Food Scraps & Yard Debris

Food scraps and yard debris make up ~30% of a typical Vermont family’s waste. At restaurants and cafeterias, food scraps can be over half of their waste. In 2020, Vermont state law banned all food scraps from the landfill.

Food scraps are parts of food items that are typically discarded rather than eaten. They include food that was not finished or leftovers that went bad. Any type of food can become scraps.

Yard debris include leaves, grass clippings, weeds, brush less than 1 inch in diameter, other compostable untreated vegetative (plant) matter.

Managing food waste in Northwest Vermont can be broken down into two categories: Composting and Food Donation.


Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants. Anything that grows decomposes eventually; composting simply speeds up the process by providing an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposing organisms (such as worms, sowbugs, and nematodes) to do their work.

Composting can be done at home with a bin or pile. Alternatively, residents drop off their compostable materials at our facility in Georgia, drop-off sites, Hudak Farm, or St. Albans Creamery. For more information on composting, click the compost icon above. 

Food Donation

Most types of food can be donated. If food looks or smells bad, is moldy, or has damaged packaging do not donate it – compost it! All donated food should be protected to prevent food contamination by storing in packages, covered containers, or wrappings.

Vermont allows and encourages food scraps to be donated to feed animals. Local farms in your area may be interested in your food scraps to use as animal feed. For more information on food donation, click the food donation icon above.