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The Cost to Recycle in New Britain is Going Up

Nationwide squeeze on exporting of recyclables results in new cost burden for the City

NEW BRITAIN—Starting July 1, the City of New Britain will now be responsible for paying at least $80 per ton to dispose of recyclables it collects from residents—a major shift in its operations, as previously the City was receiving over $9 per ton for its recyclables.

This trend is occurring all across the country.

Recently, China placed a ban on importing several types of recyclable materials, including most forms of plastic and paper. Before the ban, nearly 4,000 large shipping containers full of recyclable materials were shipped from the United States to China daily, as well as similar quantities of recyclable materials from Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

This had led to a dramatic shift in the cost of processing recyclable materials faced by New Britain and other communities. Until the end of June 2019, New Britain and the other communities who are members of the Bristol Resource Recovery Operating Committee Facility, including Southington, Plainville, Berlin, and Bristol were receiving over $9 per ton for their recyclable materials.

Starting today, New Britain and the other BRRFOC communities will be paying over $80 per ton to dispose of recyclable materials collected from households. Based on recycling tonnage collected in FY 18-19, the tipping fee will increase by approximately $335,000, which has been absorbed in the Public Works Department’s budget; lost revenue amounts to $38,000.

“With this increased cost, it’s important for residents to be mindful of the materials they are placing into the blue recycling bin,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “When you place non-recyclable materials in the blue container, it subjects the City to added disposal costs.”

Items that can be recycled include: clean food and beverage containers; newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, officer paper, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard; and glass and metal food and beverage containers.

“For years the three ‘R’s’ – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle—have been stressed as a way help the environment and reduce the costs of managing waste. Up to this point, the emphasis was primarily on recycling,” said Mark Moriarty, Director of Public Works. “Moving forward though, it’s clear that the other two R’s – Reduce and Reuse are the real keys to reducing costs and living more sustainably. Things like eliminating the use of single use plastics and using a reusable aluminum water bottle rather than a single use plastic bottle is one small change you can make today.”

For households looking to dispose of textile items like clothing and blankets, the City has partnered with Simple Recycling. Residents can recycle these items in a pink bag, which is collected during the bi-weekly recycling collection day. This program has no cost to the City, which receives 0.25 cents per full bag collected. Residents needing additional bags can contact Simple Recycling at or call 860-825-5068.

For additional questions, contact the Public Works main office at 860-826-3350.

Media Contact:

David Huck



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