Putting the Green in Green Mountain State

Vermont towns are starting to sift through a recent law enacted that will change how they interact with waste. Through a series of steps to begin in 2015, Act 148 (lawyerese full text) will revolutionize the state’s approach to trash.

As explained in this simplified version on page 9-10, the bill will require residents to separate many items from their household trash. By 2020, Vermonters will have to separate food waste from their regular waste stream.

It’s unclear whether this separated food waste will be sent to a composting, anaerobic digestion or other kind of facility (Perhaps feeding hogs or…moose?). No matter the outcome, it can’t be worse than the landfill-heavy status quo.

Coming in the wake of Massachusetts’ ban on commercial food waste by 2014, this is another large step toward keeping food out of landfills. And from what we read here–there will be an emphasis on reducing the amount of waste created by making people pay for the volume of waste discarded while recycling food (and other stuff) will be free. Amen.

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  1. Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I’m always surprised at how long it takes to implement these changes – 8 years seems like an awfully long time! And I’m pretty surprised a state like Vermont doesn’t already have something like this in place. I don’t consider my city (Hamilton, ON) to be all that progressive, but we’ve had curbside green bins (food waste pickup) for several years already. It will be interesting to see how the Vermont population reacts to having to pay for their non-food waste. Our city went to a 1 bag trash limit when the green bins came out, and there was a huge public outcry (and we don’t even have to pay for our trash). I’m still shocked at how much garbage people can produce. Our family of four usually has less than a quarter of a bag per week without making any superhuman efforts. I’d like to get it down even further!

    BTW, LOVE your book and have been recommending it to lots of people. I’m going to be doing a holiday Food Waste Challenge on my blog from Black Friday to New Year’s Day – I want to see how close to zero I can get!! And hopefully get more families thinking about this important issue :)

  2. Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I’m still trying to figure out what to do with animal waste (things with with dairy/bones/animal skins). We had rats and chipmunks in our compost, so I’ve been at a loss.

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