Connecticut trash is piling up, with less places to go

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Once your trash hits the curb, its long journey begins.

After being picked up, it makes its way to a transfer station.

If the trash can be recycled, it heads to a facility contracted in Willimantic.

Waste can be sent to a number of places across the state, it’s a costly process. The days of cheap landfills are over.

“Over the years Connecticut has closed and capped many of its landfills, and uses mostly trash to energy. Which is positive, but the problem is those families are aging and need to be replaced. So what we are concerned about is that soon we are going to have few places to put trash. Which means the trash will have to go out of state to landfills at a much higher cost,” said DEEP Project Manager Lee Sawyer.

On average, a Connecticut resident produces 3.5 pounds of trash a day. That equals 1,300 pounds of trash a year. Disposing of all that garbage comes with a bill that is getting bigger.

“What people don’t understand is that trash is expensive or whether it’s coming out of your tax bill,” said Lee.

At the rate the state is heading in, taking out the garbage in Connecticut could cost residents an extra $25 million a year within the next decade unless recycling efforts improve.

A quick look at a pile pulled from the trash heap at New Haven’s trash transfer station shows more can be done. Water bottles, plastic containers, newspapers and cardboard riddle the trash pile. All items that could be sorted beforehand and ultimately cut down on costs.

“There is more that we can all do to reduce the amount that we throw away and recycle what we can and be conscious of what we are purchase, consuming and what we are throwing away,” said Lee.

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