Earlier this year, about 1,000 households in Meriden were given colored bags and a choice: take a little extra time to use those bags to recycle old food. The initiative was part of an experimental program tracking the feasibility of so-called “organics” recycling in Connecticut. The idea, which was funded by a state grant of $40,000, is twofold: make food waste recycling easy – residents can toss the colored bags into the same trash bin they already roll out to the curb each week – but also, to see how many people would voluntarily opt to do that.

State data show Meriden’s experiment is encouraging, but leaves sizable room for growth. “What we found is after the four month pilot, approximately 24% of the available food scraps were captured,” said Kristen Brown, a vice president at WasteZero, a North Carolina-headquartered company that works with government officials to reduce waste. WasteZero monitored data for the pilot Meriden project.

State officials are closely watching the results in the Meriden project, which were reported during a recent meeting of the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management. Getting food out of trash bins is one way to drive down costs in an industry where money largely equates to weight. The heavier the load of trash and the further it has to travel, the more expensive its disposal. Recycling old food is one way to make those trash bins lighter.

To read the full story, visit https://www.ctpublic.org/2022-06-23/meriden-pilot-project-shows-promising-results-as-connecticut-finds-ways-to-recycle-food-waste.
Author: Patrick Skahill, Connecticut Public Radio
Image: Ryan Caron King, Connecticut Public Radio