The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a draft report evaluating Vermont’s solid waste management system, including the costs and benefits of expanding the beverage redemption program and single stream recycling. The report, entitled Systems Analysis of the Impact of Act 148 on Solid Waste Management in Vermont, was prepared for the state by DSM Environmental Services and fulfills a requirement of Act 148, passed in September 2012. The department is seeking public comment on the report before it is made final.
The goal of Act 148 is to divert valuable materials, such as recyclables and food waste, away from landfills. Vermonters will be offered convenient and consistent parallel collection and drop off options that help manage these materials toward their best use. For a decade, Vermont’s diversion of these materials has stagnated at 30-36. Once Act 148 is implemented, DSM Environmental Services predicts that rate overall will increase to 47. Diversion of mandated recyclables and organic materials, apart from municipal solid waste, will increase from 33 to 60.
“This landmark law makes it easier for Vermont’s citizens and businesses to keep recyclables, food, and other valuable materials out of landfills, while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Environmental Commissioner David Mears.
Organic materials, the largest portion of the materials sent for landfilling, such as backyard leaves and leftover food can be composted and turned into soil, or digested into methane gas for the production of energy. Recyclables can be sold and reprocessed into new products. The draft report assess the costs and benefits associated with these actions statewide under various management options, including an evaluation of expanding the beverage deposit redemption program and the use of single stream recycling.
The final comment period on this draft report begins today and will conclude in 30 days. A public hearing will be held on August 20th, 5:30pm, at the Pavilion Building, 109 State St., Montpelier.
“We are looking forward to hearing from the public on this report. The comments we receive will inform the state’s decisions about how to continue to make progress on how to improve our solid waste management system,” said Commissioner Mears.
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is one of three branches of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. DEC collects and analyzes data, monitors the quality of air, water and ecosystem health, and is charged with preserving, enhancing, restoring and conserving Vermont’s natural resources, and protecting human health for the benefit of current and future generations.
Act 148: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/solid/Act148.htm
Draft Systems Analysis Report and Appendices: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/solid/Act148.htm#July292013
Contact: David Mears, (802) 828-1556, firstname.lastname@example.org