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With a vote of 144-0, the House followed the Senate in passing Senate Bill 27, AAC Connecticut's Recycling and Materials Management Strategy. The Senate passed the bill unanimously on Friday.
The major provisions of the bill, which was amended in the Senate to be part of SB 357, include:
- Sets a goal of diverting 60% of "waste" from landfills and incinerators by 2024 through reduction, reuse, recycling and composting, and directs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to amend the state Solid Waste Management Plan to hit that goal
- Renames, refocuses and limits the authority of the Connecticut Resources Recover Authority (CRRA)
- Creates a new recycling education foundation, "Recycle CT"
- Directs DEEP to issue a Request For Proposals to redevelop the incinerator in Hartford
The bill is an important step in the transformation of "solid waste management" into "materials management." Forty years ago, Connecticut decision makers decided to shift from landfills to incinerators as its primary solid waste management strategy. Now, the state is deciding to shift away from incinerators and towards efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost. According to a recent DEEP study over 70% of what we currently burn in incinerators could be reused, recycled, or composted. It is estimated that the commodity value of material burned in incinerators is more than $10 million per year.
ConnPIRG has been the leading advocacy organization calling for such a transformation in state waste and recycling policy. ConnPIRG Director Abe Scarr issued the following statement.
"Governor Malloy's recycling bill is a win for public health, the environment, and the economy. Wasting less and reusing and recycling more is a no-brainer, which is why both the House and Senate passed this bill unanimously. We still have a lot of work to hit our goal of doubling our reuse and recycling rate in the next ten years, but its a goal we can and should hit, moving Connecticut closer to zero waste."
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