ConnPIRG Moving Us Closer To Zero Waste

May 25th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Story, Recycling

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.

Demonstrating public support -- ConnPIRG staff and student leaders delivered more than 6,000 postcards to Gov. Daniel P. Malloy. (contributed)

Demonstrating public support — ConnPIRG staff and student leaders delivered more than 6,000 postcards to Gov. Daniel P. Malloy. (contributed)

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.

Commonsense Solutions

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.

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One Comment to “ConnPIRG Moving Us Closer To Zero Waste”

  1. CJ May says:

    I am delighted that government, non-profit and corporate sectors are all on the same page: we need to divert valuable resources from our trash bins into CT factories where they will create jobs and a new revenue stream. CT has several new facilities which recycle mattresses and an extensive infrastructure for recycling the glass, metal, paper and plastic that come from our day-to-day recycling bins. What we now need is a push to recover the 30-40% of our “trash” that is organics: food waste, leaves, etc. CT has very limited capacity in this regard. Big institutions like Yale truck food waste 50 miles to one of the few existing organics processors. Focus on expanding this infrastructure will create more new green jobs…and keep valuable material out of the trash trucks.

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