The State Bond Commission is expected to approve $3 million in funding next week to shut down the Hartford landfill in the North Meadows.
The funding marks the first installment of $15 million that Gov. M. Jodi Rell included in last year's budget to help defray landfill closing costs — part of a February 2007 agreement between the state, city of Hartford and regional trash authority to close and monitor the landfill, which is near capacity.
Initially, the trash authority and the city disagreed over responsibility for those costs. Under the agreement, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, which has leased the landfill from the city since 1982, will pay the estimated $23.5 million cost to "cap" the dump and assess its environmental impact over the next 30 years.
"The bottom line is that this landfill needs to be closed," Rell spokesman Adam Liegeot said Wednesday.
"Under the agreement, the city receives the environmentally sound closure of the landfill," Liegeot said. He said the CRRA has also agreed to pay the city $2 million in initiatives to encourage recycling and reduce emissions from trash-hauling equipment.
The North Meadows landfill, which opened in 1940, is now used to dispose of ash from the trash-to-energy facility run by the CRRA's Mid-Connecticut Project and bulky waste and other materials that can't be burned, said Paul Nonnenmacher, director of public relations for the CRRA.
That waste will have to be hauled to private landfills once the North Meadows site is shut down Dec. 31, he said.
The CRRA expects to receive all of the $15 million promised by the state by 2009, Nonnenmacher said.
He said that after the landfill is closed, the fees the CRRA charges to remove trash from its 70 participating manipulates, including Hartford, will increase significantly.
The CRRA is now in the process of soliciting bids for a new dump, Nonnenmacher said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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