HomeComposting in Chittenden CountyComposting for Businesses

Composting for Businesses

Beginning July 1, 2017, Vermont businesses that generate at least 18 tons of food scraps must keep them out of the trash. Contact your CSWD outreach coordinator to learn more.


Ethan Hausman, Business Outreach Coordinator
802-872-8100 x208
Send an email


Robin Orr, Event Outreach Coordinator
802-872-8100 x239
Send an email

How the Law Affects You

Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) phases in a requirement to keep food scraps and food-related residuals (such as whey, spent grain, etc.) separate from any trash being sent to a landfill so that it can be managed as the nutrient-packed resource it is.

The Phase-In:

 Level at which compliance is requiredEquivalent to
2014104 or more tons per year About twelve 64-gallon carts per week
201552 or more tons per year About six to eight 64-gallon carts/week
201626 or more tons per year About three to four carts/week
201718 or more tons per year About two carts/week
2020Any amountAny amount
The best options for complying with this law in Chittenden County follow this order:

  • Reduce food waste at the source.
  • Donate suitable food to feed community members in need.
  • Donate or sell suitable scraps and leftovers to feed livestock.
  • Compost scraps on-site (if appropriate) or have them picked up by a private hauling company for composting at Green Mountain Compost in Williston.

Visit our Reduce Food Waste page for options and resources for any of the above.

How CSWD Can Help

At no direct cost to you, CSWD’s Business Outreach staff will provide:

  • “Waste” assessments: Learn how best to reduce food “waste” from the start and keep what’s left out of the trash.
  • System set up and troubleshooting: We’ll help you identify the best diversion options: Feeding neighbors or livestock, on-site composting, or food-scrap pickup service. We’ll walk you through best spots and methods for internal food scrap collection, whether to start with a pilot or a full-on program, how to craft successful messaging, and other key issues.
  • Staff training and persuasion: We’ll provide training and Q&A sessions tailored to your staff, your schedule, and your business demands.
  • Free collection buckets and signs: We’ll give you free, labeled four-gallon buckets for scrap collection in your office or kitchen.

  • Funding for alternative collection bins: CSWD has grant funding for up to 40% of the cost of qualifying food scrap collection containers or integrated recycling/food scrap/trash stations if you need something more than this 4-gallon bucket. See our Bin Grants page for details.
  • Compostable Products Purchasing advice: Understand what’s REALLY compostable when it comes to cups, bowls, utensils and packaging, and what’s just hype, a waste of your money, or worse! This policy details what’s acceptable at Green Mountain Compost: Purchasing Guidelines for Compostable Food-Related Products

Contact Ethan or Robin at CSWD to find out what this law means in real, everyday terms and how they can help your restaurant, food production business, cafe, office, hotel or any other business get up to speed with these requirements as quickly and painlessly as possible.