Vermont Compost Clash

I think you should know about this: The Vermont Composting Co. (VCC) is facing large fines and a ‘cease and desist order‘ from the state Natural Resources Board for not having a by tobo (via Creative Commons)

The composter says he operates a farm and is, thus, exempt from compost permits. The state says he is a manufacturer subject to Act 250 of the state land use rules.

Then there’s this angle: The one composting operation not being bothered is run by the governor’s brother-in-law. Hmm.

VCC accepts food waste from Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District and feeds its chickens with it. Then the remaining food waste and chicken manure are composted along with cow manure from a nearby farm.
In addition to sending more food to the landfill, closing the compost operation would hurt businesses that compost their waste. Here’s an alert from a Vt. farming association, a testimonial written by a VCC customer and an impassioned op-ed.

Neighbors’ complaints about smell play a role in this scenario. This would seem to be another case of development creeping into rural areas and then complaining about the oh-so-agrarian odors there. It reminds me of a similar struggle faced by Wallace Farm, a composting operation near Charlotte, N.C.

If you happen to be anywhere near Barre, Vt., on August 24th, The VCC is holding a legal funds benefit brunch. Also, you can donate funds on the their site or print out, sign and mail this petition (the address is also on the VCC site).

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