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  Universal Recycling forResidents  

How does Universal Recycling apply to Vermont municipalities?

Solid Waste Management Entities (SWMEs) are the local governments responsible for implementing state materials management policies and Universal Recycling requirements within their jurisdiction. A SWME can be a solid waste district, a solid waste alliance, or an independent town. A solid waste district is a chartered municipal entity with the same powers of a Vermont city or town, such as creating ordinances.

The SWMEs are required to implement aspects of the Universal Recycling Law, and to produce and implement a Solid Waste Implementation Plan in conformance with the Vermont Materials Management Plan (MMP).

Specific tasks under these responsibilities include:

  • Implementing Variable Rate Pricing systems by July 1, 2015, for all residential municipal solid waste collection, such as by passing an ordinance
  • Ensuring parallel collection of recyclables wherever trash containers are available in all public spaces by July 1, 2015 (except in restrooms)
  • Adopting a Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) by June 18, 2015, in conformance with the Materials Management Plan
  • Yearly SWIP reporting on outreach efforts and solid waste assets

SWMEs are encouraged to use this web page to access the most up-to-date information and guidance documents on Universal Recycling requirements (listed above in green) and SWIP planning (above in blue).

Agency of Natural Resources staff members ready to converse with municipal leaders on Universal Recycling in Vermont. March 2014. Montpelier, VT.



ZoomtoTown Which towns belong to solid waste districts or alliances?

Click the icon to view a PDF map of SWME boundaries.

Information & Guidance

2016 Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) Grant RFP >> View in State-Wide Bid System

General Info

Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Letter to Municipalities (PDF)
Summary & Fact Sheet for Municipalities (PDF)
Explaining Recycling Costs to Customers: A Quick "How-To" (PDF)

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

Variable Rate Pricing Guide & Ordinance (PDF and Word Version)
NEWMOA Resources on Variable Rate Pricing
Case Example: Fair Pricing Strategies in the Northeast Kingdom

Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) Guidance

SWIP Guidance Document for Vermont Municipalities (PDF)
Solid Waste Hauler Exemption Guidance (PDF)
SWIP Template (Fill-in Form, Word)

Review the Materials Management Plan HERE

Guidance on How to Comply with HHW Requirements in MMP (PDF)


Reporting Diversion & Disposal Data for SWME

How-To Collect and Report Diversion & Disposal Data for SWIP Reports (PDF)
Extra Download: Data reporting resources (.zip folder)

Additional Resources

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

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.

symbols_dwnld Access standardized recycling, food scraps, and trash symbols for outreach and education.The Agency of Natural Resources developed symbols to create an identity for recycling, composting, and trash waste streams. These are symbols that the Agency hopes Vermont residents will be able to identify with as Universal Recycling of mandated recyclables and organics comes into effect. Businesses, haulers, facilities, and education organizations are encouraged to use these symbols in any place where waste bins are located. The projected use of these symbols state-wide will increase consistent labeling and waste systems for Vermonters.


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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