Sustainability Leaders Get Up Close and Personal with the Recycling Plant

The group toured the plant's Trash Museum prior to touring the facilities.
July 11, 2012

Yale’s Sustainability Leaders recently paid a visit to the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA) Trash Museum in Hartford. The group was taken on a tour of the CRRA single stream recycling plant and trash museum.

Yale’s Sustainability Leaders recently paid a visit to the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA) Trash Museum in Hartford. The group was taken on a tour of the CRRA single stream recycling plant and trash museum. They saw how recyclables at the plant are processed from the time they are delivered to the point they are shipped away to commodity markets.

The plant’s sorting and processing systems are displayed via live video stream for visitors to view as they look on from an observation deck over the plant.  This provides a detailed look at how items which can and cannot be recycled are sorted and separated for processing, bundled and shipped off. 

The museum also highlighted a model trash-to-energy plant, common in Connecticut, where items that cannot be recycled are used as fuel for energy production instead of being sent to a landfill.

Sustainability Leaders were given opportunities to ask questions specific to their own workplaces, and will return to their departments with resources for waste reduction and improved diversion habits. For more information about CRRA or resources to games and videos of the recycling plant, visit their website.    

The Yale Sustainability Leaders are staff volunteers who collaborate with the Office of Sustainability to create sustainable workplaces throughout campus. These important members of the Yale community spend a few hours each month educating their co-workers about the importance and ease of adopting sustainable office practices including waste reduction and recycling efforts, energy conservation measures, and green purchasing. To get involved please visit the Sustainability Leaders website.

The tour guide explained the sorting process via the plant's live camera feed.

After seeing the process up close, the sustainability leaders were able to see the recycling plant at work.

The tour guide explained composting and answered all questions from the sustainability leaders.