Senator Kelly Launches Bid to Reopen Stratford’s Garbage Museum

May 31, 2013

Hartford – State Senator Kevin C. Kelly (R-Stratford) introduced legislation on the Senate floor tonight that would reopen the Garbage Museum in Stratford. He introduced the proposal as an amendment to Senate Bill 1081, An Act Concerning Recycling and Jobs.

“We have a responsibility to educate our children about the importance of recycling, protecting the environment and upholding stewardship of our community,” said Senator Kelly. “While in operation, the Garbage Museum in Stratford welcomed thousands of students and other interested visitors to learn more about waste management and see firsthand how recyclables are processed. Our state has served as a leader in public education about the value of recycling and innovative waste management.”

For 16 years, the Garbage Museum was operated by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority until its Board of Directors voted to close the museum in 2011. The exhibits have since been preserved until a new source of funding is identified.

Prior to its closing, the Garbage Museum attracted about 32,000 visitors per year. It also needed between $200,000 and $250,000 annually to continue operating. Senator Kelly’s amendment would fund the museum through tipping fees. According to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the costs “would be minimal to each member municipality.” Whether through tipping fees or an increase in admission fees, the shortfall could be fully addressed.

“While the passage of my amendment was unsuccessful, I will continue to work toward reopening this valuable educational resource,” continued Senator Kelly. “The Garbage Museum in Stratford represents an opportunity for our community and our state to invest in educating our children about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling the waste products in our lives.”

The underlying bill, S.B. 1081, would prioritize and increase the incentive for solid waste reduction and recycling in order to save costs to towns, cities, businesses and the state. It also seeks to create jobs in the recovery of recyclable materials. It passed by a unanimous vote and now awaits further action by the state House of Representatives.