Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says Connecticut is facing a "silent crisis" in waste management and recycling. The state's waste-to-energy incinerator plants, which currently burn close to 88% of all trash in the state, are aging out. Knickerbocker says that's leaving towns and cities with rising costs of trucking materials to out-of-state land fills.
In 2018, China stopped accepting plastics and other recyclable materials from the U.S., causing the market for recycled materials to plummet. Unless this state takes action, Knickerbocker says costs to taxpayers will continue to rise, and more trash will again end up in landfills, adding that that would be very bad for the environment.
Earlier this summer, Bethel signed on to the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management, along with over 70 other municipalities. The task force is researching new ideas on reducing waste and increasing recycling. Bethel has taken a leadership role in the group's work.