Episode Information

Not in My Backyard!
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
04/07/2008
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Will the town of Franklin be chosen for the next ash landfill?

 

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45:10 minutes (21.68 MB)
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Tom Kirk, President of CRRA: Photo by Marie KuhnTom Kirk, President of CRRA: Photo by Marie KuhnSo what happens when the classic "not in my backyard" project is planned....and it's in YOUR backyard? The people of Franklin, CT are finding out.

The regional authority that burns trash for power is looking for a new site to dump some 300 thousand tons of ash a year - now that the Hartford landfill is reaching capacity. They've selected a spot in Franklin, Connecticut - a small town in Eastern Connecticut that's generally off the map for big, statewide projects. Now, they're embroiled in a controversy over the most basic of NIMBY issues.

Add in the complexities of Connecticut's local control system - and these battles can divide communities. But they can also provide opportunities. Some residents of Franklin, Connecticut are ecstatic that their town has been chosen as the site of a new ash landfill. It's the residue of the tons of trash burned each year by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. It would mean 300,000 tons of the stuff trucked to Franklin each year, but it could also mean up to $1.5 million to the town budget, sharply cutting taxes.

Franklin, CT resident Jennifer Davis-Muller: Photo by Marie KuhnFranklin, CT resident Jennifer Davis-Muller: Photo by Marie Kuhn
Today, where we live, we'll talk about this proposal - and it's impact on the town and it's residents. But, we'll also be discussing the bigger picture - when do NIMBY concerns trump the greater good? What's the process for choosing one town or the other for a big civic project?

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You can contact us via email at wherewelive@wnpr.org.

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email to wherewelive@wnpr.org

Not sure if you will get this during the show today but here is a
suggestion that might make both the residents of Franklin and the DEP
happy.

Let me preface my remarks with the fact that the city of Canberra in
Australia (Australian Captial Territory) has the strategy of "Zero
Waste by 2010." They are close to their goal after eight years. If
Canberra can do it, any city or state should be able to. I

I suggest that Connecticut hold a competition where towns compete to
reduce the amount of waste going in to landfills. After one year,
the town that scores the lowest would get the landfill. This would
encourage everyone to buy less packaging and to compost and recycle
and more importantly make everyone think about waste by introducing a
consequence to apathy. Whether the looser was Greenwich or
Franklin, the residents would determine the result. This is a
serious proposition [and the state could some how use technology to
get around the requirement of being near a class B or C river--in
fact no pollutants should be allowed in any river.

The waste does not have to go into anyone's back yard! Reduce it to zero.

Good luck with your show; it is an excellent service for Connecticut residents.

Chris

PS I suggest that the environmental program "Living on Earth" be put
into a time period where more Connecticut residents could hear it.

--
Chris Simon
Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
75 North Eagleville Road, University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-3043