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CRRA Customers Soon Won't Have To Separate Recyclables

By DAN UHLINGER | Courant Staff Writer

July 07, 2008

State trash authority officials are heralding a new generation of recycling.

The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority recently approved spending $3 million to retrofit its regional recycling operation in Hartford to allow for "single-stream recycling deliveries."

In plain English, that means that customers no longer will have to separate recyclables after the retrofit, the officials said.

Instead of separating paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and other containers, customers can put all of the materials into the same barrel, making it easier for people to recycle.

Because most single-stream collection systems use 64-gallon barrels, rather than the 14-gallon bins currently in use, people will be able to recycle more material.

"In many other cities, single-stream has dramatically improved recycling rates. We believe this is the future of recycling," said Thomas D. Kirk, CRRA president. "The state has set some aggressive goals for recycling, and single-stream is the kind of bold step we need to take to reach those goals."

While many Connecticut communities pay to dispose of their recyclables, CRRA does not charge a disposal fee for recycling because of the revenues generated from selling recyclables to companies that turn them into new products, officials said.

The authority plans to give a $10 rebate for every ton of recyclables delivered to the Hartford plant by the 70 towns that make up the Mid-Connecticut Project.

"For many months, towns and private haulers have been urging us to go single-stream," said Thomas P. Gaffey, CRRA's head of recycling.

"The towns like it because more recycling means they get a bigger rebate check and a smaller trash bill. And haulers both the private companies and municipal fleets like it because they can automate their collections, driving down their costs and fuel consumption and making their routes more efficient," he said.

As part of the retrofit, new sorting equipment for recyclables will be installed, which will make it unnecessary for people to do their own separating.

CRRA expects to complete the retrofit to accept single-stream deliveries by Dec. 31.

Towns and haulers who do not want to switch to single-stream collection will still be able to make dual-stream deliveries to the facility after the conversion.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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