In less than a year, an incinerator in Hartford that takes in roughly half a million tons of garbage annually is scheduled to close. But as the shutdown grows closer, there’s less and less agreement about where all that trash will go. Right now, the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) handles about one-third of Connecticut’s municipal waste. But the waste-to-energy plant has been plagued with mechanical problems and has faced declining receipts for the power it produces.
So MIRA announced in December the time had come for it to close the incinerators at its South Meadows facility in Hartford by July of next year. Initially, Tom Kirk, MIRA’s president and CEO, told Connecticut Public Radio the closure meant all that trash would no longer come into the city. “It’s clear now that we don’t expect to be able to turn the South Meadows facility into a transfer station,” Kirk said in March. “We’ll be redirecting the garbage to other disposal sites, to be determined. The garbage won’t be coming into Hartford.”
But now, Kirk is backing off that assertion. “I probably spoke too soon when I said it looks like we’re not going to be able to use South Meadows,” Kirk said during a Wednesday interview. “Because I don’t think that’s clear. It may end up there. But it certainly was premature for me to say ‘we’re not going to be able to use South Meadows.’”