Highlights: Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (2016 CMMS)
To achieve 60 percent diversion of waste from disposal by the year 2024 by reducing waste, increasing reuse, recycling, and composting, and focusing on the development of waste conversion technologies.
Goals: (1) Improve the performance of municipal recycling programs and reduce waste, including increasing participation
and compliance with mandatory recycling provisions.
(2) Develop and improve recycling and waste conversion technologies.
(3) Encourage corporations that design, produce, and market products to share responsibility for stewarding those materials in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The CMMS closely aligns materials management planning with Connecticut’s climate action priorities, including greenhouse gas mitigation through waste reduction and diversion from landfill, and ensuring that clean energy and greenhouse gas mitigation priorities are at the forefront of the transition to next-generation materials management technologies.
To achieve the diversion goal set by the legislature in 2014, Connecticut must reduce annual Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) by 10 percent and boost the statewide rate of recycling from 35% to 45%, as well as divert 300,000 tons of organic waste annually, including food scraps, to new waste conversion facilities that are currently early in development. The state must also significantly increase the recycling of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste.
￼BY THE NUMBERS
￼￼￼ Connecticut disposes over 2 million tons of trash and nearly 1 million tons of Construction and Demolition Waste each year.
Connecticut recycles 1.25 million tons, or about 35% of the total discarded material. This is close to the national average as
estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
40% of disposed trash consists of organic materials that could be composted.
Approximately 25% of municipal solid waste is packaging.
Recycling saves taxpayers and businesses an estimated $75 million in avoided disposal fees each year.
Each CT resident produces an average of 1,300 pounds of waste per year.
87% of CT disposed MSW goes to CT’s 5 waste-to-energy plants which generate electricity as a by-product. CT has the lowest
rate of landfilling of any state.
Per Capita Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Source: DEEP annual waste and recycling reports.
￼￼A Changing Waste System
The CMMS documents significant changes in the waste system, including studies on the composition and management of trash that identify opportunities for increased recycling. For example:
The proportion of food waste increased in trash from 2010-2015, underscoring the need for Anaerobic Digestion and composting facilities to manage that material, as well as efforts to reduce food waste.
Paper, plastic, and metal decreased in trash from 2010-2015, indicating better recycling as well as changes in product design and packaging. However, significant amounts of recyclables continue to be thrown away.
The recyclable materials collected at the curb often includes items that don’t belong, increasing the cost to sort the materials at recycling facilities. Only a small percentage of Construction and Demolition waste is recycled, even though significant quantities of recyclable materials are present. Packaging materials account for a significant portion of disposed material, even though more of it could be recycled. Presently, 44% of the trash is not recoverable through current recycling systems, underscoring a need to promote new
processes, new uses and markets and design changes to increase recyclability.
Specific actions called for by the CMMS include:
Increased enforcement of existing recycling laws and local ordinances.
Continuous improvements to municipal recycling programs, including programs to reduce waste.
Statewide outreach to provide information to residents about how to reduce waste and optimize recycling.
A focus on the development of new materials management infrastructure, including greener alternatives to existing waste-to- energy facilities. Alleviating the cost of recycling programs to taxpayers by sharing responsibility with the producers of materials.
Focus on Revitalizing Infrastructure
The potential closure of some of Connecticut’s waste-to-energy facilities would cause the state to export as much as one third of our trash to landfills in other states, increasing costs for taxpayers and businesses and harming the environment. The CMMS calls for a coordinated effort by state and local governments to transition to newer technologies, including:
(1) The development and strengthening of state incentives for new technologies that generate electricity from waste such as anaerobic digestion and gasification. (2) Enhancements to recycling facilities to recover more high-valuesmaterials. (3) Regulatory changes to streamline the permitting of certain new facilities.
￼ The full CMMS document and associated study reports and other information will be available online at: www.ct.gov/DEEP/CMMS
DEEP holds regular Solid Waste Advisory Committee meetings that are open to the public.
Learn more at: www.ct.gov/deep/SWAdvComm For questions about CMMS implementation, please contact Lee Sawyer at Lee.Sawyer@ct.gov, or Chris Nelson at Chris.Nelson@ct.gov
￼￼￼￼Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127