CT Agency Corner – Department of Energy and Environmental Protection – Solid Waste Advisory Committee Holds Final Meeting of the Year

Last Tuesday the state’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) held its final meeting which featured the unveiling of draft results of the state’s municipal solid waste characterizations.

The waste characterization study was commissioned by the state in order to identify what’s in CT’s wastestream and to further look into how consumers are using the state’s single stream recycling program. Here are some the eye-drawing statistics from the study. These numbers are based on waste from residential, restaurants, offices, retail (large and small), grocery stores and hotels:

  1. The total amount of waste has dropped by 2.1% since 2009 despite the state’s overall population growing by 2.3% (3.52M to 3.6M).
  2. The most common material found in CT’s municipal solid wastestream was food waste at 23%. The second highest – Paper (11%).
  3. The total amount of food waste in CT’s wastestream since 2010 has increased by 68%.
  4. The material that’s recycled the most in CT is paper at 54.6%. The second highest percentage of materials found in single stream recycling are non-recyclable contaminants (18.2%).
  5. Despite living in a very digital era where people are constantly replacing electronics, computers and televisions are being thrown away less than in 2010.

For more information on the preliminary results of this study you can view the findings in its entirety here.