Your Waste Is Burned and It’s Unsustainable: 3 Smart Ways to Divert Waste from Incineration
Your waste does not go into a landfill – it’s burned. And certain things we think we’re recycling are actually being landfilled, like contaminated glass.
Some recycling is being burned because the price of recycling it is just too expensive and municipalities don’t have the money to pay for it.
Trash incinerators, aka waste to energy facilities (WTE), are located in Bridgeport, Hartford, Bristol, Preston and Lisbon. This is aging infrastructure and the Hartford plant’s proposed renovation is overdue, expensive and controversial. Read more here. It’s not pretty.
Burning our garbage is such a passe concept and is becoming increasingly controversial because WTE facilities are expensive, negatively impact human and environmental healthy, and are typically located in marginalized communities.
Burning waste is unsustainable.
Creating waste at the rate we are is unsustainable.
We need new solutions and they start with diverting “waste” that has value. And choosing zero waste whenever possible (skip the single use plastic please).
Paper, plastic and glass have lost their value and municipalities and haulers are losing money processing this material. The old recycling model is broken, but not for food and textiles.
This IS the solution to the waste crisis. It’s called the circular economy where nothing is wasted and everything has value.
Please become part of it lickety split.
Where to Start?
Divert 25% or More of Your Waste from Disposal Today
Do not put food scraps and textiles in the waste stream whether at home, business, school, clubs, events, religious institution, etc. Together they constitute 25-30% of the municipal waste stream and they have value in the circular economy.
Material that has value is not garbage or waste; it’s raw material (inputs) for other businesses. Family-owned businesses in the area that are part of the Sustainne network will collect food scraps and used textiles and put them back into use so nothing is wasted.
How Much Work Is This and What’s It Going to Cost?
One has a small cost (food scrap recycling); the other is free and can serve as a school fundraiser (textile recycling).
Please do both.
We can choose a bit of suffering today in the form of separating out our food and textiles from our household waste and making the effort to return them to businesses that ensure they are reused or repurposed.
The food scrap recycling will cost you $32 a month (for homes only). If you stop buying bottled water and other soft drinks, you can afford this. Or gas for your car if you go electric. 🙂
Recycling used textiles is free and if you get your school or church to host a donation box, they’ll earn $100/ton in rebates. What a great way to create income for sustainability groups at schools. There is no catch.
It Should Be Illegal
Throwing food and textiles in the garbage should be illegal. Everything we burn further deteriorates the air we breathe, water we drink and recreate in and land we live on and grow our food on. And it ensures the planet will keep warming, which ensures more wicked, deadly and expensive storms, floods, drought, sea level rise, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity etc.
Put simply, and conjuring my inner Greta, we’re burning money and paying for it. The real cost is incalculable.
Please choose to suffer a little today for the sake of all the tomorrows and those who will enjoy them. Recycling food scraps and used textiles will become part of our culture and your family routine. Take our pledges below and join our pledge community to give and get support. We’re creating our new, sustainable lifestyles and it’s exciting. If you find it intimidating, you’re not alone. We’re here to help!
Take Action Now
Choose from 2 food scrap recycling businesses, both local and family owned. Curbside Compost has no setup fee for homes and does not line their collection buckets. Action Container Service has a $25 setup fee for homes and lines their buckets with compostable bags. Bay State Textiles provides no cost used textile collection with $100/ton rebates to hosting organizations.
Curbside Compost will pick up food scraps, in clean and unlined plastic totes they provide, from homes, offices, universities, hospitals and more and take them to a compost farm where they will be turned into compost. Compost helps restore soil health so we can grow better food, resist excessive rain and drought, and capture and sequester atmospheric carbon (where it belongs). Visit their listing to learn more about their service and to sign up.
Action Container Service will pick up food scraps from homes and businesses in Black Rock, Fairfield, Easton, Westport, Weston, Redding and Norwalk, CT and take them to a compost farm for processing. Compost improves the soil, our communities and life on earth. Action Container lines their buckets with compostable bags for easy clean up. As a customer, you can have finished compost that you helped create delivered back to you, twice annually. Visit their listing to learn more about their service and to sign up.Enter the coupon code: SUSTAINNE and they’ll waive the $25 set-up fee PLUS give you the first month FREE ($57 total savings)
Bay State Textiles has used textile collection boxes in 40 Connecticut municipalities and at many schools including Wilton High School (home of the Zero Waste Schools Coalition). They will pay organizations $100/ton to collect used textiles and will provide the collection bin, co-branded at your option. ince Bay States Textiles provides that service to 40 towns in CT. Check they’re listing to see if your local transfer station has a bin, for more information about what’s accepted and to contact them about hosting a free collection box.