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Franklin Dump Idea Is Dumped

Now the state has to step up recycling to reduce the need for such sites

Hartford Courant

August 31, 2009

The political opposition to an ash landfill on the Shetucket River in Franklin proved too much for the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, which announced Thursday that it would remove the site from consideration. The state's trash authority said it would consider disposing of ash at other landfills, both in and out of state.

That's good news. But it took the resistance of the town, the state legislature, the governor and finally the attorney general, who strongly implied that he would take CRRA to court if officials continued to pursue its plans to develop the Franklin site as an ash dump.

This episode has exposed the flaws in Connecticut's environmental policy. This state is more dependent on burning its trash than any other in the nation, because Connecticut made towns close their landfills in the 1980s and build incinerators to dispose of the waste.

Yet Connecticut is average at best when it comes to recycling. Massachusetts recycles more than 50 percent of its trash, while our state languishes in the range of 30 percent. That can't continue.

It is state policy to site landfills on rivers, which the Department of Environmental Protection defends as environmentally sound because rivers will dilute pollution in the event of a leak. But putting a dump on a river only inflames political opposition from local townspeople and environmentalists and others who see rivers as natural resources to be protected.

The bottom line: Our environmental policies will have to get stricter if we are to keep ash landfills at a minimum. So will our recycling policies.

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.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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