Recycling Hits All-Time High for 64 CRRA Municipalities
Towns Recycle 92,114 Tons, Save $6.3 Million in Trash Disposal Fees in Fiscal Year 2011
HARTFORD, Conn. – While recycling has stagnated statewide for several years, the 64 cities and towns that recycle through the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority’s Mid-Connecticut Project just recorded their fifth consecutive yearly increase in tons recycled.
For the fiscal year running from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, Mid-Connecticut Project towns delivered 92,114 tons of paper, cardboard, cans, bottles and electronics to CRRA, the highest total since those towns began recycling in 1991.
According to the most recent figures from the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Connecticut’s overall recycling rate has been stagnant since the late 1990s.
But since fiscal 2006, when those towns recycled 76,525 tons, the 2011 total represents an increase of more than 20 percent. And with trash from Mid-Connecticut towns dropping from 860,752 tons in fiscal 2006 to 730,250 tons in 2011, their recycling rate (as shown in the chart below) has jumped more than 37 percent.
||The recycling rate in the 64 Mid-Connecticut Project cities and towns has taken off since 2006.
“The state Solid Waste Management Plan sets ambitious goals for recycling, and at CRRA we’re doing everything we can to drive the state toward those goals,” said Thomas D. Kirk, CRRA president. “We’re gratified that our hard work, in tandem with the efforts of local officials, is paying off.”
Among the year’s top performers:
- East Hartford increased its tonnage by nearly 72 percent, from 1,936 tons in fiscal 2010 to 3,326 in fiscal 2011.
- Wethersfield increased its tonnage more than 35 percent, from 2,074 to 2,811.
- For the fourth straight year, Sharon and Salisbury, who combine their recyclables, led the towns by recycling 291.89 pounds per person.
In recent years CRRA has launched several initiative designed to increase recycling in Mid-Connecticut communities:
- In 2005 CRRA expanded its menu of acceptable items to include junk mail, magazines, computer printer paper and other types of mixed paper.
- In 2008, CRRA introduced to Connecticut single-stream recycling, the next generation of recycling, while adding oversized jars and bottles, aerosol cans and more types of cardboard to its list of acceptable items. (Starting July 1, CRRA has offered single-stream recycling to its Southwest Division towns.)
- In 2009, CRRA supported the introduction of single-stream recycling with a public awareness campaign that featured radio advertisements, printed materials and press interviews.
- In 2010, CRRA began accepting plastics #3 through #7 from Mid-Connecticut Project cities and towns.
- CRRA has also paid rebates to Mid-Connecticut cities and towns for recyclables delivered in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010. The CRRA Board of Directors will determine whether to pay rebates for fiscal year 2011 after it reviews yet-to-be-completed financial statements for the year.
CRRA Mid-Connecticut Project communities are recycling more and throwing away less.
Even if no rebates are paid, those towns still have a strong financial incentive to recycle. Because they pay $69 per ton to dispose of trash and nothing for delivering recyclables, they saved a total of $6.3 million in trash disposal fees in fiscal 2011.
Residents of those towns also produced these environmental benefits just by recycling:
- They saved as much energy as almost 11,000 households use in a year, or as much as would be saved by taking 16,201 cars off the road for a year.
- They prevented the emitting of 51,955 tons of greenhouse gases.
- They obviated the mining of 3,396 tons of limestone, 3,315 tons of iron ore, 1,856 tons of coal, 3,492 tons of soda ash and 1,363 tons of feldspar.
- They saved more than 1 million trees.
The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority is a quasi-public agency whose mission is to work for – and in – the best interests of the municipalities of the state of Connecticut. CRRA’s board of directors and management team develop and implement environmentally sound solutions and best practices for solid waste disposal and recycling management on behalf of municipalities. CRRA serves 93 Connecticut cities and towns. CRRA also runs sustainability education programs through the Trash Museum in Hartford and Garbage Museum in Stratford. Computer users can also discuss CRRA at its blog.
For a complete table of trash and recycling data for all 64 Mid-Connecticut Project recycling communities, click here.
Paul Nonnenmacher, Director of Public Affairs