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

Katie Dykes on Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live in 2015, when she was deputy commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. (Chion Wolf/Connecticut Public Radio)

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 million grant program for cities and regional groups will help chip away at Connecticut’s waste problem by incentivizing new “sustainable” ways to manage trash.

“The desire was there to implement these programs. Many municipal leaders have been asking for them,” Dykes said Tuesday. “But we simply needed to find the funding to be able to support them.”

Dykes said the grants could help to fund local “pay as you throw” programs, which would charge residents based on the amount of trash they throw out. The money could also help support food scrap collections, which could cut down on trash volumes and save residents and towns money.

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