To the Editor:
SMART Trash is ONLY a study….
There have been many people extremely concerned about a recent article in the New Britain Herald concerning how we throw our trash away.
I want to assure you the city is not going ahead with this idea any time soon. The city has completed a study under the direction of the Connecticut Department of Environmental and Energy Protection that looked at ways to address the state’s trash crisis. New Britain participated in this study along with 14 other towns like West Hartford and Waterbury, mainly because trash disposal will become increasingly more expensive in the years to come.
The SMART program has been successfully implemented in hundreds of other communities across the country, including other New England municipalities like Portland, Maine and Worcester, Massachusetts-where it’s been in place since the 1990’s.
I want to be clear that this was simply a study and no decision has been made on implementing the program. We took part in the study because we wanted to have an open conversation about the trash crisis and explore ways to reduce waste. Among other findings, the study found that the SMART program could save the City $25 million over 10 years - savings that could be used for road repairs and for supporting our students.
New Britain has been successful over the last several years because we have found innovative ways to address the critical issues facing our city. Yes, this has come with some difficult decision-making, but I remain committed to fully exploring all our options, while keeping in mind the interests of our residents and the future of our city.
It currently costs $62.50 to dispose of one ton of trash-an amount that will undoubtedly increase in the years to come. Conversely, the city receives $9 for every one ton of recyclables that we dispose. Regardless of what direction is chosen in the future, it pays to recycle. It’s good for the city and our environment.
I encourage you to visit www.smarttrashNB.om to learn more about what we discovered. As we continue discussing how to handle the trash crisis, I welcome your feedback.
Keep throwing your trash in the city bin and please don’t forget to recycle!
Mayor Erin E. Stewart