Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, joined by the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel Esty, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith and state leaders, have announced the formation of the Recycling Market Development Council. The groups say the council has been designed to expand and strengthen the state’s efforts to grow its recycling business in the state.
The Council was a recommendation of the Governor’s Recycling Working Group, established in April, 2012. According to a news release issued by the departments, the goals are to “modernize the state’s solid waste system and materials management policies, and to increase the recovery of recyclables throughout the state.”
“The recommendations of the Recycling Working Group will help us strengthen and expand the recycling and reuse economy in Connecticut,” says Gov. Malloy. “Modernizing the state’s process will support an industry that is nearly 5,000 strong and contributes hundreds of millions [of dollars] to our local economy—and it will reduce the volume of trash and air pollution. I thank the working group for their service and their commitment to Connecticut’s environment.”
The Market Development Council will include representatives of the businesses engaged in the collection, hauling, sorting, processing, selling and purchasing of recyclable materials. The Working Group says the Council will drive modernity and innovation in materials management by supporting the recyclable materials markets, increasing the recovery of materials and connecting companies with products manufactured from recycled materials.
The Connecticut Economic Resource Center estimates that recycling businesses in the state account for 4,800 direct and indirect jobs, $746 million in sales and $59 million in tax revenue within the Nutmeg State.
“Expansion in the reuse and recycling sector can play an important role in the continued economic growth of our state,” says Commissioner Smith. “Right now we have valuable material being incinerated—we have an opportunity to support business in this sector and examine the incentives they need to grow and create jobs.”
The Task Force says close to a million tons of paper and other “blue bin recyclables,” more than 1 million tons of construction and demolition debris and more than 1 million tons of organics and other compostable materials are locked in Connecticut’s waste stream—despite having significant value as recycled materials.
“Three decades ago, Connecticut was a leader in solid waste management by ending our reliance on landfills and moving to a waste-to-energy system,” says DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty. “Waste-to-energy will remain a vital part of our solid waste management efforts, but the time has come to more effectively capture the value of millions of tons of materials that are now sent off for disposal. With this approach we can reduce costs for our residents, municipalities and businesses, grow our economy, create jobs, and reduce environmental risks.”