Chittenden Solid Waste District plans to construct a $22 million recycling facility in Williston, which it says will bring its trash management operations into the 21st century. The district is also working to install a new water line to improve composting and add an administrative building for staff. The district’s current recycling facility — the first in Vermont — was built 29 years ago. It is severely outdated and has exceeded its capacity, according to Michele Morris, the district’s director of communications.

“The new facility that we’re planning will be more efficient and effective and just allow Vermonters to recycle more types of packaging,” she said. The Williston site is where 53% of Vermont’s “blue bin recyclables” go to be sorted, separated and baled before they can be sent off to be turned into new materials, according to a memo presented to the Chittenden district’s board of commissioners in March.

The materials recovery facility or MRF, as it is called by waste district, was designed to manage 25,000 tons a year, but it processed 49,000 tons in fiscal year 2021, the memo states. The district’s expansion plan calls for a larger building and new technology that would automate the sorting of items currently separated by hand. These changes would allow the district to sort and recycle 70,000 tons, 40% more than its current capacity. If all goes according to plan, the project could break ground in 2023 and open in 2024.

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Author: Auditi Guha, VTDigger
Image: VTDigger