As of July 1, the final phase of Act 148, Vermont’s Universal Recycling and Composting Law, which the Legislature unanimously passed in 2012, went into effect, banning any food scraps from entering the landfill.  The law also requires that waste companies add food scrap pickup to their list of services “unless another hauler will provide that service.”

Casella Waste Systems, Inc., based in Rutland and the largest waste management company in the state, does not offer compost pickup for local residents.  “Composting today is where we were with recycling 40 years ago,” said Joe Fusco, a vice president at Casella Waste Systems. “It’s not just a switch you can flip.”

While Casella offers compost pickup in Chittenden County and several other areas of the state, the service is not yet economically viable for the company on a statewide level, particularly in rural areas, Fusco said.  “The long story short is, we’re not really seeing a lot of interest in curbside services,” he said.

That has driven many Rutland County residents to look elsewhere for compost pickup. Carl Diethelm, outreach coordinator for Rutland County Solid Waste Management, said his office has seen a surge of calls in the last several days. “We’ve had more questions than I’ve ever had since I started here three years ago,” said Diethelm. “In general, most people are really just looking for resources on how to comply, and I’m really glad we can provide them with a good amount of ideas.”

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Author: Emma Cotton, VTDigger
Photo: Glenn Russell, VTDigger