To comply with federal legislation, states throughout the country are replacing old town dumps with a regional system for municipal solid waste disposal.This system includes trash-to-energy incinerators and ash landfills as well as recycling and reduction facilities. While these new types of facilities are expected to be environmentally safer, they have concentrated the disposal process of waste generated throughout the state in fewer locations. State leaders champion the use of newer, cleaner disposal methods, while local community groups complain that they have become the dumping grounds for the state. This is the first environmental equity study to examine whether these newer types of facilities are being disproportionately located in racial/ethnic minority or low-income Connecticut neighborhoods. Our analysis indicates that regional facilities are located nearer to neighborhoods with high percentages of minority and poor residents. Employing multivariate techniques, we found that when we control for other variables, the percentage of racial/ethnic minorities remains a predictor of distance to these regional facilities, while poverty and income do not.



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