Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel Esty, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, and state leaders, today announced the formation of the Recycling Market Development Council to expand and strengthen Connecticut's efforts to recapture valuable materials that are in the waste stream. The Council was a recommendation of the Governor's Recycling Working Group, established last April, to modernize the state's solid waste system and materials management policies, and to increase recovery of recyclable materials.
"The recommendations of the Recycling Working Group will help us strengthen and expand the recycling and reuse economy in Connecticut," said Governor Malloy. "Modernizing the state's process will support an industry that is nearly 5,000 strong and contributes hundreds of millions to our local economy--and it will reduce the volume of trash and air pollution. I thank the working group for their service and their commitment to Connecticut's environment."
The Market Development Council will be a stakeholder group with representatives of the businesses engaged in the collection, hauling, sorting, processing, sale, and purchasing of recyclable materials. The Council will drive modernity and innovation in materials management by supporting the recyclable materials markets, increasing the recovery of materials, and connecting companies with products manufactured from recycled materials.
The Connecticut Economic Resource Center estimates that these businesses account for 4,800 direct and indirect jobs, $746 million in sales, and $59 million in tax revenue into the state's economy.
"Expansion in the reuse and recycling sector can play an important role in the continued economic growth of our state," said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. "Right now we have valuable material being incinerated--we have an opportunity to support business in this sector and examine the incentives they need to grow and create jobs."
Close to a million tons of paper and other "blue bin recyclables', over a million tons of construction and demolition debris, and over a million tons of organics and other compostable materials are locked in Connecticut's waste stream--despite having significant value as recycled materials.
"Three decades ago, Connecticut was a leader in solid waste management by ending our reliance on landfills and moving to a waste-to-energy system," said DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty. "Waste-to-energy will remain a vital part of our solid waste management efforts, but the time has come to more effectively capture the value of millions of tons of materials that are now sent off for disposal. With this approach we can reduce costs for our residents, municipalities and businesses, grow our economy, create jobs, and reduce environmental risks."