The story so far:

As you likely know, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law bans food waste from our state’s landfills starting in 2020. But, from NWSWD’s work in the community, we know that many St. Albans City residents are ready to start keeping their food waste out of the landfill now.

Currently, NWSWD operates a 21 stop commercial compost pick-up route that counts among its customers area schools, Ben and Jerry’s, Northwestern Medical Center, and Enosburg Hannaford’s. This route delivers 20 tons of food waste monthly for composting to Hudak Farm Stand and Greenhouse on St. Albans Road.

Though business/institutional compost pick-up is beginning to be well established in Vermont, home compost pick-up is just getting started. Until recently, only one other Vermont town, Brattleboro, even had municipal home pick-up service. But, with the help of a grant from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, NWSWD brought our pick-up experience to St. Albans City residents in January 2017. The service is running smoothly and more and more residents sign up all the time.

Our route was recently featured on Vermont Public Radio. Click here to listen or read.

And here’s a Messenger story from last fall.

Why compost?

Decaying food waste in landfills is a leading cause of climate-changing greenhouse gasses in the U.S. But by composting just one 5 gallon bucket of food waste you prevent emissions equivalent to those produced by using 1 gallon of gasoline in an automobile! There’s lots of use left in this material, too. Food waste can be saved from the landfill and used to feed farm animals, turned into high quality soils, or used to generate electricity. Furthermore, did you know that food waste makes up about 1/3 of the average household’s trash? Start separating your food waste out and you’ll likely be able to switch to a smaller trash can and less frequent garbage pick-up! Our landfills will last longer, too!

How does home compost pick-up work?

  • This route is open to residents of St. Albans City only.
  • This route is a pilot which NWSWD plans to operate for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Each participating household gets a 5 gallon bucket with a secure screw-top lid. This bucket is to be kept in a garage or outside, just like your curbside wheeled trash can. Households bigger than 4 people sometimes require a second 5 gallon bucket.
  • Each participating household needs to acquire a container for gathering food waste in their kitchen. An old plastic container with a tight fitting lid works great (an old Tupperware container or coffee can, for example). NWSWD also has commercially-made containers available for $5. When this container gets full, you dump it into the 5 gallon bucket.
  • All food waste can go into your bucket. Meat, bones, dairy, fruits and veggies, bread and pasta, everything–as long as it’s food waste! No compostable plastic bags, PLU stickers, or other non-food materials with one exception: if desired, participants may acquire and use a paper grocery bag as a liner in their 5 gallon bucket. (This will help keep your bucket a little cleaner.) We make sure you have a complete list of what goes in and what stays out.
  • NWSWD staff come by weekly to dump your 5 gallon bucket (including the paper grocery bag) into their compost truck. They’ll leave the bucket for you. You’ll be responsible for rinsing your own bucket, though it’s not overly necessary. (Don’t worry, our compost guru Aaron once went 7 years without rinsing his bucket. It wasn’t a big deal…) Easy!!!
  • NWSWD charges $10/month for this service. The monthly charge for anyone requiring 2 curbside buckets (households larger than 4 people or anyone wanting a 2nd bucket) will be $15.

Have more questions? Contact us at 524.5986 or info@nwswd.org