The mounting problem of how to handle Connecticut’s 2.5 million tons of annual waste prompted the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to launch the Organics Infrastructure Initiative in late February.

With the MIRA trash facility in Hartford set to shut down in 2022, the state of Connecticut is facing a waste crisis. Plans to close MIRA in 2022 will force big changes in our local waste disposal. But there is good news.

Getting food waste out of the trash may also provide the key to how Connecticut repairs the dated, expensive, fragmented and environmentally fraught waste systems in the state. But the question is whether it makes more sense to get the food out of the waste stream first or whether other parts of the system get fixed first so the food part follows.