DEEP: Municipal Recycling Honor Roll

Connecticut Municipal Recycling Honor Roll

In 2002, in an effort to honor those Connecticut municipalities with outstanding recycling/source reduction programs, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection started the CT Municipal Recycling Honor Roll. (CMRHR) Thus far, fifteen municipalities have been formally recognized for their exemplary recycling/source reduction programs. They include: Cornwall, Granby, Litchfield , Manchester, Mansfield, Middletown, New Britain, Norwalk, Portland, Redding, Salisbury, Sharon, Somers, Stonington. and Windsor Locks, and each deserves applause and recognition for their outstanding recycling efforts.

These towns are doing a great job of reducing the amount of trash requiring disposal, which is especially critical as Connecticut faces future trash disposal capacity issues. Effective municipal recycling/source reduction programs result in the conservation of natural resources; conservation of energy; reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; reduction of pollution emissions; and reduction of water use  These benefits were calculated specifically for Connecticut and are summarized in an Environmental Benefits Fact Sheet. In addition, a recent national study has shown that "converting wastes into valuable raw material recycling creates jobs, builds more competitive manufacturing industries, and adds significantly to the U.S. economy".

These towns think globally and act locally. 

But the CMRHR is not just a list, nor is it static – hopefully new towns will be identified and added to the list on a regular basis.  In addition to honoring the towns listed, the CMRHR is also meant to be a resource for other Connecticut cities and towns striving to improve their own municipal recycling programs. Hopefully, reading through the list will inspire other municipalities to contact CMRHR towns for more information regarding recycling efforts that work. CMRHR towns are eager to share their success stories.

If you feel your town has an outstanding recycling program, or if you are aware of other exemplary municipal recycling programs that are not listed on the Municipal Recycling Honor Roll, but would be excellent recycling models for other cities and towns  – Please let us know!  Complete the "Connecticut's Best Municipal Recycling Programs Nomination Form" and follow the sumittal instructions at the bottom of the page.  For more information, contact DEEP Recycling Office staff Judy Belaval at (860) 424-3237 and Don't Forget To:

{Symbol - REDUCE first then REUSE and then RECYCLE}

Connecticut Municipal Recycling Honor Roll

Town Contact  Information Recycling/Source Reduction
Above & Beyond Requirements

Cornwall

Steven O'Neil
Recycling Coordinator
Phone:  (860) 672-6230
town.cornwall@sbcglobal.net

  • Reuse programs that are operated with the assistance of local non-profit groups.
  • Collection of polystyrene packing peanuts for redistribution to retail outlets for reuse.
  • Old eyeglasses are collected for reuse.
  • Accept ink jet cartridges for reuse/recycling

Granby

Sally Crapser
Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (860) 653-8960 
scrapser@granby-ct.gov

  • Over 25% of the Granby households have purchased subsidized backyard composting bins from the town.
  • New residents moving in to town receive a packet of information about Granby’s solid waste reduction efforts including recycling rules and regulations.
  • The local monthly newspaper delivered free to every households is chocked full of recycling ads.
  • In addition to the state mandated recyclables the town provides opportunities to recycle plastics 1&2; aseptic packaging; antifreeze; textiles; brush/wood chips; propane tanks; electronics; and mixed paper.
  • Granby has successfully participated in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program since its inception in 2002. In 2004 Granby’s Community Playground was the recipient of an $8,000 Nike Grant for the installation of NikeGrind on the playground surface.
  • In the near future Granby hopes to establish a bulky waste reduction program at its Transfer Station by (1) providing residents a form of "Swap Shop" and (2) setting aside reusable building materials to donate to the ReCONNstruction Center in New Britain.
  • Granby installed a waste oil furnace in their main DPW garage in 2002 and have burned at least 2,500 gallons of waste oil each year. The town plans to install another waste oil furnace in the unheated part of the garage in the near future.

Litchfield

Naomi Boccio
Recycling Coordinator
Phone:  (860) 567-7575
lfdpwd@optonline.net or
lfdsec@optonline.net

  • Litchfield actively promotes recycling on an ongoing basis with weekly press releases, information sheets mailed annually, a recycling advisory committee which meets on a regular basis, local TV and radio coverage, poster content for elementary school students made into a calendar; raffle of a bench made with recycled materials; their own reusable cloth bag imprinted with “Litchfield Recycles” etc.
  • Curbside recycling bins are checked on a regular basis.
  • Feedback from residents is incorporated into town recycling decisions.
  • Litchfield maintains and operates a book exchange.
  • In addition to mandated recyclables the town provides the opportunity for residents to recycle #1 and #2 plastics; magazines; discarded mail; wax coated beverage containers; clean used clothing; fluorescent lamps/ballast; eyeglasses.
  • The town is currently working on revising the “Town of Litchfield Business Recycling Program Manual”.

Manchester

Recycling Contacts at the Time of Recognition to the Honor Roll:

Joe Lentini|
Recycling Contact
Phone: (860) 647-3234
joe25@ci.manchester.ct.us

Louise Guarnaccia
Recycling Contact
(860) 647-3124
louiseg@ci.manchester.ct.us

Current Recycling Contact:

Brooks W. Parker
Sanitation/Environmental Services Manager
Town of Manchester
(860) 647-5279
bparker@manchesterct.gov
www.ManchesterRecycles.org

  • Recycling rate is over 46%.
  • Additional items include curbside collection of plastics, and clothing; a variety of mixed paper is accepted at the town transfer station.
  • The town has hosted subsidized distributions of composting bins for residents 
  • The town has a comprehensive program to collect bagged yard waste.  The resulting compost is sold to town residents, area landscape companies and used in town projects.
  • Over the past decade the town has worked with apartment buildings, the large retail community at Buckland Hills, the Town parks and Recreation Department and schools to ensure that Manchester residents have an opportunity to recycle not only at home but also at school, at work and while enjoying leisure activities.

Mansfield

Virginia Walton
Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (860) 429-3333
waltonvd@mansfieldct.org

  • Mansfield collects a wide array of non-mandated items (some curbside, most at the transfer station) including aerosol & paint cans, televisions & computers, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, antifreeze, brake fluid, and polystyrene peanuts.  
  • Reusable small household items such as kitchen appliances & dishes, toys and books can be brought to the town swap shop.
  • The town sends out regular mailings to residents to remind them about how the program works and to highlight any changes.
  • Residents are charged for their trash collection though a unit-pricing system that means that those residents who generate more trash pay more for trash disposal.
  • The hauler does not pick up trash that contains recyclables and residents who are not recycling are fined after 3 written warnings.
  • Businesses are inspected on a regular basis and issued written warnings if they fail to comply.
  • The town purchases paper with post-consumer recycled content and has made other purchases of recycled products including compost bins and landscape ties.
  • Recycling programs in their schools are notable.  Three Mansfield schools have gotten the Green school award from the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition.  The Middle School participated in producing a composting manual for schools which was distributed on CD to all schools in Conn. and can be downloaded from the DEEP website.

Middletown

Kim O’Rourke 
Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (860)  344-3526
kim.orourke@cityofmiddletown.com

  • Middletown collects many non-mandated items, including mixed paper, polycoated drink containers, some plastics, antifreeze and block polystyrene.
  • Middletown operates a swap shack.
  • Middletown works closely with businesses to ensure compliance.  The town issues newsletters and other mailing and provides free indoor and outdoor bins to businesses that recycle mixed paper. The town follows up on complaints with site visits.  The city can impose fines and has fined a local hauler for non-compliance.
  • The City has well developed outreach program for residents, which includes mailings, bill inserts, newspaper ads, a regular newspaper column written by the Recycling Coordinator, flyers and a variety of special events, including displays at the library, recycling center events, and a "Rewards for Recycling" event in which recycled promotional prizes were given to residents who are doing a great job recycling.
  • The City has organized a number of reduced price composting bin distributions which have included educational workshops for residents.
  • The town purchases recycled copy paper and has also purchased retread tires for some city vehicles.
  • The City is just beginning a large-scale vermicomposting project which will take food waste from a local institution and use red wiggler worms to covert what was once a waste material into high quality compost.

New Britain

Joyce Zukowski 
New Britain DPW
Acting Administrative Officer 
Phone: (860) 826-3391
jzukowski@ch.ci.new-britain.ct.us

  • New Britain has a unique program that creatively utilizes other town Departments to do recycling inspections for businesses.  The City utilizes the Health Department licensing/inspection staff to inspect restaurants for recycling compliance.  Waste audits of businesses are provided by a non-profit organization-the Connecticut Business Environmental Council (CBEC).
  • New Britain has a budget dedicated to recycling education which is used to produce brochures, T.V. spots, ads, targeted mailings, etc.  Materials are produced in a multi-lingual format to meet the needs of the diverse population of New Britain.
  • New Britain promotes composting by providing free recycling bins and an annual education program at the local organic farm.
  • In addition to the mandated items, New Britain collects magazines, plastics #1 and #2 and aseptic packages curbside.
  • Rechargeable batteries are collected through a drop off program at both the town hall and landfill.

Norwalk

Laura Panciera 
Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (203) 854-3206
lpanciera@norwalkct.org

  • Norwalk has a recycling rate at over 35%.
  • The city's program includes commercial pick up (for local businesses) of corrugated cardboard, mixed paper and newspapers.
  • Norwalk also provides curbside pick up of yard wastes from April through December.
  • Norwalk collects antifreeze from residents, in addition to batteries and waste oil.

Portland

Bob Darna
Recycling Coordinator
Director of Operations Portland DPW
Phone: (860) 342-6733
rdarna@portlandct.org

  • Portland collects many additional, non-mandated items at their transfer station including plastics #1 & #2, polystyrene packaging and clothing.
  • Portland’s white office paper program is especially noteworthy.  They allow small businesses and private residents, including people from other communities to drop off high-grade white office paper and cardboard.
  • As an added incentive to participate Portland gives a free ream of new recycled content paper to participants.
  • Portland has implemented unit-pricing for residents who utilize the transfer station for trash disposal option.
  • The town has a designated composting area and has distributed over 300 compost bins to residents. Literature is distributed through the transfer station but is also available on their website.

Redding

Tom Newsome
Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (203) 938-3026
recycle@townofreddingct.org

  • Redding has an exceptionally well-run transfer station that is a model for other towns.  They collect many items not required by state law including plastics 1-7, phone directories, clothes and shoes, fluorescent bulbs, magazines and junk mail.  They take separation a step further than most communities such as keeping the different colors of glass separate, baling all their own cardboard.  This results in a higher pay back to the town for higher quality materials and can reduce the amount of residue produced due to contamination.
  • Redding has a drop-off area for residents for compostable materials and invite residents to come back for finished compost.
  • Redding is planning to start collecting electronics and eye glasses in the near future.
  • Redding places frequent ads in the local paper, which provide great detail on what is recycled and how to prepare it.  They also send out an annual flyer to residents with similar information.
  • The town works with local hauler to issue tickets to people who are not recycling.
  • Redding has two sheds for "free stuff" (reuse) and is planning a third.
  • Redding also collects expanded polystyrene packing peanuts for residents and retail outlets to reuse.

Salisbury
Sharon

Malcolm Brown
1st Selectman
860-364-5789  malcolm_b@sharon-ct.org

Curtis Rand
1st Selectman, Salisbury 
860-435-5170  tsalisbury@snet.net

Brian Bartram
Transfer Station Manager
hbbartram@hotmail.com
(860) 435-5178

  • It is estimated that 90% of the solid waste generated in Sharon and Salisbury (residential and nonresidential) pass through the transfer station (TS)– making it the ideal location for recycling promotion.   Recycling information is provided to everyone bringing waste to the TS.  In addition, since the TS is always staffed, bag checks prove effective in increasing the recycling participation rate:  “After being caught once you don’t want to go through that again”.
  • In addition to the mandated recyclables the transfer station provides the opportunity to recycle clothing and shoes; computers and televisions; office paper and mixed paper; and Christmas trees.
  • The transfer station/recycling center contains a swap shop for used paint and stain
  • The TS also has a swap area for books and other reusable items which do not require repair.
  • The TS has worked with Taylor Recycling in NY to recycle some of the C&D material.
  • In April 2003 the TS started collecting paints and stains and will be recycling the Benjamin Moore latex paint through the Benjamin Moore product stewardship program.
  • A computer reuse program was started by two volunteers and has been successful in putting computers into the hands of people who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to own a computer.
  • The towns have also worked with Old Farms Nursery to get the wholesaler to take back all plant containers – removing thousands of such containers from the MSW stream.

Somers

Everett Morrill
Director of Public Works
860-763-8234; 860-763-8238
publicworks@somersct.gov

  • Somers purchases paper products for its school and town offices through a regional cooperative program and requests that these items all have recycled content.
  • The town has a "Blue Light Building" which is an unused temporary classroom which houses a reuse program for still usable toys, furniture, appliances, dishes and books.
  • Residents are able to pick up free wood chips made from the grinding of brush and logs.
  • Transfer station operators check incoming loads.  If materials are not properly separated they are rejected.
  • The town has a local ordinance that requires haulers to report the ultimate destination of collected trash and recyclables to the town.
  • Most of the education of both businesses and residents is done at the transfer station, which is utilized by over 50% of the residents for self-hauling of trash, although almost all residents have a permit and utilize the transfer station at least occasionally.
  • Somers has a recycling rate of about 30%, well above the state average.

Stonington

John Phetteplace
Recycling Coordinator
(860) 535-5099
jphetteplace@stonington-ct.gov

  • Stonington utilizes a unit pricing system for it's residential and commercial trash/recycling collection program.  For private residences recycling is free but there is per bag fee for trash, providing a financial incentive to recycle & reduce waste.  The commercial program allows all businesses an opportunity to recycle all of the mandated items, usually at a lower cost than for MSW removal.
  • The town recycles many non-mandated items such as plastic #1& #2, polycoated drink containers, junk mail, cereal/cookie boxes & old clothes.
  • Reuse options are also an important part of Stonington's program which includes a reuse shed at the transfer station for book, toys and household items and the town has produced a "Use It Again Stonington" booklet to promote the reuse and repair of various items. 
  • The new residents packet contains brochures on recycling, composting and grasscycling. 
  • The town works cooperatively with the local nature center to sell compost bins to residents at cost.
  • Stonington is currently participating with the town of Groton in a pilot program to compost source separated commercial food waste (restaurants, grocery stores, schools, nursing homes etc.).   

Windsor Locks  

Scott Lappen
Director of Public Works
860-627-1405, ext. 201 
slappen@wlocks.com

  • The recycling participation rate in Windsor Locks – by both businesses and residents is extremely high. The town trash hauler works closely with the town to assure that non-recyclers to achieve compliance.  Unannounced recycling “spot checks” are conducted at businesses and recycling success is assured through diplomacy and education.
  • Windsor Locks promotes backyard composting and grasscycling through an ongoing campaign of mailings in the spring and fall and the promotion of composting demonstrations conducted at Northwest Park in Windsor.  The town recycling coordinator has gone door-to-door to promote composting.
  • Four of Windsor Locks public schools have an aggressive program to recycle their milk cartons (aseptic containers) and they are looking at adding food scrap composting at the schools as well.
  • Used clothing is collected at supervised drop-offs at Town Hall.

For more information about recycling, please contact the DEEP Recycling Office at 860-424-3366.

Content Last Updated July 18, 2013

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