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Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority

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The Connecticut Solid Waste System uses a 2,850 ton-per-day refuse-derived fuel trash-to-energy facility located in Hartford, operated by NAES Corporation, three satellite transfer stations and a regional recycling center and the CRRA Trash Museum in Hartford.

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The refuse-derived fuel (RDF) process differs from the mass-burn technology used at CRRA’s other trash-to-energy plants. To make RDF, trash is processed two ways:

  • First, recyclable metals and non-combustible materials such as grit, metal and glass are separated from the waste at the waste processing facility (WPF). Recyclable commodities are shipped to processors, and the remainder – called process residue – is delivered to a landfill in Chicopee, Mass..
  • Second, remaining waste is shredded.

The resulting RDF generates a more even, higher-efficiency combustion. RDF is produced at CRRA’s waste processing facility at 300 Maxim Road in Hartford. It began operation in 1988.

RDF is moved by conveyor to the power block facility (PBF), where the fuel is burned to create steam that is piped to the energy generating facility (EGF), where the steam spins turbines that generate electricity. The PBF-EGF complex is, located at 1 Reserve Road, Hartford.

Today, the 51 towns participating in CRRA's Connecticut Solid Waste System project have one of the least costly and most efficient solid waste disposal and recycling solutions in the northeastern United States.

The Hartford facility is also the most environmentally sound trash-to-energy plant in the state, operating far below permitted emissions limits. CRRA added devices to control emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) years before any regulatory requirements. So when you read about other states buying emissions credits rather than reducing emissions, you should understand that the Mid-Connecticut facility is so far below its emissions limits that it is generating the credits that other facilities seek to buy. The Mid-Connecticut Project trash-to-energy facility easily exceeds the strictest emissions standards. Click Emissions Performance > Mid-Connecticut Project to view the test results.

CRRA has also installed a $15 million odor control system for the WPF. Because of the plant’s unique technology, it had a unique odor problem, but thanks to the new system odor complaints have been reduced to just a handful per year.

The system was designed to draw in an average of 240,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air from the Mid-Connecticut WPF and thermally destroy the odors in the PBF boilers that burn your garbage. Since the typical total air demand for the boilers is 180,000 cubic feet per minute, two regenerative thermal oxidizers will more than make up the difference at a full capacity of 120,000 cubic feet per minute. Put simply, odorous components are literally burned out of the air.

This system has the capacity to completely exchange the air inside the Madison Square Garden arena twice in one hour. Taken another way, the amount of air that would fill four Louisiana Superdomes will be thermally treated each day, rather than carrying potential odors in the prevailing winds toward East Hartford.

Contract for operation and maintenance of the Mid-Connecticut trash-to-energy facility beginning January 1, 2012
(PDF / 148 pages / 7 MB / March 7, 2011)
First amendment to CRRA-NAES contract
(PDF / 1 page / 29 KB / March 7, 2012)

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The Mid-Connecticut Project has a state-of-the-art single-stream recycling facility at 211 Murphy Road, Hartford, operated under contract to CRRA by ReCommunity.

Click Recycle to learn more about CRRA's recycling operations.

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The Hartford landfill, which accepted its final deliveries on December 31, 2008, is actually two landfills – a double-lined ash disposal area and the main disposal area, which received process residue and other bulky and non-processible waste. The main disposal area features a landfill gas collection system, which captures the methane created by decomposing waste and burns it to generate electricity, and a leachate control system.

Read more about the Hartford landfill.

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The Connecticut Solid Waste System also has transfer stations in Watertown, Torrington and Essex. At these transfer stations, waste from CRRA towns is consolidated for transportation to Hartford. CWPM operates the Watertown, Essex and Ellington stations while Copes Rubbish Service operates the Torrington facility..

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The CRRA Trash Museum, located at 211 Murphy Road, Hartford, teaches more than 20,000 people each year about sustainability—energy conservation, recycling, waste reduction and reuse. Visitors get excited about these subjects and share their new knowledge with family and friends. Visitors come from all over Connecticut and the world.

To learn more, click here.

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This CRRA.ORG page was last updated on November 25, 2013.
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