Concerned about Act 148, the Universal Recycling Law (the Composting Law)?

Vermont’s law, passed unanimously by our state legislature, is groundbreaking. We are the first state in the Union to work towards keeping all yard and leaf waste, clean wood, and food scraps out of our landfills.

Act 148 implementation has been gradual. The biggest generators of food scraps (e.g., the University of Vermont, Cabot Creamery, Ben and Jerry’s, etc.) in Vermont had to be in compliance first—July 1, 2014. These were generators that produced 2 tons of food waste or more a week. Act 148 required that their food waste be kept out of the trash and disposed of in another manner.

As of July 1, 2017 any business or institution that produced 18 tons of food waste a year (1/3 ton a week) had to divert their food waste from the landfill.

As of July 1, 2020, it will be illegal for anyone (business, institution, or resident) to throw food waste in the trash.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is the go-to source for Universal Recycling information.

How will this work?

Businesses and institutions have two options: on-site composting and off-site composting.

Off-site composting

One option for food scrap disposal is off-site composting.

Northwest Solid Waste District currently offers food scrap pick-up service for businesses and institutions. We deal with organizations like Northwestern Medical Center, Maplefield’s, Mill River Brewing, Jolley, Jeff’s Seafood, Bayside Pavilion, The Traveled Cup, and almost all area schools.

We offer system set-up, printed materials, education/training, and weekly pick-up.

Learn about NWSWD’s composting program in further detail, click here or contact Shannon Plant at 524.5986 or

Currently, there are also other waste haulers that may pick up your organization’s food scraps and take them to a composter. They are mainly offering service to larger generators, but call your local waste disposal company for details.

(*Note: as of July 1, 2020, any waste disposal company offering trash hauling in Vermont will be required to offer food scrap disposal, as well.)

On-site composting

If your organization wants to compost on-site, know that the Agency of Natural Resources requires a permit and some oversight for those wishing to process larger amounts of material. View the permit guidelines.

Further, Northwest Solid Waste District is able to assist with system set-up, printed materials, and training/education for on-site systems at little to no charge. Please contact Shannon Plant at 524.5986 or for more information.

Recycling and composting facility tours

NWSWD offers tours to groups at our Georgia Recycling Center and our composting facility at Hudak Farm. See where your waste goes for processing! Contact Shannon Plant at (802) 524.5986 or