A note from our friends at ConnPIRG:
The way we handle waste in Connecticut is expensive, a threat to public health, and a waste of valuable resources. We burn more trash per person than any other state in the country. And while we have ambitious goals of recycling close to 60 percent of our waste stream, we’ve been stuck under 30 percent for over a decade.
When we burn material in incinerators we release toxic chemicals into the air we breathe and are left with more than half a million tons of toxic ash to bury in landfills every year. When we trash what we could recycle, we pay more with our tax dollars, because recycling makes money back by selling the reusable materials.
We have businesses in our state and region eager to buy recycled materials, like glass and aluminum, but instead of selling it to them, we’ve been burning millions of tons of valuable resources every year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created the Governor’s Working Group on Modernizing Recycling last year to investigate ways to reduce waste and increase recycling in Connecticut. At the same time, ConnPIRG was launched our Campaign for Zero Waste, to mobilize the public behind commonsense solutions to improve recycling in Connecticut.
Other states and communities are leading the way by reaching recycling levels of 50 percent, 70 percent and even 90 percent, but Connecticut also has the ability to achieve such standards.
ConnPIRG staff met with Working Group members, testified at their public hearing, and delivered over 6,000 citizen postcards to Gov. Malloy thanking him for creating the working group and asking him to push for solutions that get us to zero waste.In December, the Working Group finalized its recommendations, including many good solutions. Like ConnPIRG’s position, they argue that Connecticut should work towards zero waste. Now it’s time to put those recommendations into action. ConnPIRG will continue to work with the Governor, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Legislature to advance zero waste solutions for Connecticut.