Urban Environmental Program in New England
Grants and Projects: Capacity Building
Bridgeport Public Schools
“Bridgeport Schools Recycling Pilot”
Although State mandated since 1991, an estimated 4% of Bridgeport’s collected refuse is recycled, comparing poorly with Connecticut’s statewide rate of 30%. Trash from Bridgeport and other local cities/towns is incinerated in a facility in Bridgeport, releasing emissions locally. Ozone levels and incidences of asthma are also high. This project seeks to increase paper recycling in order to reduce solid waste incineration, ultimately improving air quality for the City of Bridgeport. Activities include creating school recycling teams composed of custodial staff, students, teachers, parent volunteers, and school administrators to increase the capacity of two pilot schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut to improve recycling, educating youth and their families about recycling and its benefits. The pilot project will serve as a model to all other schools in Bridgeport.
Measurable Results: Number of recycling bins for classrooms and offices; Number of lectures & guest speaker presentations at schools; Increased recycling rates; Pounds of paper waste collected
Partners: Bridgeport Board of Education, Connecticut Resources Rocvery Authority, B-Green 2020, City of Bridgeport Public Facilities
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ)
“Get Bridgeport Recycling”
Recycling and safe disposal of hazardous household waste have become major concerns in the City of Bridgeport, CT. Recycling would be a way to remove metals and hazardous materials from household waste which is currently burned at the local trash incinerator and thereby reduce toxic air emissions. There is concern that the incinerator emissions have contributed to the city’s near 20% asthma rate, which is twice the national average. Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice works to promote fair and meaningful involvement of Connecticut’s urban residents in environmental policies that effect where they live, play, and work by providing education to the community and promoting individual, corporate, and governmental responsibility toward Connecticut’s city environments. This project seeks to create a Speakers Bureau to educate Bridgeport residents on how to recycle and safely dispose of hazardous waste as a way to improve city health. CCEJ will also work with the city through the Go Green Sustainability Committee to develop a plan to make recycling accessible to more residents and small businesses. Activities include training community residents to educate the public through the Recycling Speakers Bureau, presenting on radio and television shows and do outreach through newspaper articles, and distributing brochures on how to recycle.
Measurable Results: Number of brochures distributed; Number of community residents trained through the Speakers Bureau; Number of meetings with the Go Green Initiative; Increase in recycled household materials; Increase in safe disposal of household hazardous waste.
Project Partners: Go Green Sustainability Initiative, Bridgeport Department of Public Works, Optimus Health Care