ORGANICS

Organics 

 

July 1, 2017 - Transfer stations are required to offer food scrap collection to its residents.  Transfer stations can charge for the service.

July 1, 2018 - Haulers will be required to offer food scrap collection service.

  • Haulers can charge for the service;
  • Residents do not have to accept the service and can manage foods scraps using other options; and
  • Haulers could subcontract out the service to have another hauler collect food scraps from customers.

July 1, 2020 - Residents can no longer dispose of food scraps in their trash.

  • Can manage at home, feeding livestock or backyard composting (UR law allows residents to dispose of meat and bones when composting at home);
  • Can take food scraps to a local drop off location;
  • Can take food scraps to a local composting facility, if there’s one nearby; and
  • Pay haulers to pick up curbside.

By 2020, all residents of Vermont will be required to compost or divert organics from landfills. Check out this list of food haulers in the State.

Food Donation in Vermont - Vermont's Universal Recycling Law adopted a Food Recovery Hierarchy in 2012.

Let's Feed People Not Landfills! - The law will ensure consistent recycling, food scrap, and waste services statewide by 2020.  The Agency of Natural Resources has created a webpage  to connect residents, businesses, and institutions with collection services and food rescue agencies, haulers, and composters with sources of quality food and food scraps. The information provides information needed to reduce waste and increase the development of infrastructure and systems to manage food waste for beneficial uses.

Food Hierarchy Pyramid

Many people think of food waste as a benign substance. It rots down in the landfill anyway, so no problem, right?

Wrong! For food to compost properly, it needs light and air. In the landfill, it has neither. Instead, food without light and air produces methane gas, which contributes to global warming. It is estimated that we throw away one third of the food we buy each week!

No Food Wasted

Through poor portion control or buying too much fresh food that goes off before we use it we create a lot of waste. Follow these tips to help you reduce food waste, save money and protect the environment:

1. Write a list!
Menu plan your meals for a week. Check the ingredients in your fridge and cupboards, then write a shopping list for just the extras you need.

2. Stick to the list!
Take your list with you and stick to it when you're in the store. Don't be tempted by offers and don't shop when you're hungry — you'll come back with more than you need.

3. Keep a healthy fridge.
Check that the seals on your fridge are good and check the fridge temperature too. Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and longevity.

4. Don't throw it away!
Fruit that is just going soft can be made into smoothies or fruit pies. Vegetables that are starting to wilt can be made into soup.

5. Use up your leftovers.
Instead of scraping leftovers into the bin, why not use them for tomorrow's ingredients? A bit of tuna could be added to pasta and made into a pasta bake. A tablespoon of cooked vegetables can be the base for a crock pot meal.

6. Rotate. 
When you buy new food from the store, bring all the older items in your cupboards and fridge to the front. Put the new food towards the back and you run less risk of finding something moldy at the back of your food stores!

7. Serve small amounts.
Serve small amounts of food with the understanding that everybody can come back for more once they've cleared their plate. This is especially helpful for children, who rarely estimate how much they can eat at once. Any leftovers can be cooled, stored in the fridge and used another day.

8. Buy what you need.
Buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of prepacked, then you can buy exactly the amount you need. Choose meats and cheese from a deli so that you can buy what you want.

9. Freeze! 
If you only eat a small amount of bread, then freeze it when you get home and take out a few slices a couple of hours before you need them. Likewise, batch cook foods so that you have meals ready for those evenings when you are too tired to cook.

10. Turn it into garden food. 
Some food waste is unavoidable, so why not set up a compost bin for fruit and vegetable peelings? In a few months you will end up with rich, valuable compost for your plants. If you have cooked food waste, then a kitchen composter (bokashi bin) will do the trick. Just feed it with your scraps (you can even put fish and meat in it), sprinkle over a layer of special microbes and leave to ferment. The resulting product can be used on houseplants and in the garden.

BFresh Produceuy High Quality Foods from Local Farmers and Producers Year Round - The food is conveniently delivered to your work-site or community pickup location. How does it work?  Orders are placed online between Tuesday noon and Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  Producers receive orders and prepare foods for delivery.  Producers deliver food to aggregation point.  Customers pick up orders Wednesday afternoon.

Benefits of Eating Food in Season:

1. Eating seasonally is less expensive. When food is in season, there’s more of it, which drives the cost down.  Basic supply and demand!

2. Eating seasonally tastes better. In general, eating seasonally also means eating more locally, allowing foods to be harvested when they’re ripest and taste best. Foods that are shipped long distances are picked before they ripen to avoid rotting before they are put out for sale.  Think about the tomatoes you eat in the summer versus the tomatoes you purchase and eat in January.

3. Eating seasonally is better for your health. Food picked when it’s ripest has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than food picked before it ripens and transported many miles before it makes its way to your kitchen. Produce lose nutrients during transport. Eating seasonally can help your body adapt to the surrounding environment. Squash and root vegetables that are readily available in the fall are packed with beta carotene, an immune boosting nutrient.  The extra immune system support can help us stay healthy. 

4. Eating seasonally inspires culinary creativity.  Eating seasonally helps your creative cooking skills to think outside of the box. You can find seasonal produce guides along with hundreds of recipes online. Get inspired to try new ingredients and recipes that keep your taste buds alert and your body healthy.

5. Eating seasonally minimizes your carbon footprint. Most produce in the U.S. is shipped nearly 1,500 miles from farm to plate. By eating produce that’s in season locally, your food won’t have traveled quite so far. If you absolutely must have out-of-season produce, look in the frozen food section of your local grocery store.

 

Helpful Links:

Could you rise to a zero waste challenge? For further information, visit our site, myzerowaste.com.

Save the Food - Wasting food wastes everything: water, fuel, labor, money, love.

Follow Save the Food and visit http://www.savethefood.com/ to learn how you can help stop food waste.

  • This cute PSA tells the story of food waste through the life of a strawberry. A campaign, called Save the Food, wants you to relate to food waste like you would an adorable furry animal: http://buff.ly/23WxliR

Compost
 
 

 

 Options for food scrap diversion to residents.  

Please visit http://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/solid/materials-mgmt/organic-materials for additional information on organic materials.  Please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Webinar for Food Establishments:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA2C3DzBKVM

Guidance & Fact Sheets (available at www.VTrecycles.com)

Universal Recycling (UR) Summary Sheet & Timeline

Recycling Guidance for ResidentsUR for Businesses, UR for Haulers, UR for Municipalities

Variable Rate Pricing (Pay As You Throw) Guide

Parallel Collection Factsheet

Statewide List of Food Scrap Haulers

Managing Food Scraps at Businesses

Food Donation and School Share Table Guidance – Created in partnership with the Department of Health and Agency of Agriculture

Resident Home Compost Tips

LEAF, YARD, AND CLEAN WOOD DEBRIS

Leaf and Yard Debris - Leaf, yard, and clean wood debris are banned from disposal in solid waste and landfills as of July 1, 2016. The Agency of Natural Resources has prepared a guide to assist with the new requirement.  Josh Kelly, of Vermont ANR speaks with WCAX TV about the new law. Listen to the interview.

Leaf, Yard, and Clean Wood Debris Guide

pile of leavesComposting Leaves in the Garden – Learn the Benefits of Leaf Compost

Composting leaves is a terrific way to recycle and create a nutrient rich garden soil amendment at the same time. The benefits of leaf compost are numerous. The compost increases the porosity of the soil, raises the fertility, diminishes the strain on landfills and creates a living “blanket” over your plants. Learning how to compost leaves just requires a little knowledge of the balance of nitrogen and carbon. The correct balance will ensure fast composting of leaves for spring time black gold.

Read this article by Bonnie Grant and more at Gardening Know How: Composting Leaves In Garden: Learn The Benefits of Leaf Compost https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-leaves.htm