September 2019
E-newsletter highlighting grant deadlines, upcoming workshops and available resources for municipal recycling and solid waste leaders.
Update: Annual Municipal Recycling Reporting - Due Date Extended

Dear Municipal Recycling Coordinators,
We hope you are having a good summer.
This is a reminder that your FY2019 Annual Municipal Recycling Report (AMRR) was distributed to all municipal recycling coordinators on August 21 st , 2019. Since we got off to a late start this year, we are going to accept the report on or before October 30, 2019.
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.  
Once again, there are two major sections of the AMRR:
The first section (Parts 1-5) asks for information regarding the destination, and in some cases the tonnages, of material recycled from within the borders of your municipality in FY2019. A copy of the 2019 reporting form can be downloaded from the DEEP website.

The second section (Part 6) is a qualitative survey regarding efforts made by the municipality to promote recycling and source reduction and to enforce their local recycling ordinance. Part 6 will is hosted on SurveyMonkey and a unique link has been emailed to each municipal recycling coordinator. Please contact Peter Brunelli if you have not received an email with your link to the part 6 Survey.
Both sections of the report must be completed and submitted to DEEP on or before October 30 th to fulfill reporting requirements. 
In an effort to conserve paper DEEP will not send out hard copies of the reporting form . Exceptions will be made for those municipalities which (1) cannot open the attached copies of the reporting form and (2) do not have internet access. Please reply to DEEP as soon as possible to let us know if hard copies of the reporting forms need to be land-mailed to your municipality. 
If hard copies of the reporting forms are needed – send an email to with the following information:

  • Subject: “Hard copies of 2019 AMRR reporting forms are needed”; 
  • Your name, municipality, land mail address:
  • Specify which section(s) of the AMRR form you want DEEP to land mail:
  • the first section (Parts 1-5) or
  • the second section (Part 6) or
  • both sections of the report
Please be aware that DEEP is always looking for ways to improve solid waste and recycling data tracking and analysis. Please let us know what type of data is most useful to your municipality and share your ideas for streamlining or making Connecticut solid waste and recycling data more useful, accessible, easier to report, etc. –Send us your suggestions we want to hear from you!!! Please contact Paula (860) 424-3334 or Peter (860) 424-3536
Also, If you have not replied to DEEP’s Municipal Recycling Tipping Fee Survey , now is your chance. These shorter, more focused surveys are very important as DEEP considers Sustainable Materials Management options
Thank you – and keep on conserving our natural resources and working for a cleaner, less polluted world!!!
Sherill Interviews Tom about EPR

Tom Metzner sat down with Sherill Baldwin to talk about product stewardship, including the history of the CT paint stewardship program, how mattress stewardship has created jobs in CT and how packaging EPR would impact recycling, packaging design and plastic pollution. Listen to the Sherill Interviews Tom podcast now.
Archived Municipal Recycling Coordinators E-News and Webinars

Missed the How to Avoid PFAS in Food Service Ware or other webinar? Look for recordings of archived webinars and e-newsletters on the CT DEEP webpage.
What is product stewardship?

CT DEEP defines product stewardship broadly and consistent with the Product Stewardship Institute, and then distinguishes between two major types of product stewardship.

1.    The voluntary programs initiated by brand owners/ manufacturers/ industry groups.
2.     T he mandatory programs implemented as a result of legislation called EPR (extended producer responsibility). These programs through legislation , require brand owners/ manufacturers/ industry groups to partner with DEEP and other stakeholders (such as municipalities, collectors, and MRFs) to develop a program that meets needs of stakeholders, and receives DEEP's approval.

When or How did the Concept of Stewardship Come About?

In the 1970s, Sweden was the first to begin using language about the need for manufacturers to take responsibility of their products by reducing waste during the manufacturing as well as end of life management*. It looked at using post-consumer materials in their products, not just manufacturing scrap.
When Sweden enacted its first EPR law on aluminum cans. They wanted to create a collection system that ensured quality materials were recovered for manufacturers. And government's goal was to meet recovery goals to ensure resources were preserved.

"In 1982 the Swedish government threatened to ban the use of aluminum beverage cans for beer and soft drinks unless they achieved a recycling rate of 75 percent by 1985.

After trying several collection schemes, including curbside recycling programs, the aluminum industry determined that the only way they could achieve a 75 percent rate was through a deposit/refund system.'*

Thomas Lindhqvist is given credit for coining the term product stewardship. And in 1992, he expanded the definition of EPR:

"Extended Producer Responsibility is an environmental protection strategy to reach an environmental objective of a decreased total environmental impact from a product, by making the manufacturer of the product responsible for the entire life-cycle of the product and especially for the take-back, recycling and final disposal of the product.

The Extended Producer Responsibility is implemented through administrative, economic and informative instruments. The composition of these instruments determines the precise form of the Extended Producer Responsibility."^

How Does it Work?
As Linqhqvist state's above, EPR is a strategy which relies on administrative goals, economic incentives and oversight.
Ultimately, EPR programs shift financial, and sometimes logistical and operational responsibilities, which can include outreach and education , from municipalities to manufacturers of a product .

There is no single product stewardship or EPR approach that can simply copied and introduced into Connecticut for any given product. It's vital that municipal leaders learn more about the concept and different models to evaluate programs objectively, understand its drivers and evolution overtime and consider the conditions for how it would apply to Connecticut.
Stewardship Initiatives in CT?
Most of you are likely familiar with the CT's Product Stewardship Programs , which include the electronics, paint, mattress and thermostat stewardship programs. If you want to learn about CT's existing EPR programs, Product Stewardship Institute conducted an evaluation of our programs and provided a report in 2016. Connecticut's Extended Producer Responsibility Program Evaluation: Summary and Recommendations .
Additional EPR programs DEEP has sought in the past include  batteries , carpet and tires . Packaging and printed paper is a large and broad product category. In 2014, DEEP started researching how such a program would work with our existing infrastructure (collection and processing facilities) and the bottle bill. When the report Packaging and Printed Paper, Strategies to Increase Recovery in Connecticut was completed in 2015, DEEP also sought to answer how the bottle bill or EPR could better ccollect glass to retain the value while decreasing the burden on municipalities.

With the full impact of China's National Sword policy weighing on most recycling programs in the northeast, a stewardship approach for managing packaging is looking more attractive.
Other product categories of current interest include household hazardous waste, pesticides, solar panels, batteries (esp. lithium), and one pound gas canisters.

Additional Resources:

*Franklin, Pat. Extended Producer Responsibility: A Primer, Container Recycling Institute. 1997.
^History of EPR. Multi-Material Stewardship Western (Canada).
Did you miss EPA's Solar Panel Recycling webinar?

Shining the Light on Solar Panel Recycling: A Status Update . August 22, 2019

Covers basics of solar panel technology design and explores impact of these solar panels on the waste management and recycling systems. Includes efforts by state governments and the trends they are seeing.

In April 2019, Governor Lamont’s first executive order launched GreenerGovCT which sets ambitious goals for state agency sustainability by 2030: 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2001 levels, 10% reduction in water consumption from a 2020 baseline, and 25% reduction in waste disposal from a 2020 baseline. 

The program launched at the end of June with an initial meeting of the Steering Committee on State Sustainability with representatives from over 40 state agencies.  Over the next decade, state agencies will be responsible for benchmarking data, developing action plans, and implementing best practices. 

A Sustainable Materials Management Project Team, with members representing a variety of state agencies, will be meeting monthly to develop a methodology for benchmarking state agency waste recycled and disposed, identify best management practices, and implement pilot projects. For more information, please visit GreenerGovCT.
Regional Blended MRF Commodity Value Report
NERC has released a first of its kind regional blended MRF commodity value report .

Last year, in partnership with the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), NERC formed a Regional Recycling Markets Development Committee. The Committee determined that having regional information about the value of recyclable commodities would be extremely helpful for assessing regional market trends and would serve as an educational tool for promoting improved residential recycling and participation. North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has been doing a similar survey for many years. The results have been invaluable to recyclers, MRFs, and also municipalities and state agencies. NERC anticipates the same benefits in our region and expect to conduct the survey, and report results and trends, on a quarterly basis.

Fifteen (15) publically-owned or operated MRFs in 10 states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) were surveyed in July 2019 for the period covering April – June, 2019. A report of the blended value of commodities marketed by the MRFs, as well as information about residuals, tipping fees, and relative percentages of materials marketed is now available.

We would like to recognize and thank RRS and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for their technical assistance in support of this project. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein , NERC.
Can We Still Recycle Plastic Bags at Retailers?

Y es. Despite retailers charging 10c per plastic bag, or perhaps no longer offering plastic retail bags, retailers continue to offer plastic film collection at their stores. Looking for a participating retailer?
What Does Success Look Like?

A WRAP Case Study
East Hartford, CT, participated in a successful statewide WRAP campaign in 2017 (read the Executive Summary of campaign). The city’s assistant director for public works shares her experience in a series of short videos .
  • How many people has WRAP reached?
  • How many people have searched the drop-off directory?
  • How many WRAP Champions and Partners are there? Check it out.
BUILD-YOUR-OWN Communications Tools for WRAP
In response to requests from recycling professionals, WRAP has created a simple tool to develop customized communications materials that help educate people about proper recycling of plastic bags and wraps. Recycling coordinators and others can easily drop and drag images, logos, contact information, and more onto posters and pamphlets to use at events, on collection bins, and online. Take it for a spin.
What's IN? What's OUT?
Recent Questions from CT residents & Added to RecycleCT Wizard
Vaping and other Smoking Paraphernalia is NOT ACCEPTABLE in recycling bins

Vaping devices can look very different from one another. Some look like fake cigarettes, others look more like USB flashdrives and others are large and can be decorative. Vaping devices typically take rechargeable batteries and some can be recharged through USB ports. People vape e-liquid that is atomized with these devices - which are often small glass or plastic containers.

Some municipalities are discovering mostly these small e-liquid containers, but the vaping devices are also problematic if they end up in the recycling containers due to the battery.
CT In the News
Q & A: The Truth About Plastic (UCONN Today, August)
Recycling Crunch Felt By China’s “National Sword” (WNHH Radio, New Haven Independent, April 15)
Northeast Recycling Council elects leadership (RecyclingToday, August 13)
Plastic Bag Ban (WSHU, August 5)
Paper or plastic? (Journal Inquirer, July 31)
Paper or plastic? Not so fast… (The Southington Observer, July 31)
 Upcoming Events: 

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 10:00am - 1:00pm, followed by lunch - 2019 CRC Annual Meeting. Stony Creek Brewery, Branford. For more information. Hosted by the CT Recyclers Coalition.

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 - 8:30am - 2:30pm -  School Recycling Workshop . CCSU, New Britain. For more information . Hosted by CT Green LEAF, COEEA and Zero Waste Schools.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 1:30 - 3:00pm - Canadian Packaging EPR webinar. For more information . Hosted by NERC.

October 29 - 30, 2019 - 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 |