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Capitol Report: News 8’s Jodi Latina discusses why the price of trash removal may go up for CT taxpayers

Capitol Report

(WTNH) — The Materials Innovation Recycling Authority handles trash for about 1/3 of the state, and needs over $300 million in upgrades. Unfortunately, taxpayers may be the ones left holding the bag here.

The member towns were briefed by the trash plant president about the dire need to upgrade the technology at the plant.

The big price tag is not something that CEOs of towns and cities can absorb.

In Wethersfield, for example, if the tip fees for trash pickup increase to $145/ton, that will be nearly double what it costs now.

The town would have to budget more than half-a-million dollars in their budget to handle it. Instant tax increase, unless the state can step in with some kind of subsidy.

This trash plant is a quasi-public entity, meaning they run a business, but the State has some power over decision-making.

What’s next in this crisis? Governor Ned Lamont said he will look into it and wants a public/private partnership to keep costs low.

The president of the trash plant told News 8 he will be meeting with legislative leaders and the Governor’s team during the run-up to the 2020 legislative session, which begins in February.

Towns have to signal whether they are interested in pursuing this avenue, or they can look around for a cheaper alternative.

News 8 was told some cities are already trying to get approval for Gasification Plants, which can take care of trash, but on a much smaller scale.

The Governor’s administration is lowering its expectation for the Special legislative session coming up.

The House seat that the late Linda Orange – a Democrat – held for 20 years, they believe is now ‘red,’ ripe for a Republican win.

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