DEEP Announces Assistance Available to Help Businesses Recycle and Divert Food Waste, Save On Disposal Costs
As Tip Fees Rise, Reducing and Diverting Waste Can Help Businesses Save Money; Virtual Event On Waste Solutions for Businesses May 26
(HARTFORD)—The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce that free technical assistance is now available for Connecticut businesses looking to better manage their waste and save on disposal costs through waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting.
Connecticut is facing a solid waste disposal crisis, as traditional options for disposing of municipal solid waste (MSW) are diminishing or becoming more expensive. With fewer and rapidly aging disposal options in the state, many residents, businesses and municipal leaders are experiencing increased costs for waste disposal, making waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting effective money-saving strategies.
Helping businesses is a key part of DEEP’s effort to implement solutions to the solid waste disposal crisis in addition to its municipal Sustainable Materials Management Grant program. To that end,DEEP has contracted withThe Center for EcoTechnology (CET) to provide waste reduction solutions for Connecticut businesses and institutions, including expanding recycling collection efforts and diversion of food scraps in support of the goals and objectives of the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management (CCSMM), and the Connecticut Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy.
The initiative is supported by funding for sustainable materials management made available byGov. Lamont and the State Legislature through the Governor’s Budget. The sustainable materials management funding—up to $5 million— is one of the largest investments that the state has made to date in cost-effective, sustainable alternatives to waste disposal, including technical assistance programs for businesses.
This technical assistance comes just in time to help businesses respond to the new CT Public Act 21-16, which requires businesses that generate 26 tons or more of food scraps to divert these organics for recycling. CET can help with all forms of food recovery, from reducing food waste and donating surplus food, to recycling food scraps through animal feed, composting, and anaerobic digestion.
“We’re pleased that through our partnership with CET, we can offer these free services to help our local businesses and institutions implement effective solid waste management solutions to reduce their disposal costs and environmental impacts,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Businesses can reduce their operating costs and advance sustainability goals by recycling more and diverting their food scraps to anaerobic digesters and commercial compost facilities—and assistance is now available to make these sustainable options easier than ever.”
Technical assistance includes helping business and institutions improve or expand existing recycling programs and/or provide guidance on different food waste management opportunities, including how to prevent food waste, establish donation programs, and start recycling food scraps. Assistance will also be provided on how to manage specific waste streams such as electronics, fluorescent lamps, and construction & demolition materials.
CET has already provided technical assistance to several Connecticut businesses. Here’s an example of one Connecticut business already saving money through organic waste diversion:
- The Sheraton Hotel at Bradley worked with CET to implement a food scraps recycling program, which reduced the number of waste collection pick-ups from four pick-ups per week down to one, resulting in a cost savings of about $2,500 per year. CET has a robust toolbox of resources and has developed state-specific materials aboutfood donation,donating food in schools, and Spotlights from New Haven.
Part of CET’s contract with DEEP includes building out a Connecticut-based service provider network to connect recycling businesses such as haulers, recyclers, food scraps processors, as well as those who provide reuse opportunities, and sell products with recycled-content. Other assistance includes helping haulers to improve cost effectiveness and compliance with Connecticut laws and regulations; end-markets in Connecticut seeking additional feedstocks from Connecticut; and helping businesses understand the value and benefit of buying products with recycled-content.
“We're excited to leverage our experience and marketplace knowledge to help Connecticut businesses implement effective waste reduction and diversion programs,” said CET President Ashley Muspratt. “We look forward to helping businesses expand, establish, and maintain cost-effective recycling and food scrap diversion programs, while knowing these efforts will lead to improved market opportunities.”
Businesses can learn about the assistance available to them by attending the upcoming virtual business-to-business event, Reduce, Reuse, Recycling, Rethink: Navigating CT Waste Solutions on May 26, 2022 at 10 a.m. Register here.
Businesses seeking solutions through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting or businesses who want to be listed as part of the service provider network should reach out via ReduceWasteCT@cetonline.org or contact one of CET’s recycling experts at 888-410-3827.
To learn more about how CET can help your business, go here.