Stories

Denise Cumings, crew chief, stands in front of a bale of recycling at the Hooksett Transfer Station in New Hampshire.

Some New Hampshire towns are making more money on recycling than in previous years. What’s changed?

December 16, 2021

The transfer station in Derry, N.H., is full of neatly organized piles of everything residents don’t want. Old couches, discarded Halloween decorations, and tidy mounds of plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum. Mike Fowler, the director of public works for the town of Derry, says it wasn’t always this way. In 1991, the town passed an…

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Brian Baumgaertel, director of the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, stands near a blue wastewater tank used to test nitrogen-monitoring sensors like the one contained in a metal box, at right foreground.

Tech tested on Cape Cod could track backyard septic-system pollution

November 30, 2021

Nitrogen from septic systems has been disrupting local waterways for years, causing fish kills and blooms of toxic algae. Now, field testing on Cape Cod is playing a national role in the development of technology to monitor nitrogen — even in individual backyards — as a step toward keeping the excess out of our waters.…

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A local trash hauler dumps a load of single-stream recycling into the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) processing center in Hartford, Connecticut

Trash redevelopment in Hartford reignites debate over environmental justice

November 3, 2021

Nearly 50,000 people live within two miles of a major trash incinerator in Hartford. In a few months, that garbage plant is slated to close. And as officials decide what’s next for the key piece of riverfront land, debate is focusing on a decades-old issue: environmental justice. Think of environmental justice as environmentalism meets civil…

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Cans of Birds of a Feather India Pale Ale travel through the Pack Tech Applicator placing plastic carriers onto each 4 pack.

Craft beer has a plastic problem. Some New England breweries are finding solutions

October 26, 2021

On a recent day, a steady stream of aluminum cans move down the assembly line at Lamplighter Brewery in Cambridge, Mass., being filled with a New England Style IPA. The cans move to their last stop: a device that presses plastic toppers onto four cans at a time. Standing next to the assembly line is…

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A worker handles mattress foam in a warehouse in Connecticut.

Pandemic helps push up mattress recycling in Connecticut

October 26, 2021

A representative with Connecticut’s mattress recycling program believes the pandemic is part of the reason more people are choosing to recycle their old beds in the state. Daniel McGowan, with the Mattress Recycling Council, told a coalition of state recycling leaders Tuesday that the number of old mattresses recycled in Connecticut was up 12% from…

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Food scraps in a trash can

‘Pay As You Throw’: New Pricing For Garbage Could Be Coming To More Cities And Towns

September 27, 2021

Cities and towns across Connecticut are applying for millions of dollars in state aid to help them reduce the amount of trash residents put out on the curb. The push for funding comes as price pressures for waste disposal continue to mount, spurred by the imminent closure of a major trash plant in Hartford next…

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As MIRA Closure Draws Near, Hartford Seeks Alternatives For Its Trash

September 23, 2021

The city of Hartford is looking for a new company to handle its trash and recycling. The search comes as a major trash plant that takes in around one-quarter of the state’s garbage is slated to close. The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) says it will close its trash-to-energy plant next year, citing financial…

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New State Incentive Commits $5 Million To Connecticut’s Looming Waste Crisis

September 22, 2021

With less than a year to go before a major trash plant in Hartford is scheduled to close, officials are scrambling to figure out what to do with hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage a year. Katie Dykes, head of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said she’s optimistic that a new $5…

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Storm Ida Pushes Hundreds Of Millions Of Gallons Of Untreated Water Into Rivers And Streams

September 3, 2021

Heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused massive stress on the state’s wastewater infrastructure. The National Weather Service reported more than 8 inches of rain in Stamford, Clinton, Uncasville, North Madison and Seymour. Elsewhere in the state, totals ranged from 3 inches to more than 7 inches of rain. In many cities, stormwater…

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In Hearing, Environmental Groups, GE And EPA Battle Over Planned PCB Dump

September 2, 2021

Opponents of a waste dump containing PCB sediment planned for Lee, Massachusetts, took their case before the federal Environmental Appeals Board on Thursday. The Housatonic River Initiative and the Housatonic Environmental Action League are appealing a permit the EPA’s New England office issued for cleanup of sections of the Housatonic River. The river was polluted…

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