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If you have already sent an e-mail or spoken to a Town Hall staff member and provided your contact information and age, you are already on the list. No further action is required by you, and you will not receive a return phone call unless more information is required. Not leaving all required information may slow the process of being added to the list, though, so make sure you at least leave your full name, date of birth and contact phone number!
Once vaccine doses have been allocated and made available, we will contact those on the eligibility list (from oldest to youngest as available) to register for a vaccine appointment.
Yes, you can! Should you need to cancel or reschedule a vaccine appointment, please do so as soon as the need arises. Cancelations and rescheduling will not change your status with respect to priority. We will work to place you with the next available dosage. If for any reason you cannot make an appointment, please cancel as soon as possible at (401) 643-0323 or (401) 477-2172 so we can provide another senior the appointment slot. We do not want to lose a dose that has a limited shelf life.
CodeRED is an emergency notification service that allows town officials to notify residents and businesses by telephone, cell phone, text message, email and social media of time-sensitive general and emergency notifications. Only authorized officials have access to the CodeRED system.
No. If you signed up for Code Red with the Portsmouth Water & Fire District you are already in the system. You don’t need to do anything more. If you wish to add additional phone numbers or edit your information, you may log in to the account you created when you signed up with Portsmouth Water & Fire District. Your e-mail address is your User Name for your CodeRED account. If you have forgotten your password, CodeRED can e-mail you password reset instructions. If you are using a different e-mail address than the one you used to create the original CodeRED account, you should create a new account using the new e-mail address.
The CodeRED database contains information received from public databases, including regional phone books. However, no resident should assume that their information is in the system. See the "I need to Sign Up for CodeRED. How do I?" FAQ for a link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page where you can register online. If you can not register online, you can call [1-866-939-0911] and speak with one of our communications specialists to complete your registration over the telephone.
Sign up for CodeRED by clicking here and following the directions on their web site.
CodeRED is a service of Emergency Communications Network which takes security and privacy concerns very seriously. They will not sell, trade, lease or loan any citizen supplied data to third parties.
Any message regarding the safety, property or welfare of the community will be disseminated using the CodeRED system. These may include evacuation notices, boil water advisories or missing child alerts.
A CodeRED Emergency message will have a caller ID of 866-419-5000. A CodeRED General message will have a caller ID 855-969-4636. We suggest you program both numbers in your cell phone as a “new contact” and use “CodeRED Emergency” and “CodeRED General” as the contact name. If you need to replay the emergency notification message again, simply dial the number and you will be able to hear the message again.
Listen carefully to the entire message. You will have the option to repeat the message by pressing any key. Do not call 911 for further information unless directed to do so or if you need immediate aid from the Police or Fire department.
Yes, the CodeRED system will leave a message on a machine or on voicemail. The CodeRED system will leave the entire message in one pass.
Make sure you have at least one working corded telephone – and be sure to turn the ringer on. The CodeRED sign-up form allows you to indicate both a primary and alternate phone number. Cell phone and/or work phone numbers can be entered as alternate phone numbers. Both primary and alternate phone numbers will be contacted when a notification is sent.
If the line is busy, CodeRED will try two more times to connect.
If you are unable to come to the Records Office during the hours of Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., contact the Records Clerk at 401-643-0133 and arrangements can be made to leave a copy at the dispatch desk where it can be picked up at your convenience.
Note: No reports will be mailed unless prior payment has been received and no reports will be faxed. Records Office
Small loads for residents' personal projects only, up to 32-gallons barrel or its equivalent of construction and demolition (C&D) or asphalt, brick and concrete (ABC), may be disposed of in the C&D or ABC bin at the Transfer Station at no charge, once per day. This service is available only to residents with a valid Transfer Station sticker and is for residential C & D and ABC only.
Trailers are not allowed in the Transfer Station.
Any load larger than 32-gallons may be disposed of in the C&D or ABC bin for a $75 fee, once per day. This service is available only to residents with a valid Transfer Station sticker and is for residential C&D and ABC only. In order to dispose of loads larger than 32-gallons, residents are required to pay at the Tax Collector’s office in Town Hall located at 2200 East Main Road between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday. Please provide your pass to the Gate Attendant when you arrive at the Transfer Station to dispose of your C&D or ABC. No one-day passes allowed for C&D or ABC.
Examples of acceptable C&D include: • wood (including painted, treated and coated wood and wood products) • wall coverings • plaster • plumbing fixtures • glass • sheetrock/wallboard/drywall (less than 5% in a load, by volume) • non-asbestos insulation • roofing shingles and other roofing coverings • electrical wiring and components containing no hazardous liquids, and pipe and metals that are incidental to any of the above.
C&D loads cannot contain: • garbage • corrugated container board • carpeting • furniture • appliances • tires • items regulated as hazardous waste • asbestos waste • electrical fixtures containing hazardous liquids such as fluorescent light ballasts or transformers for fluorescent lights • 55-gallon drums • fuel tanks.
C&D is not allowed in the compactor pits.
ABC: concrete, asphalt, brick, and rock ONLY and must be free of debris and litter.
The following items require a per item fee and represent the cost to the Town. All fees must be paid at the Tax Collector’s Office prior to going to the Transfer Station. Fees are subject to change.
For emergencies, call 9-1-1.
If there is a problem that requires immediate action (i.e., a loud party at 2:00 a.m.) use the tools the town has always had in place - call the police at (401) 683-0300 to report the problem. But, for example, if you have a neighbor that is renting, but you don't believe he has registered with the town yet, then use the hotline or complaint portal. It all depends on the urgency of the situation.
To contact Host Compliance, call the Hotline at (401) 336-5552. You can also report incidents at the Complaint Portal Link https://safe.hostcompliance.com/tips/route. At the Complaint Portal you can provide full documentation of all incidents, include photos, video footage and sound recordings to document your complaint, and Host Compliance assures real-time outreach to owners of problem properties (whenever the owner's contact info is known)!
If it is an urgent situation, call the Portsmouth Police Department at (401) 683-0300. If it is an emergency, DIAL 911.
Do you rent or lease property for less than 31 days when you are not present in the dwelling? If so, then you need to register as a short-term rental.
The town's registration form is online at https://portsmouthri.viewpointcloud.com. If you do not have access to a computer, come to the Town Clerk's office at Town Hall and use the kiosk to go Viewpoint.
No, the registration fee remains the same the entire calendar year, $130, and is not prorated. The registration fee will is non-refundable.
You will receive a first warning letter asking you to register. The town will give you a second warning letter if you do not comply. If you still refuse to comply, you will then receive a summons to municipal court.
You will need inspections done by the Building Inspector (or his/her designee) and the Fire Marshal. The purpose of the inspections is to determine the occupancy limit of the unit pursuant to § 314-8 of this chapter, to determine if smoke and CO2 detectors are installed in compliance with the State Fire Code for dwelling units and to determine the number of off-street and on-street parking spaces available. The Building Official or his/her designee shall issue a short-term rental permit stating the maximum occupancy for the dwelling unit.
You are responsible for calling the Building Official (401-683-3611) and the Fire Marshal (401-683-1200) to set the appointments for inspection.
Although there is no time limit designated, you may not rent or lease your dwelling unit until the inspections are complete and you receive a permit from the Building Inspector.
No registrations will be given to any entity owing taxes to the town. You must pay your taxes before you can register and therefore rent your dwelling unit.
NOTE: The issue of proration of real estate taxes at closing is a matter between buyer and seller and is not an issue or concern of the Town.
The Town Clerk is an appointed position.
The Town Clerk is the ex-officio head of the department of Public Records and serves as the Recorder of Deeds; Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths; Clerk of the Probate Court, Clerk of the Municipal Court and Clerk of the Town Council.
Every user of the Transfer Station is required to stop to ensure that all vehicles entering the Transfer Station are doing so at a safe speed.
The Transfer Station check-in agent will perform the following:
The Waste Connections staff present at the Transfer Station is present to assist the Transfer Station users in disposing of their waste and also to ensure the safety of the Transfer Station users.
Although recyclables currently are free to dump at RIRRC, the Town still incurs a cost for the transportation of recyclables to the RIRRC recycling facility in Johnston, RI. That cost is offset by the sticker cost.
Trailers are not allowed in part due to increased likelihood of dumping of yard waste derived from commercial businesses as well as to mitigate concerns over ongoing damage to "the shed" from trailers.
Per the “Transfer Station Application Rules and Regulations” document, the use of a pickup truck does not allow for the hauling of ‘truckloads’ of Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris or Asphalt, Brick, Concrete (ABC) without the purchase of a ‘large load’ (over 32 gallons) permit for $75 at Town Hall.
Seasonal residents that reside in Portsmouth less than half the year will have their vehicles registered in their state of primary residence. In addition, Portsmouth is the temporary home to many of our military personnel. Residents falling in either one of these categories satisfy the “residency requirement” and are eligible to apply for a Transfer Station sticker.
The Transfer Station staff is charged with ensuring that all materials coming into the Transfer Station are placed into its correct container. A failure to correctly divert all materials that can be diverted and the contamination of recyclables directly lead to a higher cost borne by all users of the Transfer Station.
When arriving to the Transfer Station notify the check-in agent to coordinate placing the object outside the “Scrap Metal” bin or request assistance placing inside the “Scrap Metal” bin. This ensures that materials are left in a coordinated location, allows for proper traffic flow, and follows safety procedures.
Per the accepted bid during the 2017 selection process, each additional contracted employee to cover all the hours of operation of the Transfer Station would cost $85K annually:
To allow for maximum flexibility and offer a competitive price, the town contracts out the residential solid waste/recycling/diversion items per the triennial bidding process. The last bid was accepted in late 2017.
RIRRC asks for cardboard to be flattened (cut down pieces to less than 3 feet by 5 feet by 1 foot).
In addition, to allow the RIRRC Single Stream recycling machine to more efficiently process recyclables, RIRRC requests paper to remain flat (i.e., do not bunch up into balls), and to keep paper sheets intact (i.e., do not rip up into tiny pieces).
Sensitive documents can be disposed of at community “Shred-it” events held periodically throughout the year.
Insurance requirements of the town do not allow us to have scavenging of any material at the Transfer Station. This includes the “Give and Take” area.
Safety is a top priority and so it was decided to correct this potential safety issue of folks exiting their vehicles and walking around the Transfer Station. Additionally, this contributes to traffic backup.
We do ask that if someone has something they would want to reuse that they donate it to a local charitable organization or give away free via the private Facebook group “Aquidneck Island Families Sell and Swap,” the free section of Criagslist.org, or to charitable organizations, of which several examples are listed below:
The PAYT town bags can be recycled via the plastic bag “Restore” program available at multiple local retailers or they can be given to a grateful fellow resident. The PAYT town bags themselves are not to be placed in the Single Stream recycling “pit” as they will cause issues with the Single Stream sorter at RIRRC. The PAYT town bags are made up of 30% recyclable material.
The producer of PAYT bags, Waste Zero, only sells the bags in bulk quantities to retailers, so the Town is unable to keep a few boxes either at Town Hall or the Transfer Station to sell individual boxes or bags.
The best way to generalize the Transfer Station Sticker and the PAYT bag revenue is that the annual stickers cover the fixed costs (overhead, personnel, etc.) while the PAYT bags cover the variable costs (transportation and tipping fees).
In an effort to reduce the sticker price for those residents who generated smaller amounts of trash, the PAYT program was adopted where all Transfer Station users paid a lower base price and the remainder of the per user cost was applied via a progressive funding mechanism – the households that generated more solid waste would pay more akin to a utility bill. PAYT bag revenue is a funding mechanism and is simply a way to help spread the cost of trash disposal in a fairer way.
In summary the PAYT bags serve two important purposes:
ECONOMIC: The Town receives the majority of the monies earned from the sale of every bag and this money is automatically deposited for the Town and enters into the Town’s Transfer Station Enterprise Fund. This money, along with the money from the sale of Transfer Station stickers, helps fund the cost of operating the Town Transfer Station including but not limited to transportation costs and RIRRC “tipping fees” paid per ton of solid waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL: The use of PAYT bags has demonstrated outstanding reductions in the tonnage of solid waste being disposed of at the Transfer Station. Since PAYT was initiated, Portsmouth has seen an approximately 50% reduction in solid waste disposal and doubling of the recycling rate!
The PAYT paradigm monetarily incentivizes residents to educate themselves on recycling and diversion. Additional ways to reduce the amount of household solid waste (to reduce PAYT costs) include but are not limited to:
Before shipping, Transfer Station staff compacts yard waste. The pit is cleared of the original material inside it (loaded inside a container for shipping to RIRRC facility) then yard waste is deposited for compacting as part of a process of loading it into a container to be brought to RIRRC’s facility. Compacting yard waste directly reduces the amount of trips to RIRRC, which in turn saves the Town money.
The Transfer Station policy regarding tarps must balance convenience, liability, and overall safety and flow of operations for all users of the Transfer Station. Open containers (such as a tarp) make it difficult to control the yard waste debris. Spills occur that would require continuous clean-up by Transfer Station staff, drawing them away from other responsibilities. There also exists the possibility of a larger item, like a large branch or small stump, falling out of a tarp and another resident tripping over loose items. All yard waste shall be transported to the Transfer Station contained in a reusable box or barrel, or in yard bags (which can be filled via a Leaf Chute ®).
Yard Waste is not intended for food compost! It is intended for grass clippings, brush, and plant debris. Fruits, vegetables, and other food items from gardens attract pests. There are several local composting initiatives and compost bins are available from the Tax Collector’s Office at Town Hall for $45 each.
No. RIRRC (state landfill) does not accept any yard waste loads with branches larger than 2 inches in diameter.
If composting is not a feasible option for stumps and larger tree limbs, local landscaping and tree services can provide wood chipping and stump grinding services. Additionally, the RIRRC facility in Johnston, RI accepts tree stumps if placed in the “Stump Container.”
The Town continues to receive reports from Transfer Station staff of unusual C&D/ABC dumping habits. In order to discourage commercial businesses from using the Transfer Station to dispose of construction debris, more stringent requirements are necessary. Commercial users dumping C&D/ABC which is not derived from personal household projects are externalizing their business-related disposal costs onto the other Transfer Station sticker holders.
There is the option to purchase additional C&D/ABC passes from Town Hall, and additionally, residents can review commercial options as listed in the "Dumpster/junk removal" classifieds of local newspapers.
RIRRC has stood up an A-Z portal where “oddball” items, or any item, can be queried for how to dispose of them:
For 2018, Portsmouth has defined “bulky waste” as consisting of household furniture (pillows removed) that could not fit in a PAYT bag. The items in the “Bulky Waste” bin are eventually compacted in the solid waste pit.
The “Bulky Waste” bin is provided as a convenience, but is often a source of confusion. It has been reported by Transfer Station staff that residents throw in items that are large, but could fit into PAYT bags (e.g. basketballs, cushions, pillows, and suitcases). More alarmingly, it has been reported that it appears commercial businesses (e.g., realtors, trash removal services, etc.) that empty houses of furniture are abusing the “Bulky Waste” bin under the guise of being ordinary residential users of the Transfer Station.
Any item disposed as bulky waste adds to the tonnage (RIRRC tipping fees) and transportation costs. As a comparable, Middletown offers residents participating in their curbside PAYT program quarterly bulky waste “amnesty days,” otherwise fees are assessed for various bulky waste items:
In Portsmouth, most of the items listed at the above URL can be diverted (toilets, bicycles, appliances, wood, clean mattress/box spring, etc). can all be diverted for free to ABC, scrap metal, appliances, C&D, and finally mattresses, respectively.
There is a container for disposing of used motor oil before entering the Transfer Station shed.
Most automotive parts contain hazardous (liquid or solid) waste and cannot be disposed of at the Transfer Station!
Hazardous waste must be disposed of via the RIRRC Eco-Depot program. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (401) 942-1430 (extension 241) or via the form at the following URL:
If the item is scrap metal (including nuts and bolts) and free of hazardous (liquid or solid waste), please place in the “Scrap Metal” bin. Otherwise, the item should be placed in PAYT bags (bushings, rubber hoses, bumper claddings, etc.).
Short answer, it depends!
If not other disposal or recycling method is available, single-use batteries can be placed in a PAYT bag.
Automotive batteries can be dropped off at the Transfer Station but we ask that you inform Transfer Station personnel beforehand. Automotive batteries incur a core fee when purchased which is refundable when the old battery is exchanged. In addition, any lead-acid battery can be brought to Wal-Mart free of charge:
Rechargeable (e.g., nickel metal hydride [NiMH or Ni–MH], nickel-cadmium [NiCd or NiCad]), and lithium batteries are considered hazardous waste.
Hzardous waste must be disposed of via the RIRRC Eco-Depot program. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 401-942-1430 (extension 241) or via the form at the following URL:
Large, flexible items, like a trampoline or a boat cover, can cause the Transfer Station compactor to jam which leads to downtime and unexpected maintenance costs. Such items shall be cut up and placed into a PAYT bag. Any solid components are recommended to be stripped and placed into their respective diversion containers (e.g. metal from a trampoline into the “Scrap Metal” bin).
The items in the bulky waste container are placed in the compactor pits before shipment to RIRRC. Large, flexible items such as carpets have been demonstrated to jam the compactor at the bottom of the solid waste “pit.”
Because of this, we ask that all residents conform to RIRRC guidance regarding carpets and cut carpets into 3 foot by 3 foot lengths and tie them before placing them into the “Bulky Waste” bin. If left untied, carpets will unfurl and jam the compactor pits.
No. Carpet pads often break apart and can create quite a mess! For this reason, carpet pads must be placed into a PAYT bag for disposal.
Fluorescent light bulbs contain highly toxic mercury and must be disposed of via alternative means. In addition to Eco-Depot, there are several local options for safe disposal:
1) Home Depot accepts compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) but not tubes:
2) There are several local hardware stores that accept CFLs and fluorescent light tubes. It is advisable to call beforehand to ensure space in their fluorescent light bins:
If possible, it is recommended to donate or sell furniture. As a last resort, remove pillows (if applicable) and place in a PAYT bag. The remainder of the household furniture shall be placed in the “Bulky Waste” container.
NO! Plastic bags are consistently the most common contaminant and can cause complete shutdown of the RIRRC single stream recycling machines. An overview of their operations is detailed in the following video:
Plastic bags can be recycled by bringing them to local retailers that participate in the “Restore” program. This program uses marked blue boxes (usually at the front of a store) where a person can put their plastic bags so that they are recycled. Any plastic that is “stretchy” can be recycled via the “Restore” program, otherwise it will need to be placed in a PAYT bag.
For more information regarding acceptable plastic films for the “Restore” bins watch:
Mattress and box spring disposal is free for Portsmouth residents with a Transfer Station sticker if:
NOTE: This program does not include: • mattress pads/toppers • sleeping bags • pillows • car beds • mattresses smaller than twin size • water beds • air mattresses • fold-out sofa beds • futons. If possible, these items should be cut up and placed into PAYT bags, or otherwise disposed of as bulky waste.
RI Public Law 2013-423 set up the Rhode Island Mattress Recycling Program for Municipalities:
The name of the organization that establishes the collection criteria is called “The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC).” They work in conjunction with a company that is called ‘Mattress Express” who deliver the mattresses. It is this company that inspects the material and who insist on exacting standards.
There are alternatives for mattress and/or box spring disposal. Give away new or gently used mattress and box springs in the "FREE" section of Craigslist.org, FreeCycle.org, or “Aquidneck Island Families Sell & Swap” on Facebook.
Anyone may bring mattresses and box springs to Ace Mattress Recycling (free of charge) or to Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC). Learn more by calling the RIRRC scale house at 401-942-1430, ext. 101.
A resident can still divert the mattress and/or box spring but they would need to “break it down” to its respective components. For example, a dirty mattress can be cut open and the springs removed and placed into the “Scrap Metal” bin, plastic cladding and padding stripped and placed in PAYT bag(s), and any wood from box springs can also be stripped and placed in the “C&D bin” (charges may apply if over 32 gallons of C&D).
The $70 fee is the cost that that is assessed to the town by RIRRC for any soiled or wet mattress or box spring disposed of at the State landfill.
After examining multiple 3-year bid proposals for curbside pickup and continued operation of the Transfer Station, the Town Council decided on October 10, 2017 to utilize the Transfer Station as the Town’s residential solid waste/recycling option through 2020.
Therefore, the Town does not offer curbside trash collection, however, curbside pickup is available for a fee from private haulers. Recycling has been mandatory in Rhode Island since 1996:
The Transfer Station sticker fee is the primary funding mechanism for the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund to pay for the cost of disposing of waste.
The fee schedule has increased over time as the RIRRC seeks to extend the life of the landfill.
It is NOT an option to throw away your trash for free! There is a local littering ordinance and a very strict state littering law:
Trash disposal was removed from the tax base in the 2006 timeframe as a large number of residents that utilized curbside pickup argued they were being effectively “double charged” for a trash disposal mechanism that they could not or did not wish to utilize. A Transfer Station Enterprise Fund was set up to fund operations associated with residential solid waste/recycling and diversion.
Folding the costs of trash disposal into the Town’s budget would mean all high priority budget items would be knocked out as RI law dictates that the municipal tax levy may not be increased 4% year over year:
No. Please note that it is anticipated that the property tax exemptions already available to the elderly and other special situation taxpayers are considered sufficient to provide fairness to those individual taxpayers.
The Town Council approves the recommended fee developed by Town staff roughly 1-2 months before the “new sticker year.” The fee is established by projecting the minimum user fee to fully fund the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund for the upcoming year. All Transfer Station sticker fees (and PAYT revenue) is deposited in a town-managed Transfer Station Enterprise Fund to provide the money needed to pay for the Town’s solid waste and recycling program.
Due to multiple sources of information (RIRRC, our selected Transfer Station operator Waste Connections [formerly Vinagro], the Recycling Coordinator, the Town's website, Rules document, rumors around Town, etc.) inconsistencies and misinformation can develop.
In addition, there are market trends and polices and rules dictated to the Town (and sometimes state and federal authorities) over which the Town has no control. For example, in the past year China has clamped down on “contaminated” recyclables, now rejecting any loads with more than 0.5% contamination (formerly 5%)..
Mattresses and box spring collections were defined by RI Law 2013-423 and the fee for soiled mattresses or box springs was raised from $50 to $70 in the middle of 2018.
That being said, the Town, Town Council, and the Solid Waste Recycling Committee (SWRC) is continually working to ensure that the numerous informational sources are in harmony and do not contradict each other.
The Town Council formed the Solid Waste Recycling Committee (SWRC). Its mission is to increase the recycling/diversion rate, review problems and develop solutions that are recommended to the Town Council.
The SWRC also helps create an Annual Report that assists in developing town policy and budgets relating to solid waste disposal and recycling.
The SWRC meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Portsmouth Room, Town Hall:
SWRC meetings are open to the public, and agenda and minutes may be reviewed at:
Please contact the Town’s Recycling Coordinator, Raymond Antaya, who will forward the communication to the appropriate channel(s). The Recycling Coordinator’s contact information (e-mail address: email@example.com and telephone number: 401-643-0359) is always posted in the left-hand sidebar at:
Alternatively, the Town has an online “Fix-it Form” that includes a “Transfer Station Issues” checkbox which will direct those issues to Raymond Antaya:
Prudence Island has constraints due to a different Transfer Station operator (Lawrence) and a year round population of roughly 150 residents. The scope of island trash services is defined by the bid selected:
The PAYT program is intended to financially incentivize event organizers to divert and compost waste from their events. Allowing exceptions to PAYT creates a “slippery slope” that undercuts the spirit of implementing PAYT.
The selected bid does not include yard waste. To allow for proper oversight, yard waste disposal at the DPW facility must match the hours of the Prudence Island Transfer Station.