Connecticut is now shipping 860,000 tons of trash to neighboring states after closing a refuse plant due to environmental reasons.
The plant in Hartford processed one-third of its waste, including recyclables, but nothing has surfaced as a stop-gap measure since its closure last summer. Now Gov. Ned Lamont is looking for ways for Connecticut to crawl out from a burgeoning crisis, saying relying on neighboring states is not the answer.
"Rather than a problem, this is an opportunity to reimagine our waste infrastructure and waste capacity in a manner that is in line with our state's waste diversion goal and our environmental principles," Lamont said in a press release.
His plan released Tuesday called for businesses to take responsibility for their own waste stemming from packaging and asked residents to be mindful of food scraps, which could be turned into compost. He also wants to raise fees on landfill waste and impose a minimum percentage of recycled plastic utilized in beverage containers, modeled after a California law.
Lamont believes the state can make up for the shuttered Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority plant by utilizing those standards and others. The plant is no longer state of the art and was targeted for closure by environmentalists.
"There is no magic place for your garbage to go. Put it out on the curb — I know it's somebody else's problem now, but it's going somewhere," said state Rep. Joe Gresko, D-Stratford. "And we have to acknowledge that and address it as we go forwards and wrap people's brains around the idea of there is no magic place."
Trash is now being diverted to landfills in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Other existing landfills have contracts with the state to run through 2027, CT Mirror reported.
Original Location: Connecticut exporting tons of trash to other state landfills
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