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MAP: How Green is Your Town?

Ranking Connecticut towns based on how they reduce, reuse and recycle.

With Earth Day on Tuesday, Patch is wrapping up our series breaking down the numbers behind Connecticut towns’ environmental impact.

In the last few weeks, we’ve looked at the total amount of garbage generated per person and how much of that trash gets recycled, as well as how much open space is conserved in each town.

This week, we’re adding metrics on population density and energy efficiency to come up with a ranking of the “greenest” towns in Connecticut.

Use the map above to find a breakdown for each town in the state and check out the slideshow and list of the highest and lowest ranked towns here.

Methodology

Each town received points in six categories: Population Density (0-5); Trash per Person (0-5); Percent Recycled (0-6); Residential Energy Programs (0-5); Municipal & Business Energy Programs (0-5); and Tree City Designation (0-1).

[Due to gaps in the data for several towns, open space per acre was not included in the final tally. See this post for more on conservation.]

The weighting awards points based on where a town’s data falls on the range for all towns in each category, creating a ranking system comparing the towns to each other, rather than against some goal.

Population Density
Population as of July 2012 divided by the total square miles. Lowest (5 points): Union — 852; Highest (0 points): Bridgeport — 146,425.

Trash per Person
Total pounds of solid waste collected within a municipality, as reported to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), divided by the population. Lowest (5 points): Andover — 357.25; Highest (0 points): Bozrah — 2,444.06.

Percent Recycled
Percent of total solid waste recycled, as reported to the DEEP. Highest (6 points): Middlebury — 52.6 percent; Lowest (1 point): Ansonia — 6.6 percent; nine towns are in violation of state statute for not reporting (0 points).

Residential Energy Programs
Percent of town to enroll in or take advantage of an energy efficiency program, such as Home Energy Solutions, between 2010 and 2013, according to data maintained by the state’s Energize CT initiative. Highest (5 points): Canaan — 32.4 percent; Lowest (0 points): Bozrah and Norwich both have 0 percent.

Municipal & Business Programs
Percent of businesses and municipal operations to enroll in or take advantage of energy efficiency programs, such as Energy Conscious Blueprint, between 2010 and 2013, according to Energize CT. Highest (5 points): Mansfield — 32.64 percent; Lowest (0 points): five towns had 0 percent.

Tree City
Tree City USA, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation, recognizes towns that meet four criteria: maintaining a tree board or department; having a tree ordinance; spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry; and having an annual Arbor Day celebration. The 19 Connecticut towns awarded the Tree City USA designation received 1 additional point.
Joel April 22, 2014 at 01:17 PM
@Wbyguy... Oh Really? A Swedish study found that the planet was warmer in ancient Roman times and the Middle Ages than today, challenging the mainstream idea that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main drivers of global warming. http://www.co2science.org/articles/V16/N50/EDIT.php Where is your data from. Or is it true "because you say so"...
Joel April 22, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Here's more... From http://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/why-did-earth%E2%80%99s-surface-temperature-stop-rising-past-decade Why did Earth’s surface temperature stop rising in the past decade? The most likely explanation for the lack of significant warming at the Earth’s surface in the past decade or so is that natural climate cycles—a series of La Niña events and a negative phase of the lesser-known Pacific Decadal Oscillation—caused shifts in ocean circulation patterns that moved some excess heat into the deep ocean. Hmmmm... So much for your theory that the Earth has been warming for the last 140 years! You also say "It has had the most precipitous rate of warming in the past 40 years". No, sorry, not true again. You can't just make stuff up and expect that everyone will believe you.
Anthony Powers April 22, 2014 at 06:10 PM
@ Wbyguy. Is AL Gore you cousin. The global warming is a bunch of BULL. Now where did i put the keys to my CAMARO!!!

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