Monday, November 30, 2009

A year's worth of trash on display

Back in January, "Sustainable Dave" Chameides donated a year's worth of his trash to the Trash Museum.

Before you get grossed out, what he donated was the result of his year-long experiment to see how strictly he could limit his waste output.

By doing things like using reusable containers and utensils, recycling and composting, he accumulated 28.5 pounds of trash. We've turned it into an exhibit which is now on display at the Trash Museum. In the meantime, here's more about Sustainable Dave from Good Morning America:

Good Morning America from Sustainable Dave on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

With apologies to Robert Fulghum . . .

. . . all you really need to know about the bottle bill you can learn at the recycling plant. And what you'll learn is that people prefer the ease and convenience of curbside recycling rather than the bottle-bill system.

This is a picture of a bale of aluminum cans waiting to be shipped from CRRA's regional recycling facility in Hartford to a processor which will turn them into new products. Highlighted are cans which could have been returned for redemption but weren't. Why? Obviously, we couldn't track down each consumer, but it's not hard to surmise that people would rather place these and other deposit bottles and cans in their curbside bins than save them in their basement or garage or kitchen and make a special trip to the supermarket or redemption center to get their nickels back.

In this case, one picture really is worth a thousand words. Or, more to the point, a thousand nickels.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CRRA is on twitter

Now you can follow CRRA on twitter.

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:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Save the Garbage Museum!

You may have heard that the Garbage Museum is in danger of closing.

The Garbage Museum has provided recycling and environmental education programs to almost 300,000 people since it opened in 1993. We were green before green was cool.

Since the news that we're in a race against time to raise money to save the Museum, lots of amazing people have come forward to help.

For example, Diane Vasseur, a Milford environmentalist and a good friend of the Museum and recycling, has started a blog called "Save the Stratford, CT Garbage Museum" and is organizing fund-raisers and spreading the word about the Museum.

And our friend Joanna Templeton of New Canaan and advertising agency Y&R in New York has produced a 60-second audio spot that paints a vivid picture of the Stratford recycling center (we never thought it could sound this beautiful) and ends with a plea for help. You can hear the spot at the Garbage Museum's page on CRRA's Web site.

In the next few days, you'll read about other people who are coming to our aid, and the outpouring of support has been extremely gratifying. We all have friends when things are good, but when we're in trouble we find out who our true friends are.