Connecticut DEEP announces $60,000 in municipal recycling grants

Seven communities will receive funds.

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January 6, 2016

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced that seven communities are being awarded more than $60,000 in grants to enhance local waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs.

“Congratulations to these seven towns for advancing their municipal recycling systems and demonstrating a commitment to a 21st century materials management strategy,” says DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “These communities are taking advantage of DEEP’s resources to further reduce the volume of trash we dispose of, conserve natural resources and find value in our waste stream.”

Klee says the grants are made possible through DEEP’s Recycling Incentive Grants Program. Through his program, funding is available for municipalities with existing outstanding waste reduction and recycling programs (applications due on or before Feb. 1, 2016) and for municipalities interested in implementing sustainable solid waste financing mechanisms or other waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives, the DEEP says.

More information and Recycling Incentive Grants request for proposals and applications are available at www.ct.gov/deep/MuniRecyclingResources.

The latest round of grants has been awarded to:

  • Branford, $6,000 – Branford implemented the third year of a holiday recycling program aimed at educating residents on the importance of collecting the excess wrapping paper and gift waste for recycling.
  • Bridgewater, $3,990 – Bridgewater is applying grant funds toward a guard shed at the town’s recycling facility that will allow for staff to provide recycling and reuse education and to monitor incoming loads and minimize contamination. The town’s public space recycling program also will purchase new recycling bins.
  • Columbia, $4,750 – Columbia is implementing a residential organics drop-off program at sites throughout the town and will provide workshops and educational outreach to encourage widespread participation. Remaining grant funds will be used to purchase and test green cleaning products for municipal buildings.
  • Greenwich, $20,000 – Greenwich is applying grant funds towards Leaves: Nature’s Treasures, a school and community composting outreach and education program. The program includes establishing on-site food scrap and leaf compost systems for schools and educating residents about the benefits of home composting.
  • Hebron, $6,000 – Hebron is implementing a recycling education campaign to increase residential participation and to improve recycling rates at the transfer station.
  • Mansfield, $6,800 – Mansfield is implementing a Food Too Good to Waste program, modeled after a national program, in four schools to educate families about preventing food waste, proper food storage and preparation strategies and buying and eating what is bought.
  • Ridgefield, $13,000 – Ridgefield is launching a residential organics drop-off program at the municipal recycling center. Funds are being used for kitchen collection containers, rental of a dumpster to keep food scraps separated and educational materials.

These grants are the second round of funding DEEP has provided in recent months. In August 2015, DEEP announced $45,000 in recycling grants for seven communities.

DEEP says it is focused on a 21st century materials management strategy that transforms the way Connecticut manages trash and recycling. The goals are to reduce the volume of trash that must be disposed of by doubling the state’s recycling rate to 60 percent by 2024 and reclaiming more materials of value from the waste stream. Through this approach, DEEP says the environmental impacts and costs associated with waste disposal can be reduced while conserving resources and new “green” jobs in Connecticut.