Thursday, December 26, 2013

More wildlife in Hartford

Who’s that visiting a solar panel at the Hartford landfill?

A snowy owl – that’s who.

Snowy owls summer in the Arctic and normally don’t migrate this far south in the winter, but more of them are visiting Connecticut this year.

You can learn more about snowy owls and their migration from the Cornell University snowy owltracker, Discovery News and BirdNote.

It’s more evidence of what we’ve been saying for years – under CRRA’s management theHartford landfill has become a valuable wildlife habitat right in the middle of the city.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A good explanation of Connecticut's bottle bill (and an illustration of its faults)

The Hartford Courant's consumer column addresses a problem with returning empties reported by one person (though this vexes many, many people):
"Yet, they do not — or are not required to? — accept the empty containers back and return the deposit to the customer."How is this allowed? We are forced to schlep the empty containers to a grocery store or liquor store, which accepts them. An example is Fiji water, which we love. There may be a great sale at CVS, but not every grocery store sells it, and I have to find one that will accept the empties back. Can you explain this phenomenon?"
 The Bottom Line, Sept. 30, 2013

People have been complaining about this for years, and our experience shows people prefer the ease and convenience of curbside recycling over the hassle of schlep[ping] the empties to the individual stores that sell them. This photograph, taken at CRRA's recycling processing center in Hartford, bears that out.

This is a bale of aluminum cans and foil ready to be shipped from our processing center. Highlighted are just a few of the deposit cans that people placed in their curbside recycling bins rather than "schlep the empty containers" whence they came -- even if it means losing their deposits.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TEDx talk: Everything has potential

Not long ago our Paul Nonnenmacher gave a talk at the TEDx Bushnell Park event on how even the most objectionable places can house incredible things:
TEDx Bushnell Park

Friday, August 23, 2013

Still revolutionary? Yes!

Our friend of many years, Paul Kallmeyer, recently sent us something he came across while going through some old items. This flag was used to introduce recycling to southwestern Connecticut cities and towns back in 1991, and Paul was one of the leaders of that movement.

Recycling was a revolution back then. "You mean we can't just put everything in the garbage can anymore?" was commonly heard.

Since its introduction, recycling has expanded; we can now recycle junk mail, catalogs, magazines, large plastic items, phone books and many more items that couldn't go in the recycling bin back then. Today, Connecticut has the most sustainable solid-waste system in the country, and one of the best in the world, because of our state's use of trash-to-energy and aggressive recycling.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another view from the top

David K. Leff, who says his blog is about "discovering the commonplace world near at hand" and "exploring wonders hidden in plain sight," visited the Hartford landfill recently. Here's what he found:

Monday, May 20, 2013

The eagles agree

For many years we've been saying that turning trash into electricity is the most environmentally responsible method of dealing with garbage. A family of American bald eagles agrees so strongly that they've become our Hartford plant's next-door -- or next-tree -- neighbors.

At left is a map of the South Meadows area of Hartford highlighting the two sections of CRRA's trash-to-energy plant. The eagle icon marks the location of a large tree where, for several years, eagles have nested. We've noticed the eagles many times over the years but it wasn't until earlier this month that we got good pictures of the eagles.

Bruce Morrell, a shift supervisor at the power facility, paddled his kayak onto the Connecticut River and, with a Canon 60D camera got some spectacular images.

Here's one of the eagles bringing the catch of the day back to the nest, where two hungry eaglets are waiting.

The section of the river adjacent to the plant is prime fishing territory for birds and humans. A small fish called an alewife attracts larger fish like bass, carp and perch, and since alewives seem to like the waters around the plant the area is popular with fishermen of all species.

You can see the two babies in the image below. One is inside the nest while the other appears to be sitting a little higher.

Below are mom and dad with the little ones safely beneath them.

In all of nature, there are few things more spectacular than seeing an American bald eagle in flight. To have a family of them living next to our trash-to-energy plant is special.

In the image below, one of the eaglets is sitting alongside mom.

Here's one of the young ones trying his (her?) wings.

This adult can see for miles and miles . .  .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The view from up here

We were atop the Hartford landfill this morning and were taken by the view on this clear day. When we complete the installation of a synthetic cap and turn the landfill over to the City, here's a glimpse of what the people of Hartford will be able to enjoy:

The landfill has unmatched views of the surrounding area, including the Hartford skyline:

The wild flowers are in bloom, adding to the scene.