2023 CEQ Annual Report

Personal Impact

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Waste Diversion

Climate Change Indicator

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Solid waste management is a significant challenge in the state.

In 2022, (most recent data available) approximately 42 percent of the state’s solid waste was diverted* from disposal. The percent of solid waste diverted in 2022 was higher than the previous ten-year average of 38 percent. The diversion percentage, which is based on a theoretical baseline of 3.8 million tons per year, includes recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, and other waste management measures, such as source reduction. Over 1.5 million tons of the state’s solid waste were disposed of at one of the resource recovery facilities (RRF) in the state, while more than 640,000 tons were transported out of state for disposal.73 With the closure of the Material Innovation and Recycling Authority’s RRF in Hartford in July 2022, and limited capacity for additional material at the other in-state RRFs, it is expected that the in-state capacity deficit to manage the state’s solid waste will continue in the near term.

Goal: The diversion goal of 60 percent by 2024 was established with the adoption of Public Act 14-94 and is identified in Connecticut’s 2016 Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy, The Connecticut Solid Waste Management Plan.

In 2022, approximately 495,000 tons of designated recyclables, 415,000 tons of “Other MSW Recycling”, 326,000 tons of organics, and an estimated 68,000 tons recovered through the beverage container redemption program were sent to end markets and reuse facilities or composted/digested.74 In addition to diverting an estimated 148 tons of tires from disposal in 2022, other items that are depicted in the chart include, but are not limited to, wood/yard waste, food residuals, textiles, electronics, oil and filters, mattresses, batteries, and paint.75

Public Act 23-62 included provisions for the establishment of a statewide tire stewardship program and a requirement for Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to undertake a “laboratory testing and pilot program utilization of tire-derived asphalt”. Public Act 23-170 also expanded provisions for certain producers of organic materials, such as commercial food wholesalers or distributors, to separate such source-separated organic materials from other solid waste and ensure that such source-separated organic materials are recycled at any authorized composting facility that has available capacity.

Beverage Container Redemption

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The redemption rate in Connecticut in fiscal year (FY) 2023 was 43.2 percent, which was lower than in FY 2022 (45.2 percent), continuing the trend of decline for more than a decade.76 The redemption rate for FY 2023 was also less than the ten-year average of 49.6 percent. In the Council’s 2020 special report, Low Deposit, Low Return, the Council recommended ways to increase the redemption rate and divert more beverage containers from disposal. Public Act 21-58 revised the beverage container redemption program with several provisions, including 1) an increase in the handling fee paid to retailers and operators of redemption centers; 2) an expansion of the types of beverages covered to include several new item categories, such as sports drinks, energy drinks, and juices (beginning on January 1, 2023); and 3) an increase in the deposit amount from $0.05 to $0.10 (beginning on January 1, 2024). Public Act 23-170 increased the requirement for post-consumer recycled content for plastic beverage containers sold, offered for sale, or distributed in the state on or after January 1, 2027.

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 for disposal (i.e., reuse, recycling, composting). Estimated "Diversion" is based on the 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.


73 DEEP, Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance; personal communication from B. Giannetti, October 26, 2023.

74 DEEP, Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance; personal communication from B. Giannetti, February 8, 2024.

75 DEEP, Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council (CEEJAC) Waste Subcommittee Meeting presentation, October 18, 2023; portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/environmental_justice/CEEJAC-Meetings/CEEJAC-Waste-Subcommittee-Meeting-Slides_Oct-2023.pdf.

76DEEP, Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance; CT Bottle Bill Redemption Data, accessed February 23, 2024; portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/reduce_reuse_recycle/bottles/bottle-bill-data---Jan-2024---thru-Q2-2023.pdf.