Feb 12

In the Face of a Waste Crisis, These Municipalities are Stepping Up & Leading the Way to Waste Reduction

It seems that lately when it comes to news about waste and recycling, it’s bad news story after bad news story. Connecticut is facing a waste crisis, and the fate of the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) facility is uncertain. However, there is good news out there as well.  In Connecticut, 31 municipalities have stepped up to the plate and taken a leading role in waste reduction by diverting textiles from their waste stream.

These communities were able to accomplish this by partnering with Simple Recycling, a curbside textile recycling company which diverts used textiles away from incinerators and into the reuse stream. Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain, says that her city is excited to partner with an innovative company like Simple Recycling, and that she “encourage[s] residents to use the pink bag [because] it saves the City and taxpayers money.” Simple Recycling began operating in CT with its New Britain Hub in 2017, and in the fall of 2019 the company expanded its operations by adding a second facility in Stamford.

According to the US EPA, the average US resident throws away more than 85 pounds of textiles each year. Burning textiles is especially costly to our environment as many of them are manufactured using synthetic fibers which contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions. So far, Connecticut residents participating in Simple Recycling programs have managed to prevent more than 1.7 million pounds of textiles from going up in smoke in one of the State’s 5 incinerators. To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to the weight of approximately 131 adult elephants!

For towns like West Hartford where Public Works Director John Philips notes that they are “working hard to provide programs to prevent materials from entering the waste stream,” the Simple Recycling program is a win/win. Philips also points out that the program is “a great fit because it’s free to the Town and residents appreciate the convenient service.”  Simple Recycling makes it easy for towns to participate.  For a town to participate, they “Simply” need to sign up for the free program.  Residents are then sent bags that they place next to their recycling on the curbside.  Simple picks up the textiles, sorts, and then resells or recycles them depending on the condition of the goods. With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaching this spring, now is a great time to get this up and running across Connecticut!

Participating Communities

About WasteZero

WasteZero, the leading provider of the most effective waste reduction programs in the US, partners with more than 400 municipalities to reduce waste landfilled and burned, increase recycling, and generate savings. Our WasteZero Trash Metering™ programs and Pay-As-You-Throw conversion programs reduce solid waste 44% annually on average.

WasteZero uses leading edge technology to manufacture all our programs’ supplies, including customized plastic trash bags. Our Retail Store Distribution Program™ offers trash bag warehousing, inventory management, accounting, and more. WasteZero has offices in Massachusetts, Raleigh, NC, Murrells Inlet, SC, and Chicago, IL.


Alice Koehler

Senior Vice President, Marketing