Friday, September 18, 2009

Clearing up some lingering misconceptions

As the tragic Annie Le case unfolded over the last several days, CRRA was for a short time the center of the story as state and federal investigators searched through thousands of tons of garbage at our Hartford trash-to-energy plant. Since garbage from New Haven is sometimes brought to Hartford for disposal, investigators had reason to think they might find evidence at the plant.

By Sunday afternoon, a crowd of television crews and print reporters had formed at the entrance to our waste processing facility on Maxim Road. In their rush to get information on the air or on-line, some inaccurate reports were published and broadcast that, unfortunately, created confusion about what may or may not be happening at our Hartford facilities.

Here are the facts about those reports.

Investigators were NOT searching the Hartford landfill. Early Sunday afternoon, as information was passed from source to reporter to editor and from news outlet to news outlet, “searching a Hartford trash facility” morphed into “searching the Hartford landfill.” Connecticut is unique in relying almost completely on trash-to-energy for disposing of its garbage; in fact, when the Windsor landfill closes in a couple of years, Connecticut will be the first and only state in the country with no active trash landfills.

Nevertheless, people heard and read these preliminary reports and began asking whether trash was still being delivered to the Hartford landfill. That is not the case, and as media outlets began calling CRRA with questions about the search, we were able to correct the reports.

But just for the record: the last load of waste was delivered to the Hartford landfill on December 31, 2008. (See the video below.)

There were also reports that the waste processing facility was a medical waste facility – again, not true. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection requires medical waste to be handled separately and disposed of at specially-permitted facilities.

Here's a news report about the Hartford landfill's final delivery of trash:

video

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