VT Offers Grant Money to Help Schools Recycle and Compost

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 04/02 2014 06:20PM

Updated 04/04 2014 07:27PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - In just a few short years Vermonters will be required to recycle plastics and paper and also compost. Some schools in Vermont are already separating garbage using different bins for recycling, composting, and trash bins.

“We felt that our school was being really wasteful,” said Allison Pilcher, a junior at Colchester High School.

At Colchester high school it was the student’s idea to begin to separate trash.

“We were concerned about the environmental impacts as well as the finances because its actually more expensive to not recycle,” said Pilcher.

Josh Kelly with the Agency of Natural Resources says the system such as that at Colchester High School is a way to help schools prepare for the changes that will come when Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law fully takes effect in 2020. The law bans taking recyclables, yard debris, and food scraps to a landfill. Kelly says to help schools prepare for that change the state is offering a total of 45 thousand dollars in grant money to schools that qualify.

“So the schools can be closer to compliance with the universal recycling law and because the kids are the future and we really want them to be getting this practice early on,” said Kelly.

Kelly says the money will be used to recycling and composting programs in schools around the state.

“It could even be for containers, for recycling containers or buckets for food scraps and things like that,” said Kelly.

Kelly says it’s also about teaching students how easy and important it is to recycle. A change the students at Colchester High School are already used to.

“People seem to be really into it and are getting used to the process,” said Pilcher.

Many schools created their own recycling and composting program with guidance from a local solid waste company. For example Colchester High School created their program with guidance from the Chittenden Solid Waste District.

But if your school needs outside funds, the deadline to apply for the grant through the Agency of Natural Resources is Friday.

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