August 2019
E-newsletter highlighting grant deadlines, upcoming workshops and available resources for municipal recycling and solid waste leaders.
PFAS In Our Environment

At the June SWAC meeting, Anna Hagstrom, a DEEP Policy Fellow provided a PFAS Contamination Overview . She provided an overview of what PFAS are, where they are found adn why we should care. She also reviewed testing in public water systems, CT DPW testing plans and regional drinking water standards. The presentation slides conclude with PFAS resources on the web.

PFAS in Compost?

According to the U.S. Composting Council, good evidence has emerged that exposure to some PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects, and while the use of certain PFAS has been phased out, many are actively used and can still end up in our compost.

In December 2018, US Composting Council offered a webinar on PFAS in compost.

Rhodes Yepsen of Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) which provides certifies products meet ASTM D6400 or D6868 testing standards for compostable products, shared that PFAS has never been part of their testing protocols. ASTM standards focus on biodegradation, disintegration and ensures compost has no adverse impacts on supporting plant growth.

BPI formed a workgroup in 2017 to learn more about fluorinated chemicals, and while most of their certified products do no contain fluorinated chemicals, which leads to PFAS, some molded pulp and paper food packaging do have water and grease barriers.

So BPI will be adding new restrictions, following the European Standard EN 13432, and will be able to ensure all their products are PFAS free by January 1, 2020.

How Do PFAS Get in Compost?

Geoff Kuter of Agresource shared that PFAS are particularly a concern for biosolid compost and anaerobic digesters that accept biosolids and/or use paper mill residuals. Compounds are readily mobile and can leach from compost to soil to groundwater. Lowest amount of PFAS is yard waste, highest is biosolids, according to Kuter's presentation.

Learn more by viewing slides or the recording of a Teflon in my Compost?? What are PFAS and Why Should You Care: An Introduction for Composters webinar offered in December of 2018.

PFAS Resources:

NEW : Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force established by Governor Ned Lamont on July 8, 2019. Page includes timeline for task force, webinars and members of the task force.

Also note, the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has announced that PFAS in Compost will be discussed at their 2019 Fall Conference.

In 2020, look for the Northeast Conference The Science of PFAS: Public Health and the Environment on March 31 - April 1, 2020 in Framingham, Massachusetts. This event is hosted by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the Northeast States for Coordinated Air use Management (NESCAUM) and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC).
Annual Municipal Recycling Reporting

It's almost time for the Annual Municipal Recycling Reporting (AMRR).

Pursuant to  Sec.22a-220(h)    of the Connecticut General Statutes, on or before September 30th , each municipality must submit an annual report to the DEEP on a form provided by Commissioner of Environmental Protection describing the measures taken during the preceding year to meet its obligations under this section. 

The FY2018 AMRR reporting form has been streamlined with the goal of improving workflow and reducing effort for reporters. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the updated form. Contact Paula Guerrera or Peter Brunelli if you have questions or comments. DEEP looks forward to your feedback, and we hope to continue the streamlining process across all our report forms.  
Municipal Measurement Program

The Recycling Partnership and RE-TRAC have created the Municipal Measurement Program (MMP), a powerful platform to track key municipal recycling program metrics, run insightful analytics, and link directly to tools that improve program performance. 

Should CT DEEP use the MMP for part of its reporting requirement?
To help DEEP understand if this would be a good tool to utilize as part of its annual municipal reporting requirements, we would like feedback regarding the value of this tool for municipalities.
Using the MMP, towns will get analytics based on the data that you enter, and you can compare your town’s performance to benchmarked communities across the country.
Willing to Volunteer?
DEEP is looking to towns willing to use the MMP this year. As you're preparing AMRR data to submit to DEEP, we're looking for volunteers to also add their data for the MMP platform and then evaluate your interaction with the platform.
As previously mentioned, CT DEEP received a grant to use MMP for one year, so we too will be evaluating its value as a reporting tool for municipalities.
If your municipality is interested in piloting the MMP with DEEP, please email Chris Nelson .

Want to learn a bit more?

Link to Rick Penner's presentation at the June 2019 SWAC meeting on the Municipal Measurement Program. 

Single-Use Plastic Check-Out Bag Fee
Starts August 1

The new single-use plastic bag tax is a program of the Department of Revenue Services (DRS). If you receive questions from businesses, including small retailers or convenience stores, DRS provides a summary of the Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee on their webpage page.

A frequently asked questions document from Office of the Commissioner Guidance on the Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee is also linked to this summary.

How to Avoid PFAS in Your Food Service Ware

August 28, 2019
2:00pm EST

Please join us to learn more about PFAS, and how to identify and procure food service ware products that do not contain PFAS while looking for alternatives to single-use products such as polystyrene foam. 

This webinar will highlight the Center for Environmental Health's (CEH) research confirming the presence of fluorinated, “non-stick” chemicals (PFAS) in a wide array of single-use products such as plates, take-out containers and food trays. These toxic and persistent chemicals which are used to provide water- and grease resistance can contaminate food, water and compost. Our speaker will also touch on other chemicals of concern and some key environmental considerations.  

Sue Chiang, Pollution Prevention Director,
Center for Environmental Health
What's IN? What's OUT?
Recent Questions from CT residents & Added to RecycleCT Wizard
Don't Put Batteries in Your Recycling Cart/Bin

DEEP Recycling staff met with the major MRF operators last month, which included MIRA, Willimantic Waste, USA Waste & Hauling/Murphy Road Recycling, Oak Ridge and City Carting.

Two years ago when the universal list of acceptable recyclables for residential mixed recycling was created, the major outcries were about plastic bags, shredded paper, scrap metal, bottle caps and large bulky rigids (like playscapes and coolers).

In June the main issues that were discussed was lithium batteries, propane canisters (camping stove size), syringes/sharps, and knives/metal utensils.
CT In the News

5 things to know about the CT bag law (CT Post/CT Mirror, July 30)
This Summer: Relax and Recycle (CT Magazine, July 2019)
Big Y to stop using plastic bags Aug. 1 (Journal Inquirer, July 15)
Todd Feinburg: The Cost of Recycling (WTIC, July 9) - Betsy Gara, Executive Director, COST and Erin Stewart, Mayor, New Britain
Plastic Bag Ban Bounces Forward (New Haven Independent, June 24)
 Upcoming Events: 

POSTPONED - TO BE RESCHEDULED: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 9:00am - 12noon Engaging Residents in Better Recycling: Promotion, Outreach, Education and Enforcement training Killingly Town Hall, Danielson. For more information . Hosted by Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm - How to Avoid PFAS in Food Service Ware webinar. For more information . Hosted by CT DEEP.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm - U.S. Regulatory Approaches for Packaging webinar. For more information . Hosted by NERC.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 9:30am - 11:30am - CT Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting. CT DEEP, Hartford. In person and online streaming. For more information. Hosted by CT DEEP.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 9:00am - 3:00pm -  School Recycling workshop. CCSU, New Britain. Additional information TBA. Hosted by CT Green LEAF, COEEA and Zero Waste Schools.

October 29 - 30, 2020 - 2019 Fall Conference: Much Ado About Plastics. Providence, Rhode Island. For more information. Hosted by NERC.
Have an idea or topic for future municipal recycling webinar? Let us know what you and your colleagues would like to learn more about. Contact Sherill Baldwin.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or
CT DEEP | Source Reduction & Recycling Group | 860-424-4193 |