Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) celebrates Connecticut Recycles Day – part of the national America Recycles Day – Nov. 15 by highlighting its 150 electronics recycling facilities and 100 paint recycling facilities.
DEEP reports a veritable Periodic Table of gold, aluminum, copper, palladium and other rare metals reside in electronics. The metals and plastics are separated after sorting at the centers – found at municipal waste stations – and the machine’s waste elements are disposed of properly.
This year, July 1, the state entered into a paint-disposal alliance with PaintCare, a product stewardship organization of the paint industry, to ensure unwanted paint is disposed of properly. The 100 paint sites also are at established waste-collection centers.
“Connecticut Recycles Day is the perfect time for everyone to recommit themselves to the practice of recycling and to recognize that we can now recycle and reuse much more than bottles, cans, plastics, cardboard, and newspaper,” said Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of DEEP. “In Connecticut, for instance, we’ve made it easy to clear your basement, garage, and closets of old computers, printers, televisions and monitors – as well as cans of leftover paint you will never use – by taking them to locations where they can be properly recycled.”
Connecticut’s statewide electronics recycling program has collected more than 30 million pounds of electronics equipment since 2011, according to reports provided by the state’s approved electronic recyclers.
Regarding paint, Esty said, “We estimate that a staggering 5 million containers with more than 1 million gallons of paint are stored in homes across Connecticut. This recycling program means that this leftover paint will be turned into useful new products instead of eventually going into the trash. This helps lower the cost and reduce the environmental impact of disposal.”
Connecticut disposes of 2.4 million tons of trash annually, an estimated 1,350 pounds of trash per person per year. In 2011 the state recycled and composted about 26 percent of generated waste.