All of us struggle from time to time with the question of what to do with certain unwanted items. In some cases, you may think the item may be too large to take to the transfer station. In other cases, we think it may be hazardous. And then there's the stuff that is just too good to put in the landfill. Isn't there some way to ensure that it gets reused or recycled? Whatever the reason, SWAC has created this section of our website to help you figure out what to do with your unwanted materials.
AEROSOL CANS: Empty aerosol cans are accepted for recycling at all SWAC transfer stations and recycling centers. Just remove the cap, and recycle it along with other bottles and cans.
AMMUNITION: Ammunition, such as bullets and shotgun shells, is not accepted at any SWAC facility. Unwanted ammunition should be discharged safely or taken to a local gun shop. For disposal of large quantities of ammunition, please contact the Vermont State Police at (802) 872-4680.
ANIMALS (dead): There are several ways to dispose of dead animals. Bury or compost the animal on your property. For details, contact the State of Vermont Solid Waste Management Program at (802) 241-3888. Take the animal to a rendering company (only for large animals) or a veterinarian. Contact your local game warden (for road-killed animals). Double bag the animal and bring it to a SWAC Transfer Station or to a privately-operated transfer station. NOTE: Farmers needing to dispose of large quantities of dead animals should contact the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: (802) 241-3465. Read ANR's guidance document for dead animal disposal.
ANTIFREEZE: Antifreeze is accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events.
APPLIANCES: Appliances are banned from landfill disposal in Vermont. Scrap metal businesses accept appliances. Most towns accept appliances at either town transfer stations or special events throughout the year. There may be a fee associated with removing freon from appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, ice makers, and dehumidifiers. There may also be a fee for disposal of other appliances such as washing machines, dryers, furnaces, stoves, microwaves, hot water heaters, and dishwashers. Please contact your town office for information specific to your town. Goodwill accepts working appliances, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them (800/YES-1-CAN).
ASBESTOS: Asbestos waste is not accepted at any of the transfer stations or recycling centers. Asbestos waste may be properly disposed of in a certified landfill in accordance with V.S.A., Title 18, Chapter 26, as well as federal rules and regulations. Information regarding removal of asbestos may be obtained through the Department of Health (toll-free in-state) at 800-439-8500 or 802-863-7220. Information regarding asbestos transportation and disposal can be obtained by contacting the Department of Environmental Conservation, Waste Management Division at 802-241-3888. Currently, non-friable asbestos waste can be accepted at the Rutland County Solid Waste District (RCSWD). Contact RCSWD at 802-775-7209 for specific information. Non-friable asbestos can also be disposed through the following privately operated landfill in Vermont: Waste USA in Coventry - (802) 334-8300. Friable asbestos (crumbly, easily becomes airborne) must be managed by an asbestos abatement contractor. You can obtain a list of abatement contractors from the Vermont Department of Health at the numbers given above.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION DEBRIS - ASPHALT SHINGLES and DRYWALL - : Act 175 (Architectural Waste Recycling) makes shingle recycling mandatory in certain instances. Read more here. Fair Haven and Rutland town currently collect asphalt shingles and sheetrock as part of their C&D program. RCSWD also accepts asphalt shingles and drywall. Current accepted materials and fee structure. The Agency of Natural Resources has submitted its report on Architectural Waste to the Vermont Legislature. Read the report here.
AUTOMOBILES: Wheels For Wishes is a car donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish® Vermont. They offer a free and easy way to recycle or donate unwanted cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, or even boats, by turning them into a wish for a local child. We pick-up or tow away cars free of charge, anywhere in Vermont, whether they run or not. Vehicles are either recycled or auctioned off and proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Vermont. Visit http://vermont.wheelsforwishes.org/ for information.You can also find additional information on the Make-A-Wish Vermont website at http://vermont.wish.org/ways-to-help/ways-to-donate/wheels-for-wishes-donate-your-old-vehicle-help-grant-wishes/.
Cars To Cure Breast Cancer accepts donated vehicles and either recycles or auctions them off. Earned proceeds from the sale of the vehicle benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All donations help to fund breast cancer research so that we can one day see a cure for breast cancer. Visit http://www.carstocurebreastcancer.org/vermont
BATTERIES: Batteries are accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events. Some town own transfer stations as well as some town offices are participating in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (Call2Recycle) rechargeable battery take-back program. No charge. There are also convenient locations throughout the count. Find a participating location near you.
First-in-nation single-use battery recycling law passes in Vermont. Single-use household battery manufacturers that sell or manufacture their products in the state of Vermont will be required to plan, implement, and manage a statewide battery collection program by 2016, per a bill passed last night by the Vermont House of Representatives. The bill, known as H.695, "Act Relating to Establishing a Product Stewardship Program for Primary Batteries," is a type of extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation that requires primary (single-use) battery manufacturers to fund and manage a take-back and recycling program on behalf of consumers. Once signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin, the bill will become the first EPR law in the country that covers primary batteries of multiple chemistries (e.g., alkaline, zinc carbon, lithium primary silver oxide, and zinc air). There is already a voluntary collection program in place for rechargeable batteries.
It is estimated that more than 10 million batteries are sold in Vermont each year. However, there are very few recycling programs available to consumers. The law will require battery manufacturers to submit a plan to the state by July 2015 outlining how they will implement a convenient collection program. In accordance with the bill, the program will provide convenient battery drop-off locations for consumers at retail and municipal sites. Read H.695.
NOTE: Regular alkaline batteries and dead lithium batteries are not considered hazardous. They may be safely discarded as trash. The only batteries that must be brought in (because they are hazardous) are: lead acid batteries (car batteries) button cell batteries (watch batteries) rechargeable batteries usable lithium batteries (dead lithium batteries are not hazardous). Car batteries are not accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Collection events. Many area garages may also accept car batteries.
BURNING MATERIALS - Thinking of burning something in the backyard? Think again. Go to the State of Vermont Backyard burning wepage for additional information.
CELL PHONES: Cell phones are accepted all SWAC transfer stations as well as most cellular companies. In addition, Verizon Wireless offers a take-back program. Some phones are eligible for a gift card. Phones are donated to Hopeline. You may be able to sell your phone at: http://www.buybackworld.com/sell/cell-phone and additional reuse options include:
CLOTHING: SWAC is working with the American Clothing Company, http://blueclothingbox.com/ located in Glens Falls, NY, to have clothing collection boxes set up within some of the SWAC towns. The town of Chittenden has a Blue Box collection already in progress.
Other locations throughout the county include:
FAIR HAVEN CONCERNED, 73 Main Street, Fair Haven, VT 05743 Telephone (802) 265-3666
Accepts clothing, household goods, and operates a thrift shop
YOUNG AT HEART SENIOR CENTER, 206 Furnace Street, Poultney, VT Telephone (802) 287-9200
Accepts clothing, household goods, and operates a thrift shop
GOOD WILL - 230 North Main Street, Rutland, VT Telephone (802) 772-4383
Operates thrift stores selling and accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items at low cost.
OPEN DOOR MISSION - 31 Park Street, Rutland, VT Telephone (802) 524-9695 Accepts clothing, household goods, and operates a thrift shop.
SALVATION ARMY - One Field Avenue, Rutland, VT (802) 775-4827 Accepts clothing, household goods, and operates a thrift shop.
HANDS FOR HOPE FOUNDATION, 155 Main Street, Wallingford, VT (802) 446-6040
Accepts clothing, household goods, and operates a thrift shop.
There are several organizations that accept used clothing and furniture as well as sell good quality, discounted items to customers. Visit http://www.thethriftshopper.com/city/Rutland/VT/1.htm for additional information.
Several local churches also accepted good, used clothing. Contact your local church to see what items they accept.
EYEGLASSES: Your local Lions Club or eye care chain may collect these.
EXPLOSIVES & FIREWORKS: Unwanted explosives and fireworks (including highway flares) are not accepted at any SWAC facility. For information on proper disposal, please contact the Vermont State Police at (802) 872-4680.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Some fire extinguishers can be refilled. Contact your retailer or the manufacturer to learn more about this option. Unwanted extinguishers can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events.
FLUORESCENT LAMPS: Did you know that a 60-watt incandescent bulb and a 14-watt compact fluorescent bulb provide the same amount of light? However, a fluorescent bulb's life expectancy is approximately 12,000 hours versus an incandescent bulb's 1,000 hours? Fluorescent bulbs use less electricity costing less to run as well as resulting in less air pollution from coal burning power plants.
Vermont’s statute governing the collection and recycling of mercury-containing lamps (the Act) was signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin in May 2011. Under § 7152 of the Act, manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps are prohibited from selling a mercury-containing lamp unless they are implementing an approved collection plan, pay a fee to the state, are listed on the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources (ANR) web site as covered by an approved plan, and meet several other requirements. This prohibition became effective July 1, 2012.
Retailers that sell mercury-containing lamps and any municipality are eligible to participate in the program as a collection site. These collection sites are available throughout the state for “covered entities” to dispose of eligible mercury-containing lamps at no charge.
The Act defines a “covered entity” as “any person who presents to a collection facility that is included in an approved plan: (A) Any number of compact fluorescent mercury-containing lamps; or (B) 10 or fewer mercury-containing lamps that are not compact fluorescent lamps.”
The Act – 10 V.S.A. Chapter 164A - “An act relating to the collection and disposal of mercury-containing lamps” Vermont Agency of Natural Resources – Department of Environmental Conservation Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation – Mercury Education & Reduction Campaign Manufacturers’ Lamp Collection & Recycling Plan
It is extremely important that these bulbs (and other hazardous products) are disposed of properly. Fluorescent bulbs (and other hazardous products) are collected at the SWAC household hazardous waste collections. Visit Vermont's Mercury Reduction Campaign website (www.mercvt.org) and the Agency of Natural Resources website at http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/ead/sbcap/pdf/fs_mercurylamps.pdf as well as lamprecycles.org for more information.
Vermont businesses that accept bulbs can be found at http://www.mercvt.org/PDF/FluorescentBulbRecyclingLocations.pdf
Visit Vermont's Mercury Reduction Campaign website (www.mercvt.org) for more information.
Also check out the mercury spills or fluorescent light bulb breakage sheet , the Compact Fluorescent Bulbs fact sheet, and the Mercury Spills fact sheet.
LEAF & YARD DEBRIS: Effective July 1, 2015, all permitted solid waste facilities must offer leaf and yard debris collection. Read More...
MERCURY FOUND IN BUILDING DEMOLITION: Mercury can be found in various devices in residential buildings. When a mercury-containing product breaks and the mercury is spilled, the exposed mercury can evaporate and become an invisible, odorless toxic vapor. To prevent mercury releases, these products should be used and stored safely, and managed properly at the end of their useful lives. This fact sheet specifically addresses pre-demolition removal of mercury-containing gas pressure regulators, mercury-containing boiler heating systems, and thermostats. For information on proper removal and management of other mercury-containing products in homes, go to www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/tsd/mercury/con-prod.htm and http://www.mercvt.org/.
MOTOR OIL & FILTERS: Used motor oil and oil filters are accepted at many garages in the area as well as at all Household Hazardous Waste Events. At the events, there is no charge for SWAC residents.
PAINT: Beginning in May of 2014, architectural paint will be collected through a manufacturer environmental producer responsibility program. Facilities accepting the paint (including latex) for free are set up throughout the area. Visit www.paintcare.org to find a facility nearest you. Unwanted paint will still be accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Events. No fee for SWAC residents. There may be a 10 gallon limit for latex paint. Please call 802-770-1333 if you have more than 10 gallons of paint. Visit Tips for Managing Paint Waste for helpful information. NOTE: Small quantities of latex paint (one quart or less) may be solidified and discarded as trash. Remove the lid and allow the paint to dry OR add kitty litter to speed up the process. Read more here.
In 2013, the Vermont Legislature Passed H.262/Act 58. Act 58 requires paint manufacturers to pay for the collection of unused/unwanted architectural paint (paint used in painting homes). The program goes into effect in the summer of 2014. It is likely that free drop off locations will be set up at local retailers, solid waste districts, as well as many local transfer stations. Watch for additional information about this exciting new program.
PRESCRIPTION and NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs) refers, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, and cosmetics. Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation's waterbodies. Further research suggests that certain drugs may cause ecological harm. The EPA is investigating this topic and developing strategies to help protect the health of both the environment and the public. PPCPs have probably been present in water and the environment for as long as humans have been using them. The drugs that we take are not entirely absorbed by our bodies, and are excreted and passed into wastewater and surface water. With advances in technology that improved the ability to detect and quantify these chemicals, we can now begin to identify what effects, if any, these chemicals have on human and environmental health. In most cases, unwanted prescription medication should be placed in the trash. There are three exceptions:
Head lice shampoo - accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Events. No fee for SWAC residents. Chemotherapy drugs - return to pharmacy or cancer clinic Anti-neoplastic medicine - return to pharmacy or cancer clinic.
NOTE: Please do not flush unwanted medication down the drain. It may disrupt your septic system or the water treatment facility. Visit www.epa.gov/ppcp for additional information. New guidelines are now available.
The Agency of Natural Resources has developed a webpage to assist Vermonters with disposal of their household pharmaceuticals. More information can be found here.
Two Communities Hosting Drug Drop Box - The Castleton and Fair Haven Police Departments now have a permanent place for residents to safely dispose of unused or unwanted prescription medication. The Rutland Area Prevention Coalition announced Wednesday the installation of two new permanent prescription drug drop boxes. The green MedReturn boxes accept any prescription including narcotics, although neither liquids nor sharps can be accepted, according to a news release. At the Castleton Police Station on Route 30, the MedReturn box can be accessed from 7:00 a.m.- 2:00 a.m., seven days a week. At the Fair Haven Police Department on North Park Place, the MedReturn box can be accessed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This makes four such sites in the county. Two are in Rutland city — one at Rutland Pharmacy and the other at the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department.
CVS Pharmacy - Do you have expired or unused prescription medications in your medicine cabinet? You might even have bottles stacked behind other bottles, taking up space and creating danger. Your first instinct may be to toss the old drugs in the trash or flush them down the toilet, but there is a safer way to get rid of your unwanted medications. Find out how to safely dispose of your products here.
Walgreeens Leads Fight Against Drug Abuse with New Programs to Help Curb Misuse of Medications and the Rise in Overdose Deaths. Read more here....
SHARPS, SYRINGES AND MEDICAL WASTE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a website on the safe disposal of medical sharps after home use intended for patients and caregivers. The website illustrates the public health risks of medical sharps and offers recommendations for safe home disposal. According to the press release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 3 billion needles and other sharps are used in homes in the United States each year. The Agency of Natural Resources has also created a webpage specifically to address the proper guidelines for disposing of sharps. For more information, visit http://dec.vermont.gov/content/safe-disposal-sharps.
Also see "Syringes and Needles" below.
Medical Wastes, which includes sharps and syringes, is not classified as HHW. However, special precautions should be taken to ensure safe handling of medical waste.
Residents with medical wastes should take the following precautions:
- Sharps should be placed in a hard plastic, opaque container, such as a detergent bottle.
- Containers may be placed in the regular house hold trash
- All other medical waste, such as bandages, dressings, etc should be placed in a separate container and disposed of in the regular house hold trash.
Businesses & Institutions with medical waste need to have additional procedures. Waste generated in the medical industry consists of a wide variety of materials. Although a vast majority is considered regular solid waste, a small percentage of the waste requires special handling and treatment prior to disposal in order to protect public health, safety, and the environment. For more information on regulated medical waste, review Vermont’s Regulated Medical Waste Procedure (PDF)
PRINTER & TONER CARTRIDGES: The SWAC transfer stations/recycling centers are equipped with collection boxes for injet, dot matrix and laser jet printers. Some printer and toner cartridges can be refilled. To learn more about this option, contact the manufacturer.
PROPANE TANKS:Please contact the Rutland County Solid Waste District for disposal options.
REFRIGERATORS - Efficiency Vermont’s Second Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Program offers free pick-up and removal of old, energy-wasting refrigerators and freezers, a $50 rebate, electric bill savings, and state-of-the-art appliance disposal and recycling. http://www.efficiencyvermont.com
SCRAP METAL: Scrap metal includes most bicycles, desks, filing cabinets, book shelves, VCRs, grills, lawn furniture, and any item that is at least 80% metal. The type of metal is not important. Scrap metal is accepted for recycling at most of the SWAC transfer stations/recycling centers. Please contact your town office for more specific details. Salvage yards also accept scrap metal.
SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS - Disposal options:
- Intact carbon monoxide detectors and household smoke detectors are accepted for disposal with regular trash.
- Many manufacturers of smoke detectors have voluntary take-back programs for safe disposal of these items. Be sure to verify current packaging and shipping requirements directly with the manufacturer.
- Other options for mail-in recycling exist as well.
- Businesses should call the Vermont Environmental Assistance Division in Waterbury at (802) 241-3745.
Limitations, regulations and other specifications: Ionization smoke detectors do contain a small amount of a low-level radioactive isotope. Care should be used in handling these items, but the material is not considered hazardous to people or pets at the levels present in household smoke detectors.
SPORTING GOODS: Used sporting goods in good condition are accepted at some local stores for resale. For a listing look in the Yellow Pages under Sporting Goods.
STORM DEBRIS: The Agency of Natural Resources has prepared a Storm Debris Informational Flyer for your assistance. Visit
- http://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/solid/publications-and-reports and
STYROFOAM: Styrofoam and/or foam packaging is not accepted for recycling at any SWAC facility. At these facilities, styrofoam should be discarded as trash. Styrofoam packaging peanuts are accepted at no charge at a variety of local businesses for reuse. Foam packing: Your local pack-and-ship store may accept foam peanuts for reuse. Or, call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a drop-off site: 800/828-2214. For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, 410/451-8340.
SYRINGES & NEEDLES: THE PROBLEM: Syringes, lancets, and other sharp items used to treat diabetes, allergies, and other medical symptoms, are called "sharps". Discarding loose sharps into the trash can hurt people. Anyone who handles the trash may be stuck accidentally. Used sharps can transmit germs. Diseases, such as Hepatitis B, can result from someone being accidentally stuck. Check out this flyer for information on how to properly handle sharps. Also see "Sharps" above.
TIRES - Tires are accepted at the RCSWD Transfer Station on Gleason Road for a fee. Tires are also accepted at the Benson, Chittenden, Fair Haven, Granville, NY, Rutland town, Shrewsbury, and Tinmouth transfer stations for a fee.
TELEVISIONS: As of February 17, 2009, television stations stopped broadcasting analog signals over the airwaves and switched over to digital signals. This meant many old tvs are obsolete and consumers had to purchase a digital set-top converter box or a brand new TV in order to get over the airways receptio.n.
Effective January 1, 2011, Vermont enacted legislation implementing a landfill ban on most electronic products and effective July 1, 2011, requiries manufacturers to take responsibility for paying for recycling of some of these products. Televisions, computers, monitors, printers, and peripherals are required to be collected for FREE from anyone with seven (7) or fewer covered items.
Unwanted televisions and other electronics can be recycled through the Electronics Collection Program at SWAC recycling facilities/transfer stations. Contact your town office for further information.
TEXTILES - Permanent textile collection locations are currently located at:
- Chittenden Transfer Station - 300 Holden Road (next to town garage), Chittenden, Vermont Hours: Friday 4:00 M. - 6:00 PM.and Saturday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Clothing collection available to Chittenden residents only.
- Fair Haven Concerned, 73 Main Street, Fair Haven, VT 05743 Phone (802) 265-3666 Hours: 10-11AM Mon.-Fri. and 4-6 PM the 2nd & 4th Wed. each month Email: email@example.com or visit them on Facebook for the latest updates. Annual August Clothing Drive as well as accepting household goods.
- Goodwill, 230 North Main St, Rutland VT 05701 Phone (802) 772-4383 Store Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM ; Sun 12 Noon - 6:00 PM; Website: http://goodwill-berkshires.com/stores.html In addition to clothing, furniture and household goods are also accepted (in useable condition).
- Open Door Mission, 31 Park Street, Rutland, VT 05701Phone (802) 775-5661 Store Hours: Mon-Wed 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM; Thu-Fri 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM; Sat 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. In addition to clothing, furniture and household goods are also accepted (in useable condition).
- Salvation Army - One Field Drive, Rutland, Vermont 05701 Phone: (802) 775-4827 Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Donations should be made between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM. In addition to clothing, furniture and household goods are also accepted (in useable condition).
- Other businesses accepting clothing and other household items may be found at: http://www.referweb.net/vermont211/MatchList.aspx?c;;0;;N;0;0;Basic%20Needs;Clothing/Household;318;Clothing%20Donation%20Programs~
WOOD DEBRIS IN WATER: A guideline for water to do with wood debris in water, storm-damaged trees, and Guidance for Agency of Natural Resources authorization of post-flood river work.
Check out this great site for recycling and reusing - Real Estate Resources: A Guide to Recycling" - http://sanibelrealestateguide.com/recycling/