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Effective January 1, Compostable foodware no longer accepted at CSWD Organics Diversion Facility

Effective January 1, 2022, the Chittenden Solid Waste District’s Organics Diversion Facility (or “ODF” — where Green Mountain Compost is made) will no longer accept cups, plates, utensils, or foodware of any kind, even if it is certified compostable. That means CSWD Drop-Off Centers and companies that provide curbside pickup of food scraps destined for our facility will no longer accept this material. See list of what we will accept in our March 18 blog post on this topic.

While legitimately certified compostable foodware does break down adequately in the hot, microbe-rich conditions of CSWD’s commercial compost facility, it brings with it a host of concerns and problems. This includes far too many “look-alike” conventional plastic cups, utensils, and other outright trash.

Despite devoting extensive time and money to the problem, CSWD’s composting team is unable to completely remove these plastic contaminants or prevent them from being broken into tiny shards that inevitably end up in our premium compost products.

“We’re thrilled by the growth we’ve seen in food scraps coming to us to be transformed into Green Mountain Compost and soil blends,” said Dan Goossen, the Chittenden Solid Waste District’s Director of Composting. “Unfortunately, with that food has come a huge increase in non-compostable trash that is threatening our ability to produce the high-quality soil amendments our community has relied on for more than a decade.”

CSWD provided advance notice of this change last January to the primary distributors, purchasers, and consumers of compostable foodware in Chittenden County. Since then, the CSWD Outreach and Communications team has been assisting and continuing to notify many more businesses and institutions about this change.

To learn more about this decision and the drivers behind it, please read our blog post, “Why We Will No Longer Accept Compostable Foodware,” and contact CSWD staff for a Q&A and more in-depth information. We welcome questions, interviews, and suggestions for how CSWD and our community can best support alternatives to single-use, disposable products of all kinds.

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