June 6, 2022

Connecticut Recycling Legislation

While recycling may look different from place to place, Connecticut is one of the few states that has a statewide recycling mandate. This mandate requires that citizens, businesses, public and private agencies, and institutions properly dispose of a number of items for recollection. As stated in Sec. 22a-207(27) of the Connecticut Recycling Laws, items for  recollection include: 1) glass and metal food containers; 2)  residential and non-residential high grade white office paper; 3) old newspaper; 4) scrap metal; 5) old corrugated cardboard; 6) waste oil; 7) motor vehicle storage batteries (e.g. lead acid storage batteries); 8) Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries; 9) leaves; 10) grass clippings; 11) HDPE and PETE plastic containers; 12) boxboard; 13) magazines; and 14) colored ledger paper. The haulers are in charge of communicating these requirements and inspecting garbage loads at the solid waste facility. If recyclables are found in the garbage waste stream, the customer will incur the cost of inspection and additional fees for proper recovery. In addition to enacting fees to promote recycling, Connecticut is one of ten states to incentivize recycling through a state-wide beverage container deposit law.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, beverage container deposit laws are designed to reduce litter and capture bottles, cans, and other recyclable containers. Statute 22a-243 – 22a-246 asserts that any sealed bottle, can, jar, or carton composed of glass, metal or plastic excluding containers over three liters and HDPE can be returned to the state for 5¢ each. In this instance, both the consumer and the state reap benefits of the program. Finally, Connecticut has also created an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Program. The EPR Program focuses on the collection and recycling of used or unwanted electronics equipment, thermostats, paint, and mattresses. Because of this program, nearly all Connecticut citizens have convenient access to collection sites for the targeted products and regional recycling programs have been created to increase public awareness and manage drop-off locations. According to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the EPR program has diverted more than 26 million pounds of material from waste, yielded $2.6 million per year in savings, and provided industries with recycling services worth another $6.7 million. Ultimately, Connecticut’s goal in establishing recycling legislation is to divert 60% of waste from landfills by 2024. 

Why is this important to CIRT?

As states begin to create legislation and incentives around recycling, CIRT’s real time database will reflect these changes and allow our partners to remain up-to-date on local recycling ordinances. Additionally, CIRT’s database provides the tools for proper recovery of a  variety of materials which help consumers and businesses avoid unwanted fees. 


“Recycling Its the Law.” CT.gov, Dec. 2019, https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle/Recycling-Its-the-Law. 

“Recycling Laws - Annotated List.” CT.gov, Feb. 2020, https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Reduce-Reuse-Recycle/Recycling-Laws---Annotated-List. 

Schultz, Jennifer. “State Beverage Container Deposit Laws.” State Beverage Container Deposit Laws, 13 Mar. 2020, https://www.ncsl.org/research/environment-and-natural-resources/state-beverage-container-laws.aspx.

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