Things are going to look different next week when you’re taking out the trash. Starting July 1st, Vermonters are not allowed to toss food scraps in with trash. Instead, you can drop off food scraps at a designated drop off site, purchase a collection bin for pick-up, or start a compost in your backyard.
Food scraps include “egg shells, peels from vegetables and fruits, bones, coffee grounds, fats and oils, and grease. So it’s food prep as well as stuff that may have spoiled in your refrigerator, or that you didn’t eat,” says Michele Morris, Director of Outreach and Communications for the Chittenden Solid Waste District.
With only one landfill in the State of Vermont, Joe Sinagra, Sustainability Director for Myers Waste and Recycle, says its important to keep food scraps out. “Vermont has prided themselves on being on the cutting edge when it comes to environmental awareness and compost is no different. Its encouraging that we as a state are taking a lead on compost, ’cause we only have one landfill in the state and we have to ensure that we keep this landfill open as long as we can.”
Food scraps make up a decent percent of what goes into the landfill. What could be used in your garden to benefit your plants is instead sitting in a pile at a landfill. Food scraps are “still like 25 to 30 percent of everything people are throwing away,” says Morris. “And its a wasted resource. And when food scraps go into a modern line landfill, they don’t do anything except sit there for ages and ages.”