Recycling bill goes to governor’s desk

May 7th, 2014 | By | Category: Recycling


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today hailed the Connecticut State House of Representatives for final passage of legislation he introduced that will result in a major modernization of the state’s recycling and waste management system that will not only help the environment, but saves taxpayer money and create economic benefits in the state.

“This bill will help make Connecticut a leader in recycling and innovative waste management. We must develop a better model that recovers the resources from our waste stream and maximizes its economic value,” Gov. Malloy said. “The modernization effort called for in this bill can save our towns and cities millions of dollars, grow jobs, and protect our environment.”

Tonight, the House passed Senate Bill 357, An Act Concerning Revisions to Energy Statutes, by a vote of 144-0. Previously, the Senate passed the bill by a unanimous vote of 33-0.

“I’d especially like to thank Environment Committee co-chair Linda Gentile and Energy and Technology Co-Chair Lonnie Reed for their advocacy of this legislation today,” Malloy said.

Business and residents in Connecticut currently produce approximately 3.2 million tons of municipal solid waste each year. Approximately 64.5% of this trash is incinerated at the six waste-to-energy facilities, almost 24.8% is reported diverted from disposal through recycling, 9.9% percent is shipped out of state, and 0.8% percent is landfilled in Connecticut.

It is estimated that more than $10 million in valuable commodities are burned at the waste-to-energy facilities each year.

It has also been estimated that cities and towns and their taxpayers would save $35 million a year if the recycling rate was moved to just 40%. Recycling is also a growth industry that creates jobs – experts say that for every 10,000 tons of waste generated recycling creates 36 jobs.

The bill, which was based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Modernizing Recycling Working Group, seeks to double the state’s recycling rate and transform an outmoded system of trash disposal by adopting a more modern, cost-effective, and environmentally sound materials management approach.

Among other changes, the Governor’s proposal:

  • Sets a 60% target rate for reducing solid waste disposal by increasing source reduction, recycling, and reuse. The current reported recycling rate is under 30%.
  • Reshapes the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) – a quasi-public entity that owns and operates the waste-to-energy plant in Hartford – into a leaner organization focused on promoting innovation in materials management, renamed the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority.
  • Creates a process to explore the repurposing of the CRRA facility, Connecticut’s largest, oldest, and least efficient waste-to-energy plant, to recover more materials of value from trash and to provide better, cheaper service for member communities.
  • Creates “RecycleCT” – a statewide education initiative to promote recycling, much the way “EnergizeCT” is promoting energy efficiency and renewables.


Supporters of the legislation say it will provide a much-needed update to the way Connecticut handles its trash. For years, refuse was dumped in landfills. Later, burning trash to generate energy became the dominant practice.

But now, large trash-burning energy plants such as the CRRA facility in Hartford are struggling because their lucrative long-term electricity contracts have come to an end, forcing them to sell power on the wholesale market at lower prices.

“Their economic model is dying fast,” said Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford, the House chairwoman of the legislature’s energy and technology committee.

For more on this story, visit: Connecticut Recycling Bill Wins Final Approval; House Also Votes To Create Statewide Port Authority –

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