Hold that banana peel: Vermont now requires universal composting

Dropping organic waste into the trash is now against the law.


July 7, 2020

Next time you’re in Vermont, you better watch what you do with your apple core. If you toss it into the sidewalk trash can? Sorry, my friend, but you’re technically breaking the law.

This month, Vermont became the first state in the US to require that all organic waste — like fruit pits and unfinished food — hit the compost bin.

That means there will be no more walking on eggshells in the Green Mountain State: You have to compost those, too.

Vermont is getting down to earth

The state has tried for years to cut its landfill waste by half, but it has had rotten luck getting over that threshold.

Food waste is ripe for intervention, since it accounts for about 20% of trash in the state.

Officials have already set up 100+ composting stations to get people complying.

Vermont isn’t the only locality to go all in on soil. San Francisco, for instance, has had a similar law on the books since 2009.

Do I have to worry about trash inspectors?

The idea of the law is not to turn compost objectors into D-list criminals. The state just wants to boost voluntary compliance.

So no, Vermont investigators will not rummage through your trash in search of that stray orange peel you forgot to drop in the compost.

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