Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is recommending the Legislature change the state’s recycling laws

Published Jan 21, 2019

The Vermont Legislature passed the Universal Recycling Law in 2012, banning the disposal of recyclables including mixed paper — newspapers, magazines, paper bags, white and colored paper, and mail — into landfills starting in 2015. Food scraps will be banned from trash starting in 2020. But now, as the result of a survey conducted last year with haulers and solid waste district managers, the Vermont DEC is recommending that commercial haulers no longer be required to collect food scraps from single-family homes and residences with less than four units, Cathy Jamieson, head of the state’s solid waste management division, told the Vermont House Committee on Natural Resources.

“The hauler stakeholders brought up that they’re not going to have the density to make this work well, it’s not going to be economically viable for them,” she said.

Haulers would still be required to collect kitchen scraps and other food waste from businesses and multi-unit apartments, unless they can demonstrate that another hauler is collecting food scraps in their pickup area.

Rep. Amy Sheldon, D-Middlebury, chair of the committee, said in an interview that her committee would likely consider DEC’s proposed changes — including the change to the hauler requirement.

“Waste management needs differ from state to state, particularly those with a mix of urban and rural areas.” So, a “one size fits all” approach to compost collection does not necessarily make sense, she said. Sheldon added that businesses have cropped up offering separate home food waste collection services.

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Want to know more about what’s happening in the growing food-waste composting industry, particularly with restaurants, college campus dining hall solutions, and other producers of food waste? EcoRich can help you meet your food waste disposal needs.

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