Zero Waste

Reduce, Reuse, Recyle - The Zero Waste Solution

It’s time to modernize recycling in Connecticut.

Connecticut burns more trash per person than any other state in the country, generating half a million tons of toxic ash every year. If we don’t improve recycling rates, we’ll run out of landfill space for incinerator ash in six years.

Recognizing this, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has set a goal of keeping 58% of our trash out of landfills and incinerators — but Connecticut has been stuck at 30% for the last decade.

The good news is, we have the tools to get to 58% and even further to zero waste.  Communities like Nantucket are already keeping more than 90% of their trash out of landfills and incinerators and Connecticut towns like Darien and South Windsor are over 50%.

In order to get on the path to zero waste, we need to reduce the amount of resources we use, reuse what we can, and recycle the rest. Governor Malloy has created a Modernizing Recycling Working Group and we are calling on the governor and the working group to implement commonsense solutions, including:

  • Updating the Bottle Bill to include juice containers
  • Enforcing existing recycling mandates
  • Removing organics from the waste stream
  • Resisting attempts to incentivize incineration

We're starting on campus, by getting UConn and Trinity to commit to a plan to get to zero waste.  At the same time, we're working with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to help Connecticut reach its goal of doubling the amount of waste we keep out of landfills and incinterators over the next decade.

Issue updates

Blog Post | Sustainability, Waste

Zero Waste Tailgate

We just finished up the sustainable event of the semester (in my humble opinion) with the ConnPIRG zero waste tailgate at the Uconn vs. Louisville football game. Heaps of volunteers and friends "got zero wasted" while serving food and refreshments and having fun. The event demonstrated that if students can throw nothing away at a raucous pre-football game party, then we can certainly do the same campus wide.

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Blog Post | Sustainability, Waste

Meeting with C.O.O. Barry Feldman

We had a very productive meeting today with Barry Feldman, University Chief Operating Officer, Rich Miller from the Office of Environmental Policy, and Alex Roe, a university planner, regarding the adoption of a zero waste policy.

I want thank these three for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us.  I strongly believe students should play a role in determining university policy and its cool to experience this myself.

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Blog Post | Waste

Meeting with President Herbst | Allison Schilling

I haven’t been this excited in a long time! After days of practicing for (and tweeting about) my meeting with President Herbst, it finally happened.

President Herbst’s support is key to passing a university-wide zero waste policy, so we decided to try and get a meeting with her.

We decided to drop in on her when she opened up her office for trick or treating for Halloween. Our plan was to speak briefly and deliver a letter asking for a more formal meeting later.  But we got the meeting on the spot!

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