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Universal Recycling for Facilites


How does Universal Recycling apply to Vermont solid waste facilities?

Solid waste facilities (transfer stations, drop-offs, landfills) that offer collection of trash must also offer collection of baseline recyclables, leaf and yard debris, and food scraps on the following phased-in timeline:

  • JULY 1, 2014---Collection of baseline recyclables must be offered to all customers with the exception of commercial haulers. Recyclables include:
    • Metal: aluminum and steel cans, aluminum foil and pie plates,
    • Glass: bottles and jars from food and beverages,
    • Plastics: #1 and #2 containers (PET and HDPE resin types),
    • Paper: corrugated cardboard, white and colored paper, newspaper, magazines, paper mail and envelopes, box board, and paper bags.
  • JULY 1, 2015---Collection of leaf and yard debris must be offered to all customers including commercial haulers..
  • JULY 1, 2017---Collection of food scraps must be offered to all customers including commercial haulers.

Solid Waste Facility

To assist facilities with management of new materials such as leaf and yard debris and food scraps, the ANR Solid Waste Program has developed Management Recommendations for Facilities for Food, Leaf, and Yard Materials, found below.

Facilities may not charge a separate fee for the collection of baseline recyclables to residents and small businesses that self-haul, but may incorporate the cost of collecting baseline recyclables into the cost for the collection of solid waste. For more details on pricing rules, please refer to the Parallel Collection Fact Sheet listed below under Information & Guides.

Facilities may charge for the collection of trash, leaf and yard debris, clean wood waste, and food scraps.

Additionally, Universal Recycling requires solid waste management entities (local governments such as districts, alliances, groups, and independent towns) to implement Variable Rate Pricing Systems for residential solid waste by July 1, 2015. Variable Rate Pricing (or Pay-As-You-Throw) is a system where trash is charged by volume or weight; charging for trash by the bag or container is an example of a volume-based price. Contact your local solid waste management entity for information on their current Variable Rate Pricing ordinance and requirements. You may also refer to the Variable Rate Pricing Guide produced by the ANR Solid Waste Program available for download below.

Information & Guides

General Info

Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Letter to Transfer Stations and Drop-Offs (PDF)
Parallel Collection Fact Sheet for Haulers and Facilities (PDF)
ANR Letter to Transfer Stations, 2015 Edition with updates (PDF)

Variable Rate Pricing (or "Pay As You Throw")

Variable Rate Pricing Guide & Ordinance (PDF and Word Version)
NEWMOA Resources on Variable Rate Pricing
Case Example: Fair Pricing Strategies in the Northeast Kingdom
Explaining Recycling Costs to Customers: A Quick "How-To" (PDF)

Guidance on Planning for Collection of Additional Organic Materials at a Facility

Recommendations for Adding Language about Managing Food, Leaf, and Yard Materials at a Permitted Facility (Word)
New! Leaf, Yard, and Clean Wood Debris Guide (PDF)

AT A GLANCE: How facilities & haulers can charge for new services

Facilities cannot charge a separate fee for the collection of listed recyclables from residential customers. However, they may charge commercial haulers for this service. Facilities can also charge for the collection of leaf and yard debris and food scraps.

Haulers cannot charge a separate fee for the collection of listed recyclables from residential customers, but the costs of collecting these items can be included in residential trash collection fees. Haulers can also charge for the collection of leaf and yard debris and food scraps.

The law requires municipalities to implement unit based pricing (based on volume or weight) for their residential customers starting July 1, 2015.  Haulers will also be required to utilize the unit based pricing systems that are implemented by municipal entities (including solid waste districts, towns and town groups).  

ANR may review facility and hauler residential rate structures to ensure that rates are transparent to customers.

Resources for Your Drop-Off Customers

paperclipDownload the following handouts to help inform your customers about new Universal Recycling requirements. Have them available at the check-in booth or office, ready to hand-out. Attendants at transfer stations and drop-off facilities may also want to be familiar with Universal Recycling to answer questions on hand.

Universal Recycling Summary Timeline
Universal Recycling Summary Fact Sheet (PDF)
Fact Sheet & FAQ's for Residents (PDF)


Make signs for drop-off areas, pads, and roll-off containers using Universal Recycling symbols designed for the state of Vermont. Click on the button to the left to view a variety of high-quality versions of each symbol in both sign and circle symbol format. Bring these images to your local printer for some sign-making!

Public facilities should coordinate with their Solid Waste Management Entity (see resource links below) to make signs.

Additional Resources

1. Visit the Universal Recycling Resources page for links to concepts and outreach ideas on materials management.

2. Contact your local solid waste management entity.

The features and requirements of Universal Recycling are in addition to any mandates or ordinances enacted by your solid waste management entity (municipality). Identify your local Solid Waste Management Entity (SWME) by clicking on the button to the left, and contact a staff person for specific information.

3. View current Vermont State Landfill Bans. A flier listing the materials that are banned from landfill disposal by the State of Vermont. Click here.

4. Use these social media sources for up-to-date media bites on: upcoming events, Universal Recycling implementation deadlines, and ideas we see and like. A great way to stay connected.

Please note the new contact information:

New phone numbers: click here

For more information, contact:

Mia Roethlein, Environmental Analyst IV


Call (802) 828.1138
Waste Management & Prevention Division, Solid Waste Program
1 National Life Drive - Davis 1, Montpelier, VT  05620-3704


Last updated:
VT DEC Waste Management & Prevention Division 1 National Life Drive - Davis 1  Montpelier, VT  05620-3704  Tele: 802-828-1138  Fax: 802-828-1011

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