If someone mentions Vermont you instantly think of green fields, lovingly crafted dairy products, and a laid-back attitude. Well now that little state nestled up against Canada can be recognized for something more ambitious than producing great cheese.
Last month the Agency of Natural Resources published the Waste Composition Study, a ten-year long investigation of the trash Vermont sends to its landfills. Its findings concluded that 2/3 of all trash currently produced in the state could be recycled or composted. Its conclusions were drawn from a random sampling of trash bags and waste items in landfills around the state. What was discovered is that 50% of Vermonters’ waste included paper and organic matter, with 15% consisting of plastic, e-waste, and glass. The majority of landfill waste was comprised of organic waste, accounting for 28% of all trash.
The study’s publication follows on the heels of a larger policy shift enacted by the State House and Senate last year calling for 100% landfill diversion for all of the state’s organic waste. The new policy, enacted by Act 148, requires that the largest producers of organic waste, namely businesses such as grocery retailers, must begin composting their waste by 2014. After that, the requirements will get stricter requiring more and more organic waste generators to start composting.
The state believes that by gradually mandating composting for businesses and residents they will be able to completely cut out organic waste from its waste stream. But organic waste isn’t the only waste product Vermont has its eyes on. The state is currently considering an expansion of its plastic recycling capabilities. Currently, the state processes PET plastic, represented by the number 1. But this material accounts for just 6% of all the plastic waste thrown out by Vermont households. The new bill before the State government would create new facilities for recycling the entire spectrum of plastics, including types 3-7 which typically have fewer recyclable applications.
The state of Vermont has a green vision in mind for its future. And if their organic waste disposal plan is a success, it could become the standard for other states to follow.
Source Via: VTDigger.org