While its recycled content mandate would generally be considered a sustainability win, the bill’s text regarding gasification has drawn criticism from environmental groups. | Real Window Creative/Shutterstock

A bill that focuses on PCR requirements and gasification facilities awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature. 

HB 6664 would, among several other changes, set a post-consumer recycled content requirement of 25% by 2027 for plastic beverage containers covered by the state’s bottle bill.

Still, the bill has drawn ire from environmental groups, one calling it “a deeply flawed piece of legislation.” 

HB 6664 would allow the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue a request for information for new material management providers, including those that use gasification systems, which “convert solid waste into gas through a chemical reaction that does not consist of burning.”

The bill would also alter current law to allow similar technologies to qualify for funding from the Connecticut Green Bank.

A press release from advocacy group Just Zero focused on this gasification element and noted that the bill would “keep the state trapped in a toxic, climate-damaging cycle.”

Kevin Budris, Just Zero’s advocacy director, said several last-minute amendments will “push waste gasification on Connecticut communities at the expense of their health and the environment.” 

Those amendments removed the extended producer responsibility program for packaging from the bill, narrowed post-consumer recycled requirements to containers covered by the current deposit return system and eliminated the requirement that municipalities provide food scrap separation and collection by Oct. 1, 2028. 

“Waste gasification has the same toxic, climate-damaging impacts as incineration, and it has a long history of failure across Europe and elsewhere,” he added. “Forcing gasification on Connecticut through a last-minute amendment without a public hearing is reckless, irresponsible and undemocratic.” 

If signed, the bill would also make several alterations to the state’s current materials management laws, including creating a successor to the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) – thereby winding down MIRA – and increasing funding for the state’s sustainable materials management account. 

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