State Looking For Input On Implementation Of Recycling Mandate
The state is looking for public feedback on how to implement new recycling mandates set to go into effect over the next few years. Vermonters will no longer be able to throw recyclables (by 2015), yard waste (by 2017) and any compostable organic material (by 2020) into the trash.
“We’ve sort of plateaued.” Justin Johnson, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, says a mandate was needed to spur the state to action. “We have around a 30-36 percent recycling rate, what we call a diversion rate, that is, things that are not going to landfill, but are going somewhere else. So this is an attempt to really take the next step.”
A new draft report released by the Department of Environmental Conservation looks at the different ways we can implement the mandate passed by the legislature in Act 148—and what it’s likely to cost state taxpayers.
Johnson says the toughest piece of the puzzle is figuring out how to keep organic material, compost, out of the waste stream.
“We’re going to start with the large generators of food residuals first and then work our way down to the household level. The idea behind that is that you generate a market and a system for that, so that by the time it gets to the household level there’s already a system in place.”
The draft report outlines four different scenarios for implementing the phased-in mandate. The most expensive option would cost households an extra four dollars a month. The report has just been released and the Department is asking for public comments through August 30th.