In 2019, an estimated 1.6 million tons (41.8 percent) of the State's solid waste was diverted from disposal.57
With adoption of An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Recycling and Materials Management Strategy in 2014 (Public Act 14-94), Connecticut set a challenging goal to achieve by 2024: divert 60 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW) from disposal. “Diversion" includes the reduction of materials before it makes it into the waste stream, reuse, recycling, composting, and waste conversion. Based on the trend over the last 10 years, Connecticut is not expected to achieve the goal of 60 percent diversion by 2024 under existing conditions.58
In 2020, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and many municipalities in the state joined together to form the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management (CCSMM) to “ explore ways to reduce the amount of waste that is generated in our state, improve reuse, recycling, organics collection, and other innovative solutions.”59 As of March 2, 2021, almost half (76) of all municipalities in the state were participating in the CCSMM.
In 2019 (most recent data available), approximately 467,000 tons of bottles, cans and paper were recycled. Bottles, cans, and paper make up the majority but not all of the material recycled in 2019.60 The Council examined Connecticut’s beverage container redemption program in 2020 and found that the redemption rate for deposit beverage containers has dropped by approximately thirteen percent over the last decade. In the Council’s special report, Low Deposit, Low Return, the Council identified four recommendations to increase the redemption rate and divert more beverage containers from disposal.
Technical Note: *Personal Impact indicators illustrate trends in behavior or practices that can be expected to influence the condition of tomorrow’s air, water, land and wildlife. ** Estimated "Diversion" based on 2005 Baseline of 3.8 million tons, which is a planning value taken from the Solid Waste Management Plan; it is not actual solid waste generation.
57 DEEP, Waste Management; personal communication from P. Brunelli, February 5, 2021.
58 2016 Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy, DEEP, Waste Management; portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/waste_management_and_disposal/Solid_Waste_Management_Plan/CMMSFinalAdoptedComprehensiveMaterialsManagementStrategypdf.pdf
59 DEEP, Waste Management, Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management; portal.ct.gov/DEEP-CCSMM
60 DEEP, Waste Management; personal communication from P. Brunelli, February 5, 2021.