Every year, Vermonters throw away 200 million pounds of food and yard debris that could have been composted instead. This unnecessary waste adds up at landfills, contributing to massive greenhouse gas emissions. At the 2019 Vermont Organics Recycling Summit on April 11 in Randolph, leaders and learners from across the state will come together to discuss creative ways to keep food scraps and other organics out of the trash and to transform them into valuable products. The summit, organized by the Composting Association of Vermont (CAV) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, is open to all.
“Efforts to keep food out of the garbage can also put more food on the tables of families in need. For example, many grocery stores now partner with the Vermont Foodbank to send edible food to people instead of throwing it away,” said Josh Kelly, the Materials Management Section Chief in the Agency of Natural Resources. “When communities keep organics out of the trash, they support green businesses and jobs, reduce the need for landfills, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and produce compost which improves soil health.”
Motivated by these benefits and the Universal Recycling law, which bans food scraps from the landfill in 2020, Vermonters are making a difference as they reduce food waste, partner with food shelves and businesses, and use compost to build healthier soils and more resilient communities.
“The summit aims to help Vermonters and regional partners meet the State’s composting goals: to keep organics out of landfills and to rescue perfectly good food before it’s thrown away,” said Natasha Duarte, the Director of the Composting Association of Vermont. “Sessions will highlight composting products that manage stormwater, organics hauling, promising new research, climate change effects, and outreach models to help communities and residents. We’re especially excited to hear Frank Franciosi, Executive Director of the US Composting Council, give this year’s keynote presentation. This year also includes a special Community Composting workshop.”
The Composting Association of Vermont (CAV) is a nonprofit organization. It promotes organics recycling that protects and benefits the environment. The Department of Environmental Conservation, part of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, is dedicated to protecting and improving the health of Vermont’s people and ecosystems and promoting the sustainable use of Vermont’s natural resources.