The Vermont Legislature unanimously passed the Universal Recycling (UR) law in 2012, which bans disposal of recyclables (metal, glass, plastics #1 & #2, and paper/cardboard) by JULY 1, 2015; leaf and yard debris and clean wood by JULY 1, 2016; and food scraps by JULY 1, 2020.* It also requires solid waste haulers and facilities to collect these same materials for a fee.
Organic material (such as food scraps, leaf and brush, and other materials that used to be alive) make up an average of over 25% of the residential and more than 15% of the industrial, commercial, and institutional waste stream in Vermont. Organics are the single largest type of material that makes up Vermont residential waste. *These numbers are based upon a 2013 Waste Composition Study.
Vermont’s new solid waste law, Universal Recycling (Act 148), calls for the diversion of all food scraps, leaf and yard debris, and clean wood debris from the landfill and instead towards sustainable management strategies, notably composting. These materials must be diverted on a graduated time line based on quantity produced and type of material; these details and more are available on the Universal Recycling web page.
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