HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A waste energy plant in Hartford is set to close later this month. Concerns are being raised over the state’s long-term plans for waste removal.
Towns near the plant are now planning for the future.
The trash you put at the end of your driveway may soon be leaving the state as MIRA’s recycling plant is shutting down.
“Garbage doesn’t stop. Just because MIRA won’t process anymore, the garbage will still be picked up at the end of your driveway and will be delivered someplace,” said Tom Kirk, President of MIRA.
For decades, one-third of the state’s trash has been converted into energy at the MIRA plant. All of that trash will now head to landfills far away from Connecticut.
“When you start moving stuff far to Ohio, Pennsylvania, even down south, there is obviously a cost involved and I’m sure they could shut people off at any time,” said Michael Bisi, superintendent of Sanitation in Glastonbury.
Glastonbury and other municipalities are now searching for long-term options. West Hartford is taking matters into their own hands.
“West Hartford has the same concerns. The long-term plans are a mystery,” said John Phillips, West Hartford DPW Director.
West Hartford DPW’s proposal is to build a material solution center at their old landfill. Phillips says the 16,900 square-foot facility would offer a sustainable and efficient way for residents to recycle items like glass and food scraps that often get lost in their garbage.
“I want to make sure this location is resilient to the changing waste landscape. It’s really at our doorstep right now,” Phillips said.
The material solution center would be constructed right behind the current drop-off center for recyclables. Phillips wants to triple the size of this area, hopefully enticing more residents to come by and use it.
“If we can deliver this project, we hope every resident takes advantage. Our ultimate goal really is to reduce the real core waste we generate as a community,” Phillips said.
Recycling is still the key to easing the burden on landfills that continue to become obsolete across the country.
Phillips hopes to see the new recycling center operational this time next year, but they still need the permits necessary to move forward.