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MIRA says Hartford trash will be diverted to Torrington, Essex in coming months

The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority trash-to-energy plant in Hartford, Conn.
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public
The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority trash-to-energy plant in Hartford, Conn.

Officials at the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) will shutter their trash incinerator and stop bringing garbage into Hartford by mid-to-late July.

The decision comes on the heels of rising disposal costs and uncertainty about MIRA’s future, leading 26 towns to recently decide to stop sending their trash to the state-owned garbage incinerator starting July 1. MIRA says an additional town, Marlborough, has also opted out.

MIRA had claimed for months that it was planning to convert the spot where it burns trash in Hartford into a transfer station for garbage. But that plan received pushback from state officials and city leaders in Hartford.

MIRA President Tom Kirk told the agency’s board of directors on Wednesday that the Hartford transfer station plan is now off the table.

“We will be withdrawing our permit modification application for a modification to our solid waste permit at the South Meadows facility,” Kirk said. “We will not be needing that for the plan moving forward.”

In an email to Connecticut Public Radio, Kirk said MIRA would stop burning garbage in Hartford and divert all waste out of the city.

“The plan is to move the few remaining tons of MSW [municipal solid waste] being delivered to the South Meadows facility to the transfer stations in Torrington and Essex so that we won’t need to transfer out of South Meadows,” Kirk said. “No more renewable energy generation on site, no transfer operations at South Meadows after mid-to-late July.”

MIRA officials estimate about 70,000 tons of garbage from 25 remaining member towns will be annually diverted to transfer stations in Torrington and Essex.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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