SMM Trash Reduction Pilot Program

Sustainable Materials Management Grant Program

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) has awarded $5 million in Sustainable Materials Management Grants to help CT municipalities address the state’s waste crisis.

NVCOG Participants: Ansonia, Seymour, & Woodbury

3 NVCOG municipalities (Ansonia, Seymour, & Woodbury) have received grants to pilot trash reduction programs involving (1) special color-coded bags which help “measure” the amount of waste produced through unit-based pricing of trash, and (2) the separation and co-collection of food scraps to be turned into clean energy.

Follow each municipality's SMM progress below:

Learn how to get involved:

– Learn more about what YOUR municipality is doing to solve CT’s waste crisis.

– If you live in an SMM Grant municipality, be sure to participate in the program. Ask questions and provide feedback. If you live in the community but are outside the project area (ex: live in Woodbury but do not use the transfer station), be sure to let leadership know you want to participate in the future!

– Check out our Waste Crisis Story Map, and read more on the topics of unit-based pricing of trash, food scrap diversion, extended producer responsibility, and the circular economy.

– Volunteer to be a Community Champion by contacting

– Tell your local elected officials that you want action to reduce our trash and increase reducing, reusing, and recycling!

143 Wolcott Road, Wolcott

Project Type: Assessment

Activities: The town has requested assistance obtaining a Phase I environmental site assessment. NVCOG has secured a site access agreement. DTE, the selected environmental firm has produced a phase I report. 

Project Status: NVCOG staff is assisting the Town to facilitate a property transfer. 

O’Sullivan’s Island Fishing and Viewing Platform


O’Sullivan’s Island is a peninsula at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers under the Route 8 bridge that connects Derby and Shelton. NVCOG has assisted with several projects that make the site an asset for the region. 

Even with vehicles going over the peninsula on Route 8 and trains passing nearby, the site offers a peaceful spot for people to enjoy the riverfront. O’Sullivan’s Island is one of the most interesting and naturally beautiful pieces of land in the lower Naugatuck Valley. It is also one of the most challenging brownfield locations NVCOG has had the opportunity to improve. 

Most recently, NVCOG has helped the City of Derby plan and secure funding for the Handicapped Accessible Fishing & Viewing Pier Project on O’Sullivan’s Island. The platform will be 80 feet across, 16 feet wide and extend out 30 feet into the river. Four benches will be included. Bids for building the platform were accepted recently and work is expected to start during 2023. 

Funding for the fishing pier is coming from state and federal agencies. That includes a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Money for that grant came from the $15 million settlement that the General Electric company paid for polluting the Housatonic River. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has also provided a grant of $204,252, with the funding coming from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. 

NVCOG is managing those grant funds and working with the City of Derby and HRP Associates to see the project to completion. 

Progression of Construction

Work to make O’Sullivan’s Island got started well before the fishing pier project. NVCOG Executive Director Rick Dunne Environmental Planner Arthur Bogen, and Brownfields Manager Ricardo Rodriguez orchestrated funding and helped the City of Derby with work that transformed the site. That included getting a $200,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development for Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. Those assessments are complete, and monitoring of the site is ongoing. 

O’Sullivan’s Island Recreation Park reopened to the public in 2009 after being closed for more than twenty years. In 2013, the City of Derby completed its portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway trail that runs across the site’s northern edge. 

HydroLand Kinneytown Dam Fish Passage

An ineffective fish ladder at Kinneytown Dam in Seymour, owned by HydroLand, is currently preventing migratory fish from accessing miles of restored habitat upstream. NVCOG has joined the Naugatuck River Restoration Coalition with the goal of returning migratory fish to the Naugatuck River by ensuring that safe, timely and effective fish passage is established at Kinneytown Dam. The Coalition has developed an Interactive Story Map to explain the issue. 

Kinneytown Dam and Fish Ladder
Kinneytown Dam and Fish Ladder, Seymour, CT

As a hydroelectric generating facility, Kinneytown Dam is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  As part of the facility’s license exemption, Hydroland must provide for safe, timely and effective fish passage at the dam.  FERC opened a docket in Fall of 2020 in response to a letter from the US Fish and Wildlife Service documenting inadequate fish passage at the facility.  NVCOG is participating in the docket to ensure that regional and municipal voices are heard by regulators. 

**Update** On December 14, 2022, the US Department of Commerce announced that NVCOG has been recommended for funding for a project intended to lead to the removal of Kinneytown Dam. The funding is being made available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal grant program.  The Naugatuck River Restoration Coalition issued a press release in response. 

Hydroland, HydroLand, HydroLand Omega, Hydroland Inc, Hydroland Corp, Hydroland Corporation, 

Explore the Issue:

This interactive storymap details the effort to restore migratory fish to the Naugatuck River, and the current issues at Kinneytown Dam keeping fish from miles of restored habitat upstream.

More Information:

Let the Naugatuck River Run Silver Again Op-Ed by John Waldman published in Hearst Media publications 12/4/2020


Staff Contact:

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner