PA 10-87—sHB 5120

Environment Committee

Planning and Development Committee


SUMMARY: This act:

1. expands the types of items that must be recycled (see BACKGROUND);

2. requires solid waste collectors and most municipalities to offer curbside or backyard recycling to those to whom they offer curbside or backyard waste removal;

3. requires recycling receptacles at common gathering venues that already have solid waste collection and that generate designated recyclable items;

4. prohibits zoning regulations from barring recycling receptacles, requiring receptacles to conform to most bulk or lot area regulations (see BACKGROUND), or unreasonably restricting size of or access to recycling receptacles;

5. requires contracts between solid waste contractors and their commercial customers to address how the customers' recycling will be handled;

6. modifies and adds to the contents of the annual recycling reports municipalities submit to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);

7. requires the DEP to report on composting facilities and, in consultation with the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), submit a study on the beneficial uses of ash residue;

8. creates new reporting requirements for solid waste and recycling collectors; and

9. makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Various, see below.


Prior law required each municipality to file an annual recycling report with the DEP by August 31 and required the DEP commissioner to provide a form for these reports by June 1, 1991. The act instead requires annual submission beginning September 30, 2010 and requires the commissioner to provide the report form by July 1, 2010.

The act changes the required report contents. Under existing law, they must include (1) a description of efforts to promote recycling and ensure separation requirement compliance; (2) the amount of each type of recyclable item contained in its solid waste stream delivered to a recycling facility, as reported by the recycling facility or a scrap metal processor; and (3) the amount of solid waste generated by the municipality and delivered to a resources recovery or solid waste facility for disposal, as reported by the facility.

The act retains the first reporting requirement, but eliminates the second and third. Instead, it requires municipalities to (1) identify the first destination for solid waste and recyclable materials generated within the municipality and (2) report the actual or estimated amounts of solid waste and recyclable material that has been delivered to a first destination out of state or a Connecticut end user. If the amounts of solid waste are unknown, the municipality must give DEP contact information for the collector, which the act defines as any person who holds himself or herself out for hire to collect solid waste on a regular basis from residential, business, commercial, or other establishments ( 11).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage


By law, the DEP commissioner designates through regulations certain items that must be recycled. The act defines these items as “designated recyclable items. ” It requires the DEP commissioner to amend the regulations, by October 1, 2011, to expand the list of designated recyclable items to include (1) containers of three gallons or less made of polyethylene terephthalate plastic and high-density polyethylene plastic; (2) boxboard; and (3) additional types of paper, including magazines, residential high-grade white paper, and colored ledge paper. The act also includes grass clippings and consumer products in the list of designated recyclable items. Current regulations require the recycling of grass clippings.

The act defines (1) “boxboard” as a lightweight paperboard made from a variety of recovered fibers having sufficient folding properties and thickness to be used to manufacture folding or set-up boxes and (2) “designated recyclable item” as an item the DEP commissioner has designated for recycling.

The act gives municipalities more time to recycle designated items. A municipality must recycle the designated items within six months of the availability of service by a regional processing center or local processing system. Prior law required a municipality to recycle the items within three months of the establishment of service by a center or system.

The law requires (1) people generating waste from a residential property to separate designated items from their solid waste for recycling and (2) nonresidential solid waste generators to make provision for recycling. The act specifies that people generating waste from nonresidential properties must use separate collection containers for recycling. It also allows containers previously used for solid waste collection to be converted and used for recyclable item collection by labeling or otherwise identifying them as such.

These requirements apply to existing designated recyclable items effective October 1, 2010 and to the additional designated recyclable items effective July 1, 2012.

The act prohibits anyone from knowingly combining previously segregated items designated for recycling with solid waste.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010


The act prohibits municipal zoning regulations from disallowing receptacles for storing items that must be recycled. Zoning regulations also cannot (1) require the receptacles to comply with bulk or lot area provisions, except those for side, rear, and front yards or (2) unreasonably restrict the size of or access to receptacles, given the nature of the business and volume of recyclables the business produces in its normal course of business. The act does not prohibit regulations requiring screening or buffering receptacles for aesthetic reasons.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010


The act requires municipalities, by July 1, 2011, to offer curbside or backyard collection of designated recyclable items to all residents and businesses for which they provide municipal curbside or backyard solid waste collection as of October 1, 2010. It exempts any municipality whose percentage of solid waste recycling over a three-year period the DEP commissioner determines exceeds the statewide average for the amount of municipal solid waste recycled during that period.

The act requires each solid waste collector offering curbside or backyard residential solid waste collection in a municipality to offer curbside or backyard collection of designated recyclable items to its customers. It requires this recyclable collection to be included in the charge for solid waste collection. But it does not prohibit collectors from adjusting fees for combined curbside collection services. It exempts collectors serving a municipality that the DEP commissioner determines exceeds the statewide average percentage of solid waste recycling over a three-year period.

The act defines “curbside or backyard collection” as the collection, by either municipal or private collectors, of presorted designated recyclable items or solid waste that residents and businesses leave for collection in the front or rear of their property.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010


The act creates a new recycling requirement for common gathering venues (1) where designated recyclable items may be generated during a public gathering and (2) that provide for solid waste collection. Under the act, these venues must provide recycling receptacles to collect designated recyclable items that are sold or given away there. However, the act does not require a venue's owner or operator or the municipality where the venue is located to provide recycling receptacles if someone else provides them pursuant to a contract.

The act defines “common gathering venue” as any area or building, or portion of it, that is open to the public, including any:

1. building that provides facilities or shelter for public assembly;

2. inn, hotel, motel, sports arena, supermarket, transportation terminal, retail store, restaurant, or other commercial establishment providing services or retailing merchandise; or

3. museum, hospital, auditorium, movie theater, or university building.

The act requires recycling receptacles to be as accessible to the public and at the same locations as trash receptacles. It allows existing trash receptacles to be converted to recycling receptacles by labeling or other means appropriate to identify that they are for the collection of designated recyclable items.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011


The act establishes requirements for commercial contracts between solid waste collectors and their business customers. Specifically, it requires each commercial contract for solid waste collection to provide for designated recyclable item collection, either by the same collector or someone identified by the customer as contractor for recyclable collection. It does not require businesses to contract exclusively with one collector for both designated recyclable items and solid waste. If the business chooses a separate recyclable collector, the contract must identify the collector.

The act specifies that each collector must provide each business with clear written or pictorial instructions on how to separate designated recyclable items.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012


The act requires the DEP commissioner to submit to the Environment Committee, by June 1, 2011, a report on the costs and benefits to the state, municipalities, and waste generators of removing food from the waste stream. The report must also identify incentives and guidance the state could give to develop composting facilities. The act defines these facilities as land, appurtenances, structures, or equipment where organic materials originating from another process or location that have been separated at the point or source of generation from nonorganic material are recovered using a process of accelerated biological decomposition of organic material under controlled aerobic or anaerobic conditions.

The act also requires the DEP commissioner, in consultation with CASE, to study and submit to the Environment Committee, by January 1, 2011, a report on the potential beneficial use of ash residue.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage


The act expands registration and reporting requirements for collectors and establishes new ones. It limits the collectors covered to those who hold themselves out for hire to collect solid waste on a regular basis. Existing law requires solid waste collectors to (1) register with any municipality in which he or she hauls waste generated by residential, business, commercial, or other establishments and (2) disclose the name of any other municipality in which he or she hauls waste.

The act extends these requirements to collectors hauling recyclables generated within a municipality. It also requires both types of collectors to disclose in their registration (1) the collector and collection company owner's names and addresses; (2) whether the hauling done is residential, commercial, or “other; ” (3) the type of waste hauled; (4) the anticipated disposal facility or end user location for recyclable solid waste; and (5) any information the municipality requires to ensure resident health and safety.

The act requires collectors, by July 31, 2011, to report annually to municipalities, on a form prescribed by the DEP commissioner, (1) the types of solid waste and recyclables generated within the municipality and collected by the collector; (2) the name, location, and contact information for the first destination where waste and recyclables were delivered the previous fiscal year; and (3) the types and actual or estimated amount of waste and recyclables delivered out of state or to a Connecticut end user or manufacturer. The recyclables upon which collectors must report include (1) cardboard, (2) glass, metal, and plastic food and beverage containers, (3) leaves, (4) newspapers, (5) storage batteries, (6) waste oil, and (7) office paper. The reports must include information for the preceding state fiscal year and any other information the commissioner deems necessary.

The act also requires collectors hauling solid waste in the state from, or to, an in-state entity other than a permitted resources recovery facility to report annually beginning by July 31, 2011 on the (1) types of solid waste and recyclables collected; (2) for municipal waste, the municipalities of origin; (3) the amount delivered by weight, volume, or other measure acceptable to the DEP commissioner, including recyclables; and (4) the name, address, and contact information of the recipient of the waste or recyclables.

Finally, the act requires collectors hauling municipal solid waste generated in the state and delivering it, including recyclables, to a permitted resources recovery facility, to identify in their report (1) the originating regional facility; (2) the originating municipality, if the waste did not pass through a regional facility; or (3) the original regional facility or state if the waste originated outside the state. Collectors must estimate the amount of waste per municipality if the solid waste load comes from more than one municipality. But since this requirement appears to apply only to collectors hauling municipal solid waste generated in the state, it is unclear how it applies to waste originated outside the state (i. e. , #3, above).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010


Items Required To Be Recycled

By law, the following must be recycled:

1. glass and metal food and beverage containers,

2. corrugated cardboard,

3. newspaper,

4. white office paper,

5. scrap metal,

6. Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries (from electronics),

7. used crankcase oil,

8. lead acid batteries (from vehicles),

9. leaves, and

10. grass (clippings should be left on the lawn or, if necessary, composted, according to DEP) (Conn. Agencies Reg. 22a-241b-2).

Bulk Area Regulations

By law, a municipal zoning commission may create regulations concerning (1) the height, number of stories, and size of buildings and other structures; (2) the percentage of a lot's area that may be occupied; (3) yard, court, and open space size; (4) population density and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes, including water dependent uses; and (5) advertising signs' and billboards' height, size, and location. These types of regulation are sometimes referred to as “bulk” regulations (CGS 8-2(a)).

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