: Could a regular pedal bike work? Could a bike be donated? What about delivering the compost bins from Kent Street to the Barrington Farm School in a car?

Help is on the way

Rhode Island renters who have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic and face housing debt, or are threatened by eviction due to unpaid rent, have a well-funded lifeline available to them through federal dollars accessible via RI Housing.

In total, the federal government has provided $352 million in assistance to Rhode Island renters in need of money for housing-related expenses, whether that is unpaid rent, forward-facing rent, utility expenses or other applicable costs that they are unable to afford. The program is available to tenants and landlords.

Anybody who has been approved for unemployment benefits or can show proof of being at risk of housing instability or homelessness automatically qualifies for the program. Likewise, those who have experienced a reduction in household income, whether that’s due to a lost job or an increase in expenses due to the pandemic, will qualify as well.

You also qualify for the program if you have an annual household income of 80 percent of the annual median income for Rhode Island — which translates roughly to $69,200 for a family of four. 

Visit RentReliefRI.com for more information on the program or to submit an application. There is also a call center available for all inquiries at 1-855-608-8756.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.