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.
MethodologyEach 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 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 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 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.