Monday, November 26, 2007

A question about electronics

Lauren asks:

Where can a business recycle electronics in Connecticut? Most electronics recycling companies only offer their services to residents.

Good question. CRRA holds a limited number of electronics recycling collections for residents of its participating towns. Since we instituted this program in 1999, we've kept more than 3 million pounds of old televisions, computer equipment, VCRs and other devices out of our trash-to-energy plants. We'll announce another series of collections in 2008.

Businesses pose a special challenge because, in many cases, even a small company might change out 15 or 20 computers all at once, but the good news is that more and more electronics companies are getting into recycling. You can find out some of them on CRRA's Web site.

By the way, this story in yesterday's Danbury News-Times doesn't pertain to our programs. CRRA's electronics go to a company called Amandi Services which has a disassembly facility in Pennsylvania. You can find out more about Amandi's electronics recycling process here. You'll be impressed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

In the news

The Hartford Business Journal ran this story about the latest developments in New Hartford v. CRRA today.

Stories have also appeared in the New Haven Register and the Connecticut Post

Friday, November 16, 2007

Teaching kids who teach the world

There's a terrific story in this morning's New Haven Register about six-year-old Cole Johnson of East Haven who, according to the story, was "bitten by the recycling bug during a visit to the Children’s Garbage Museum adjacent to the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority’s recycling facility in Stratford."

Now he's trying to get his school to expand its recycling program. Way to go, Cole!

Each year CRRA's education centers teach more than 50,000 people how to protect their environment with recycling and environmentally responsible waste disposal. We've always believed that if we teach children about recycling, they'll go and teach the grownups, and here's more evidence of that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A question about plastics

Michele from Wilton, Conn., writes:

I think your website is great - thanks for all of the information.

Why is it that only plastics #1 and #2 are accepted for recycling (So many food containers are #5 for example). Is there anywhere else to recycle the other numbered plastic items?

Also, if plastics with other numbers (like 5) are accidentally included in recycling are they seperated out somehow at your facility or at the town transfer station? If they are not seperated out do they contaminate the recycled matter?

This is a question CRRA hears frequently. The good news here is that people want to recycle more, but recycling is to a large extent driven by economics. We can take anything we want out of the waste stream, but unless someone wants it sooner or later it will wind up in the trash. At CRRA's recycling facilities in Hartford and Stratford, plastics #1 and #2 are sorted and baled for shipping to processors who turn them into new products -- #1 plastic is reformulated into fibers that are spun into fleece and carpeting, while #2 can be reformulated into a solid used in artificial lumber for playscapes and decks.

Processors pay for those plastics -- in many instances more than $300 a ton -- because they can be turned into new saleable materials. But the technology hasn't advanced to making recycling other types of plastics economically viable.

While we're on the subject of economics, CRRA has always provided its participating towns with free recycling (a substantial savings when compared to paying current fees of as much as $84 a ton for trash disposal) and now pays its Mid-Connecticut Project towns $10 a ton for all the recyclables they deliver to CRRA.

We can do this because of the revenue we receive from the sale of plastics and other materials such as paper, cardboard, steel and aluminum. There has been talk of expanding the bottle bill to include plastic water bottles, which are made of #1 plastic. Because the deposit system operates outside the established recycling program, CRRA would lose about $300,000 a year in plastic sales, hurting these important, convenient programs.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A word about our museums

This note came to us over the weekend:

I recently toured the CRRA facilities and found it fascinating! It has helped me as a teacher as well as personally. I learned so much from the tour and look forward to incorporating this information into my home as well as my Art room!


CRRA's Trash Museum in Hartford and Garbage Museum in Stratford offer behind-the-scenes looks at what happens to your recylables after they're picked up at the curb or from your town drop-off center. To find out more, click here. And thanks, Kristen, for your kind words!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Phil gets hot with Hot 93.7

Phillup D. Bag, CRRA's recycling expert, joined Sotoria Montanari and Paul Nonnenmacher of CRRA with the Hot 93.7 Morning Crew Thursday morning. Phil, Sotoria and Paul talked about recycling and the environment with dj Buck, Mary-B and Marv-Lo.

You can hear a podcast of their interview on this page at the Hot 93.7 Web site. The CRRA crew came on right after WWE superstar Batista's interview.

Thanks to Hot 93.7 for helping CRRA spread the word about recycling!

Did any of you catch the interview? What did you think?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CRRA's Web site

At CRRA, we're pretty proud of our Web site. We believe it has everything anyone would want to know about CRRA, trash disposal, recycling and how they all work together to protect our environment. We think it helps us set a standard for openness and transparency among public agencies.

That doesn't mean we're satisfied with our Web presence. We're getting ready to do some modifications, but as we think through the possibilities, we'd like your ideas.

What would you like to see added or changed to our Web site?