SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Governor Ned Lamont has announced a series of waste management proposals that he will introduce during the 2023 legislative session that address the future of materials and waste management in Connecticut, particularly in light of the decision by the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) to close its waste-to-energy facility in July of 2022 and reduce in-state waste processing capacity. With MIRA closing, the state has a shortfall in disposal capacity that has resulted in an estimated 40% of Connecticut’s waste being shipped out of state for disposal, mostly to landfills. The loss of the MIRA facility means that more than 860,000 tons of municipal solid waste will be shipped out of state annually.
Connecticut’s hauling community has stepped up in the interim to ensure that all residents’ trash is still being picked up. Municipalities and residents have contracts in the near term to make sure this continues, however a large percentage of that waste is being shipped out of state. That is neither fiscally nor environmentally sustainable or responsible in the long run, leaving the state at the mercy of distant communities to accept its waste.
“With MIRA closing its doors, we’re faced with the challenge of what to do with about a third of our waste tonnage, and relying on out-of-state landfills isn’t the answer,” Governor Lamont said. “Rather than a problem, this is an opportunity to reimagine our waste infrastructure and waste capacity in a manner that is in line with our state’s waste diversion goal and our environmental principles, and can also save residents’ money when realized at scale. We’re also going to make sure that the MIRA facility is decommissioned and remediated thoroughly and in keeping with our commitment to the environment and environmental justice.”
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