News Releases

September 24, 2014

Northwest State Correctional Facility Announces Universal Recycling Law Compliance Nearly One Year Ahead of Schedule

The Northwest State Corrections Facility is fully compliant with Vermont’s Universal Recycling law nearly one year ahead of schedule. The law, adopted in 2012, establishes a phased-in timeline for recyclables and organics to be banned from Vermont’s landfill. Baseline recyclables and food scraps from the large generators (2+ tons/week) within 20 miles of a certified composting facility will be diverted starting July 1, 2015. The Northwest State Correctional Facility met compliance on September 17, 2014 and joins Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in diverting these materials.

“We applaud the impressive work of the Northwest State Correctional Facility,” said Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Markowitz. “The Facility provides a model for businesses and institutions currently navigating options for meeting the requirements of Universal Recycling. It’s wonderful to see the Department of Corrections set the example.”

The facility is equipped with containers and sorting systems to collect and separate all baseline recyclables (metal, glass, plastics #1 and #2, and paper/cardboard) and all food scraps for composting. The recyclables are hauled to Chittenden Solid Waste District’s materials recovery facility and the food scraps are brought to Green Mountain Compost. The sorting systems are now being rolled out at each Vermont correctional facility.

“We’re proud of the staff at the Northwest Correctional Facility,” Department of Corrections Director of Facilities Mike Touchette remarked. “Our success is the result of significant collaboration between Corrections, the Agency, our local solid waste district, hauler and composter. It is remarkable what can be accomplished in a short amount of time through cross-cutting partnerships.”

Vermont is the first state in the country to ban food scraps from being landfilled by businesses and residents. With this announcement, Vermont joins the Washington State Department of Corrections as second in the nation to initiate diversion of food scraps from its correctional facilities.

The full text of the Universal Recycling law, Act 148, can be found here:

Follow ANR’s latest developments related to Universal Recycling and materials management online at and on Twitter at

Media Contacts: Josh Kelly, DEC Solid Waste Program, (802) 522-5897; Mike Touchette, DOC, Director of Facilities, (802) 951-5010

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation
Last Updated at: September 24, 2014 08:52:54