Friday, October 12, 2007

Where does your garbage go?

A story in this morning's Hartford Courant includes a common misconception about Connecticut's garbage system:
Bags wind up in our landfills; in our oceans, killing sea life; and, as Alan Ball demonstrated in his 1999 film "American Beauty," in our streets and courtyards, circling like kites or bubbles in passing air currents.

Just about everything Connecticut residents throw away -- which we should do only if it can't be re-used or recycled -- winds up in a trash-to-energy plant. All that winds up in a landfill is the ash produced by combusting trash, and between recycling and trash-to-energy we reduce by 90 percent the amount of stuff we're actually landfilling.

Want to know more? Check our Web site or click here for a slide show on the trash-to-energy process. The slide show is a pretty large file so it will take some time to load, but we think you'll find it interesting.

How many of you are using the new re-usable grocery bags?


Alka said...

I live in an apartment building in downtown Boston and it kills me that they don't provide recycling to residents. I miss Connecticut!! When I lived there, I can honestly say that recycling reduced the amount of trash in my trash bin by at least 50% each week!

CRRA said...

Apartment buildings, condominium complexes and large multi-family housing units present a real challenge to recycle because in many instances haulers charge property managers for two pickups -- one for trash and one for recyclables -- if that building wants to recycle. (Even though the hauler pays a tipping fee to dispose of trash but, in CRRA towns, nothing to dispose of recyclables.) That's a main reason why recycling rates in urban areas, such as Hartford, are so low.

Hartford residents should know that the City is working with the National Recycling Partnership, a coalition of the National Recycling Coalition and recycling-friendly businesses, on a pilot program aimed at increasing urban recycling rates. CRRA is fully on board with this effort, because it's our belief that people want to recycle but there needs to be a system that works for everyone -- residents, property managers and haulers.