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CSWD to add food scrap fee

A woman collects a drop-off composting bucket from the Drop-Off Center operatorBeginning July 1, 2017, CSWD Drop-Off Centers (DOCs) will begin charging $1.50 for each container of up to 5 gallons of food scraps brought in for composting, when NOT brought in with landfill-bound trash.

Don’t get us wrong — we support and encourage people keeping as much material as possible out of the landfill. We just have to make sure that we’re doing it in an economically sustainable way so we can keep on offering convenient options well into the future.

Here’s how it works: In 2016 we began folding the cost of managing  our drop-off composting program into the trash fees paid by DOC customers. When trash is dropped off at DOCs along with food scraps, the trash fee covers the disposal cost of the food scraps. The program has gained in popularity among our customers, some of who come in with just food scraps, without trash to help pay for managing those scraps. That’s awesome! … and expensive for us to pay for.

It costs CSWD over $51,000 a year to transport food scraps to Green Mountain Compost in Williston. We can no longer afford to subsidize those “free” food waste trips at the DOCs.

If you bring your food scraps directly to Green Mountain Compost (GMC), then there are no transport and handling costs to have to pass on to you. We still have to cover costs for wrangling it when it gets there, but that still translates to no charge at GMC for up to 30 gallons per day. Beginning July 1, GMC charges will be:
– Up to 30 gallons/day: No charge
– 31-60 gallons/day: $5 flat fee
– 61+ gallons/day: Fee based on $52/ton. Minimum fee: $5.

For other options, check out our food waste page. Taming your food waste stream starts with these easy tips for reducing food waste when shop, store, and prepare your food. Check ’em out!

Why start charging now?

Costs for transporting food scraps collected at DOCs is rising and it is no longer sustainable to allow people to dispose of them at Drop-Off Centers without covering the costs of managing them.

Now that some trash haulers in Chittenden County are offering curbside food scrap pickup as an additional service along with trash and recycling pickup, we no longer need to subsidize what was once the only option for many people.

What are some other options?

We’re so glad you asked! Check out our food scraps info page for more options.

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Clare has lived in Tennessee, New Mexico, California, Virginia, Connecticut, Texas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and, for the past 10 years, Vermont. She can be found peering into recycling bins everywhere to see what works and is frequently quizzed about recycling and composting in random places when people find out where she works. She spends as much time as possible playing ukulele and roaming through Vermont’s spectacular mountains and forests.