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Redding revising solid waste ordinance to meet state goal

November 23, 2018

REDDING — The town is crafting a new solid waste ordinance as a way to meet a state goal to reduce the amount of local waste produced and to better reflect current practices.

An updated ordinance is a component of the state’s Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy adopted in 2016. This new plan is designed to help the state reach its goal of diverting 60 percent of waste from disposal by 2024.

Part of reaching that goal means localities have to create plans to reduce their wastestreams by 10 percent. The baseline figures are determined by the 2014 statistics. For Redding, that baseline is 36 percent.

“That’s really good,” Jennifer Heaton-Jones, the executive director of the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, told the selectmen at the recent meeting.

She suggested a way the town could reduce its waste further is to push the composting program to help cut down the organic waste being thrown out, which also tend to be the heaviest materials in the wastestream. Redding is one of five towns in the authority to implement this program.

The ordinance should be done by December, but Heaton-Jones said there is a little wiggle room on the adoption. She and First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton will meet in the coming days to draft Redding’s new ordinance, most likely just updating the model HRRA has already created for its members.

HRRA includes 11 towns in the Danbury area, spanning from Redding up to Bridgewater.

Heaton-Jones said the authority’s attorney drafted the ordinance to meet the state statues and cover the requirements outlined in the state management strategy. It also allows for the town to adjust it to meet its needs, determining who will enforcement the requirements and establishing the costs of the fines.

“It will make your process streamlined,” she said.

She said the ordinance is especially helpful if a hauler is not complying with the code.

“You want to protect yourself from folks who may be doing business and harming your residents,” Heaton-Jones said, adding some examples are mixing recyclables and illegally setting up dumpsters.

Pemberton also recognized the need to update the ordinance regardless of the state requirement.

“There’s a lot in the old ordinance that is obsolete,” she said.

Examples include how the permitting system works and the stipulation of having haulers take trash to a landfill, which are no longer allowed in Connecticut.

kkoerting@newstimes.com, 203-731-3345

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