CRRA Retires $210 Million in Bonds, Moves 50 Towns to New Trash and Recycling System
Trash-to-Energy Plant Paid in Full, Becomes Hub of New Connecticut Solid Waste System
HARTFORD, Conn. — With one electronic transaction, 27 years of history came to an end on Thursday.
That simple computer command sent $4,248,712.50 in Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority funds to Depository Trust Company, an agency which collects payments from bond issuers and distributes proceeds to bond holders, the final payment on $210 million in bonds used to finance the CRRA Mid-Connecticut Project solid-waste system. In 1985, CRRA borrowed $310 million to build the plant, but retired $100 million of that debt and refinanced the remainder in 1996.
CRRA Mid-Connecticut Project Through the Years
1985: CRRA sells $310 million in bonds to finance the Mid-Connecticut Project trash-to-energy plant
1987: CRRA and Connecticut Light & Power reactivate the decommissioned South Meadows generating station to become part of the trash-to-energy plant
1988: Plant completes acceptance testing and begins official operation
1996: CRRA retires $100 million of the 1985 bonds and refinances the remainder.
2012: Just months after a new contractor takes over operation, the Mid-Connecticut waste processing facility sets an all-time efficiency record
A complete history of the Mid-Connecticut Project is on CRRA’s website.
That payment also concluded CRRA’s recovery from the loss of $220 million in Mid-Connecticut Project funds in a deal with ill-fated Enron Corp. consummated just months before the global energy giant went bust.
Responding to that crisis, in June 2002 legislation created a new Board of Directors. The new board hired a new management team and together they made sure that despite the dire financial trouble the system operated and trash and recyclables never stopped moving.
“Thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, we never missed a payment and we never interrupted our service, and now we’ve retired all those bonds,” said CRRA Chairman Donald S. Stein.
As soon as the bonds were paid off, 67 towns’ contracts with CRRA — some of which date back to 1984 — automatically ended. Fifty of those cities and towns’ contracts with CRRA’s new Connecticut Solid Waste System take effect on Friday. There had been 70 Mid-Connecticut towns, but the contracts of Guilford and Madison expired earlier this year and Waterbury’s contract runs through June 30, 2013.
“We’ve been preparing for this day for a long time to make sure our customers’ transition to the new Connecticut Solid Waste System will be completely seamless,” said Thomas D. Kirk, CRRA president.
While the Mid-Connecticut disposal fee was $69 per ton, CSWS contracts call for a base disposal fee of $62.50 per ton; towns with 15-year contracts pay $60.50 per ton effective Friday.
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 94 Connecticut cities and towns. CRRA also runs award-winning sustainability education programs through the CRRA Trash Museum in Hartford. For more information about CRRA and its activities, visit http://www.crra.org. Computer users can also discuss CRRA on its blog, and follow CRRA on Twitter at @CRRA.
CRRA Mid-Connecticut Project by the Numbers
Since it began operation in October 1988, CRRA’s Mid-Connecticut Project solid-waste system has:
• Processed more than 18 million tons of trash
• Generated more than 10 million megawatt hours of electricity. To generate that much power would have required more than
» 24 million barrels of oil; or
» 5 million tons of coal; or
» 135 billion cubic feet of natural gas
Since CRRA’s Mid-Connecticut regional recycling facility began operating in July 1991, Mid-Connecticut recycling towns delivered more than 1.5 million tons of recyclables. Just by recycling, they
• Saved more than $92 million in trash disposal fees
• Saved more than 25 million million BTUs of energy, or enough energy to power more than 12,000 average homes for 20 years
• Prevented emission of almost 4 million tons of greenhouse
gases, or the amount saved by taking more than 35,000 cars off
the road for 20 years
• Avoided the harvesting of more than 54 million 10-year-old trees
• Obviated the mining of 108 million tons of iron ore, 118 million tons of limestone and 390 million tons of sand