2021 CEQ Annual Report

Personal Impact*

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Waste Diversion

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Solid waste diversion continues to be a challenge in the state.


In 2020, (most recent data available) an estimated 1.4 million tons (37.3 percent) of the State’s solid waste was diverted** from disposal.61  The amount of solid waste diverted was less than in 2019 (38%), but greater than the ten-year average of 35.7 percent. With the 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. 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.62 

In 2020 (most recent data available), approximately 492,000 tons of designated recyclables, which are compatible with Connecticut’s single-stream recycling programs, were sent to end markets or recycling or reuse facilities.

The redemption rate in Connecticut was higher in fiscal year (FY) 2021 than in FY 2020, but the trend has been declining for over a decade.63 The Council examined Connecticut’s beverage container redemption program in 2021 and found that the redemption rate for deposit beverage containers has dropped by approximately 17 percent, over the last decade. In the Council’s special report, Low Deposit, Low Return, the Council recommended ways to increase the redemption rate and divert more beverage containers from disposal. In 2021, legislation was enacted (Public Act 21-58) with provisions for improving the beverage container redemption program, including but not limited to: expanding the types of beverage containers that are subject to a deposit, increasing the deposit to $0.10 per container, requiring beverage containers to have barcodes, increasing the container handling fee to 2½  – 3½ cents, and establishing a beverage container stewardship organization.

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. **“Diversion" includes the reduction of materials before it makes it into the waste stream, reuse, recycling, composting, and waste conversion. 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.


61 DEEP, Waste Management; personal communication from P. Brunelli, February 23, 2022.
62 DEEP, 2016 Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy, Waste Management; portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/waste_management_and_disposal/Solid_Waste_Management_Plan/CMMSFinalAdoptedComprehensiveMaterialsManagementStrategypdf.pdf.
63 DEEP, Waste Management; personal communication from C. Nelson, January 28, 2022.