How a 3rd grader inspired a Williston business owner to ditch plastic straws

multi-colored plastic straws

Trivia time! What do the city of Seattle, Starbucks, and Ramunto’s Pizza all have in common? Answer: All three places have recently joined the growing movement to eliminate plastic straws. In 2015, after a cringe-worthy YouTube video of a straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nose went viral, a global movement began to grow around the problem of plastic pollution—single-use plastic straws, in particular. Although straws don’t represent a significant portion…

Celebrate Vermont’s Clean Water Week, July 29th – August 4th

A small sailboat on a lake with the words "Clean Water Week 2018"

Here in Vermont, it’s rare when we don’t have all the clean water we need. It’s in part due to luck of the geographic draw, the hard work of wastewater treatment plant operators, and to the decisions YOU make every day when you decide how to dispose of hazardous leftovers, medications, and even food scraps and cleaning “wipes”. It’s time to celebrate our abundant clean water and explore how each…

The most waste-friendly events — and what we can learn from them

Football stadium at the Super Bowl with a packed crowd.

Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl last February, the organizers set a lofty goal: Host the first “zero waste” Super Bowl ever. Specifically, their aim was to recover around 90% of the waste they typically generate on game day (which averages around 40 tons). “But,” you may be thinking, “reducing waste is hard enough at home – it must be impossible at a sporting event that sees 100,000+ ticketholders!”…

VT Legislature makes changes to recycling and food scrap requirements

Watch on a person's wrist. The face of the watch is a symbol for food scraps.

Senate bills S.260 and S.285 passed into law at the end of May 2018, changing certain provisions in Vermont’s Universal Recycling and Beverage Container Redemption laws. An overview of the changes This is a selection of the substantial changes contained in the bills. Haulers not required to offer food scrap collection until 2020 Haulers will be required to offer collection of food scraps starting July 1, 2020.** Previously: Act 148…

CSWD receives hazardous waste management grant

The Chittenden Solid Waste District has been awarded a grant worth $106,470 by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to help cover costs for providing facilities and education for the proper disposal of hazardous waste generated by residents and qualifying businesses. The grant is part of a solid waste assistance fund provided by the state to help towns and solid waste planning entities implement their solid waste plans, as…

The Rover is picking up hazardous waste through October

The Rover is the mobile household hazardous waste collection unit that hibernates at the CSWD Environmental Depot, our year-round hazardous waste collection facility in South Burlington. During the summer, the Rover comes out of hibernation and makes its rounds, stopping once in each town and accepts household hazardous wastes from residents (material from businesses is not accepted at Rover events). The Rover accepts household hazardous wastes such as paints and stains, automotive fluids, hobby…

CSWD announces new recycling guidance on bottle caps

A plastic bottle and cap with an arrow showing to twist the cap on the bottle. Text says "Rise. Re-cap. Recycle."

Put caps back on bottles and jars before recycling It’s perhaps the most hotly debated “blue-bin” recycling question of the decade: Should you put the cap back on that bottle before you recycle it? Or does the cap go in the trash? The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), the municipality that oversees recycling in Chittenden County, is laying the debate to rest with updated instructions on preparing containers for recycling:…

The garage cleanout: A spring cleaning guide

A well organized garage with a clean floor and equipment hanging on the walls.

Since moving to Burlington last fall, I haven’t dared step foot inside the chaos that is currently my garage. We had a lot of stuff, and not everything fit in the house. So it went into the garage. And there it sat…until now. I’ve been procrastinating cleaning out my garage for a while now, because it just seems so overwhelming. It’s hard enough to remember everything that’s in my garage…

Save The Food: Take the 6-Week Challenge

A large pile of waste bread, fruits & vegetables.

In Vermont, food makes up about 26% of the stuff we put in our household trash. Take 2016 as an example: When averaged out, Chittenden County households collectively trashed 161 pounds of food per person. This isn’t just a waste of food. Transporting all of that food to the landfill also wastes fuel (9,724 gallons of diesel), generates 108 tons of carbon dioxide, and puts a lot of extra wear…

Local goats would love to eat your Christmas tree!

Two goats eating a christmas tree.

Let’s start 2018 off right with the cutest fact ever – goats love eating Christmas trees! Skeptical? Watch them go wild: Not only do goats love it, but eating Christmas trees also provides them with nutrition. Farmers say the the pine needles have a natural de-worming quality that works to clean out their system. The environmental benefit is an added bonus. By feeding your Christmas trees to the animals, you…