Waste as an Economic Driver: Connecticut Can Lead the Way


One growing factor in the new economy is that more and more waste streams, once seen as only that – waste – are now considered commodities with real value. From cooking grease to electronics, what was once considered a nuisance, today, due to technology advancements and other socio-economic factors, now has become useful and valuable.

Here in Connecticut there is a growing number of businesses that have established ways to collect these commodities, break them down and repurpose the materials for profit. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is presenting several programs that will look at ways Connecticut can support, transform and help grow materials management businesses. If you interested in finding out more about Connecticut’s materials handling landscape, here’s the info.

Webinar – Recycling Market Development for CT

Thursday, August 30th, 9 am10:15 am EST

As part of Connecticut’s Materials Management Transformation and the work of the Governor’s Recycling Working Group, we recognize the need to support Connecticut’s reuse and recycling industries, especially in the area of market development. This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn about a regional approach to see how CT could work on market development as a statewide initiative and how we might work towards a regional effort.

Some questions we’re asking our speakers and our participants to consider:

Where do we begin?

What do we have in place now?

Should we develop a recycling market development council (ie entity separate from state agencies)?

How do you begin to create new markets?

How do you kick-start or expand existing markets?

How does developing markets in CT connect with a regional approach?

What are the benefits/ drawbacks for developing a regional approach?


Will Sagar, Executive Director, Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC)

The Southeast Recycling Development Council has a direct mission: Unite industry, government and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast. SERDC does this with direct action to boost recovery, workshops to educate recycling officials, outreach to communicate with elected officials and research, and reporting to gauge the current recycling market. SERDC membership is comprised of a diverse array of industry and municipal representatives committed to protecting the environment and improving local economies through recycling. SERDC works to improve recycling markets throughout the eleven southeastern member states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia).

Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director, Northeast Recycling Council

NERC’s mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services. NERC conducts research and implements projects and programs including those on recycling market development for member states. NERC developed and oversees New York’s Recycling Market Database, an on-line database for end-users, haulers and brokers. The Database recently expanded to include businesses in Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. They are also expanding the Reuse Marketplace to be a regional virtual exchange program to increase reuse efforts between businesses, industry and municipalities. NERC member states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont.

To Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/950534170

Launching Innovation: – Transforming Materials Management in CT

Thursday October 4, Riverfront Boathouse, 20 Leibert Road, Hartford

The last phase of our transformative materials management journey is to move from learning and ideas to action. We will hear inspiring stories of how others have implemented innovative efforts throughout the country including zero waste policies, funding mechanisms for solid waste management programs, and keeping businesses innovative with constantly changing recycling markets. This will serve as our rallying point to help build ownership and consensus for launching our sustainable materials economy in Connecticut and the region.

Registration will open soon. To view a detailed agenda or for more information visit DEEP’s Materials Management Transformation web site.


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