Residents will help to achieve Bronze certification with Sustainable CT

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In 2016, municipal leaders and residents from across the state formed an independently funded, grassroots effort named Sustainable CT. The group created a “roadmap” which set forth the steps needed to promote a town’s economic well-being while, at the same time, respecting the natural environment. The Granby Conservation Commission’s goal is for Granby to become Bronze-certified.

Like death and taxes, there will always be trash. What is done with all the components that make up trash collection is every citizen’s responsibility in Granby. The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) is closing. The date being floated is Sept. 1. After that, trash MIRA had been taking will go elsewhere. A bill to establish a solid waste management working group was enacted on May 24 to recommend short- and long-term strategic solutions for the state of Connecticut. Fortunately, Sustainable CT provides a “roadmap” for each town.

The “roadmap” of sustainability has one obvious stop; waste, recycling and composting. The “roadmap” urges the town to take a hard look at the items being hauled to the burn center. While the department of public works manages the programs in Granby, residents must participate and choose the programs to be implemented.

Pay-as-you-throw or unit-based pricing is a program that charges each household for the amount they choose to throw out in waste. It’s a great program for saving money because each household buys the bags to contain and dispose of their garbage and earns the town between 5 and 30 points for certification.

Composting removes approximately 30 percent of solid waste from total tonnage that’s charged to each household in Granby. Whether a town-wide program is set up or residents use their own composters, this is a worthwhile program that saves money and the environment. It will also earn the town 10 to 40 points toward certification.

Municipal reuse programs like the medical lending locker at Holcomb Farm for aids and accessories is worth 10 to 40 points toward certification because it keeps these devices not already mandated by the state to be recycled, out of solid waste. Creating more of these lend lockers for other gently used yet vital items is a win for our community.

Lastly is food waste prevention or food scraps recovery. Any business, school, church, etc. with large food waste needs a program to keep food waste out of our solid waste tonnage.

Some of these initiatives you may not have heard of and some you may not find desirable. Getting involved and voicing questions or concerns is vital. Attend Conservation Commission meetings on the second Tuesday of every month in the police station conference room at 7 p.m.