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Vermont's Universal Recycling Law (Act 148)
An act relating to establishing universal recycling of solid waste

The Vermont Legislature unanimously passed the Universal Recycling (UR) law in 2012, which bans disposal of recyclables (metal, glass, plastics #1 & #2, and paper/cardboard) by JULY 1, 2015; leaf and yard debris and clean wood by JULY 1, 2016; and food scraps by JULY 1, 2020.* It also requires solid waste haulers and facilities to collect these same materials.

*Review the Universal Recycling timeline and summary sheet below for specific dates and requirements.

Information & Resources

Stakeholder-specific information:

The Solid Waste Program is developing resources for each of the stakeholder groups affected by the Universal Recycling law.  Information and resources are being created for: Residents, Haulers, Local Government (towns, municipalities, solid waste management districts), Businesses &  Institutions, Schools, and Solid Waste Facilities. As the materials are finalized, they will be posted on individual stakeholder pages.  Select the image below to access stakeholder-specific information and resources.

           Facilities     Schools     Municipalities

General information:

Universal Recycling Documents

General Resources

Landfill Bans (PDF)

A flyer listing the materials that are banned from landfill disposal by the State of Vermont.

Food Scrap Haulers in Vermont 

A list of solid waste transporters that haul food scraps that includes the towns served and contact information. ANR does not assume any liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this list, and listing does not constitute an endorsement. If you haul food scraps and want to be added to this list, please contact Josh Kelly at josh.kelly@state.vt.us.

Compost Facilities in Vermont (PDF) find a compost facility near you.

Compost Facilities in Vermont, with 20-miles radius drawn around each facility (PDF)

Additional Universal Recycling Resources

This web page has links to several resources that may be helpful for implementing Universal Recycling.  Resource topics include compost and organics, food waste prevention, recycling, reuse and waste prevention.

Universal Recycling Principles: the Food Recovery Hierarchy and Universal Symbols

Prioritizing uses for food waste.

Universal Recycling (Act148) includes a hierarchy of the preferred ways to manage food scraps and food residuals:

1. Reduce the amount of food residuals being generated at the source (shopping with a list, strategically planned meals etc

2. Direct extra food of high quality to feed people by donating to food shelves and other similar strategies

3. Use lower quality food residuals for agricultural uses, such as food for animals (see the Agency of Agriculture's Swine Feeding Policy before feeding scraps to pigs)

4. Direct food residuals for compost, anaerobic digestion, and land application

5. Process for energy recovery

Creating standardized symbols for Vermont.

recycling  foodscraps  trash

Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) is proud to unveil the newly developed standardized symbols for recycling, food scraps, and trash. These symbols were created as tools to help implement Vermont’s Universal Recycling law (Act 148) which will unify recycling and composting efforts across Vermont. The symbols were conceived by an Act 148 work group comprised of solid waste management entities, non-profit organizations, businesses, and state agencies. >> Download symbols here.


Act 148 Studies and Reports


NEW! Report to the Legislature: Solid Waste Infrastructure Advisory Committee (SWIAC). February 4, 2015.

A bill signed in 2014 by the Vermont Legistlature (Act 175) commissioned a stakeholder committee to convene over Fall/Winter 2014 and provide reccommendations to the General Assembly on current solid waste infrastructure and infrastructure needs for implementing Act 148. The committee was also asked to review estimated costs and provide funding reccomendations. More information can be found on the SWIAC's meeting web page.

Final Report, "Systems Analysis of the Impact of Act 148 on Solid Waste Management in Vermont," October 21, 2013

The final report completed by DSM Environmental on behalf of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources incorporates comments collected during the draft and open comments periods of the report development. This report is a data driven analysis of current materials management system in Vermont and includes estimations of the effects of Act 148 on the system. See Final Study Design below for more details on the structure.

Appendix A - Single Stream Material Losses

Appendix B - Facilities and Materials Accepted by Solid Waste District Region

Appendix B - Solid Waste District and Alliance Programs and Services

Appendix C - Overview of Composting and AD Technologies

Appendix D - Raw Survey Data, Redemption Center Users

Appendix E - Background Analysis of Litter Data

Report to the Vermont Legislature: Act 148 Implementation (1MB PDF)

See additional Vermont Solid Waste Management plans, policies, and studies on the Publications & Reports page. >>Go now.



Department of Environmental Conservation

Waste Management & Prevention Division, Solid Waste Program

1 National Life Drive, Davis 1, Montpelier, VT 05620-3704

(802) 828-1138



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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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