Providence, Rhode Island, using art to encourage recycling

Providence, Rhode Island, has started a new campaign in tandem with National Grid to encourage its citizens to recycle by hiring local artists to create a series of exhibitions around the city. Local officials commissioned these workers to use old refrigerators and other spent appliances to let residents know that there are better ways of getting rid of these items that just throwing them in the trash, according to

"We are doing this to highlight one of the things that Providence and Rhode Island is really famous for right now and that's energy efficiency," Mike Ryan of National Grid, told the news source.

At every place where this innovative art is displayed there will be information that will educate consumers about National Grid's recycling program. The company will give $50 to individuals who do the right thing by recycling their old refrigerators and freezers instead of letting them end up in a landfill.

"Recycling 1,000 refrigerators or freezers will save enough energy for more than 900 households in one year," Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, told the news source."

Eight local artists were asked to offer their interpretation of the importance of recycling by using these old appliances. The sculptures will be located in the downtown area and residents will be asked to vote for their favorites. These kinds of municipal art projects have been wildly successful in other cities, but this one is unique as it has a significant public program backing it. Appliance recycling is at dangerous levels in this country, so having a public art program to put the problem into focus should work wonders to encourage residents to do the right thing for their community.