Governor Thanks Senator Chapin for Recycling Advocacy

May 4, 2014

CT Governor’s Office


(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today hailed the Connecticut State Senate for adopting 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 will 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,” Governor 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.”

The Senate this evening approved Senate Bill 357, An Act Concerning Revisions to Energy Statutes, by a unanimous vote of 33-0.

“I’d especially like to thank Environment Committee co-chair State Senator Ed Meyer, Energy Co-Chair State Senator Bob Duff, and Energy Ranking Member State Senator Clark Chapin for their advocacy of this legislation today. I look forward to seeing this bill approved in the House of Representatives in the coming days so that I can sign it into law and we can begin the work of modernizing our waste management system,” Governor 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.

The legislation next moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.