Recycling Law To Enact New Phase

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CompostLawVERMONT- Another phase of Vermont's universal recycling law will be enacted on July 1st, and focuses on composting food waste. For now, this affects businesses who generate larger amounts of food waste per year, and the waste facilities that handle it.


Paul Tomasi of the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District explains the impact this will have on his business and businesses that deal with waste management. "First of all, any waste facility that accepts solid waste also has to start collecting food scraps. We've been doing that at about ten locations and we've added several over time, and we started that in 2007. This summer we will be introducing food scrap collection in an additional eleven new locations scattered throughout the Northeast Kingdom," Tomasi says.

In addition, anyone who generates more than 18 tons of food waste will be required to drop it off at any certified facility within 20 miles. Bonnie Paris, manager of the Freighthouse in Lyndonville, explains that even if there are costs to compost, it ends up being more cost effective.

"The reality is it actually saves you money, there's a small fee for getting compost picked up but in terms of comparing it with the landfill waste removal fee, you're saving money and doing the right thing at the same time so it's really a win-win," Paris explains.

Senator Joe Benning of the Caledonia District feels this phase of the recycling law will prove beneficial to local businesses. "Keeping the businesses in the area focused on the fact that we can do this without it having a negative impact on the business bottom line, it's an ongoing conversation and it can be done and I think people are slowly accepting it," Benning says.

The average American wastes five pounds of food per week, and 30 to 40 percent of that is tossed in a landfill. Vermont legislation hopes to set an example for other states in making composting part of daily life, as it plans to do within the next three years.

"In 2020 it will become the law, so people have some time to warm up to that, you know, three more years," Tomasi says.