In 2012, the Vermont Legislature unanimously passed Act 148, a universal recycling and composting law that offers Vermonters a new set of systems and tools for keeping as much as possible out of the landfill. The law is an update to the mandatory recycling law and now includes banning organics (yard/leaf debris and food scraps) from the landfill as well as specific container requirements for publicly accessible areas.
What does this mean for campus and everyone on it? It’s the LAW to properly sort and dispose of the materials we use on campus. This means ALL recyclables must be recycled, ALL food scraps & other organics must be composted, and the remaining “trash” must be sent to the landfill. Luckily, we make it super easy for everyone on campus to do just this! Here’s how it works on campus.
Employee Guide to Act 148 on Campus
Student Guide to Act 148 on Campus
Every building, every floor, every office space, every classroom, every residential room and apartment has a blue bin for recycling (if you don’t, make sure to put in a work order through the Facilities work order system).
Students living in the Residential Halls must empty their recycling into the recycling containers located on each floor in the Trash/Recycling room.
Students living in the townhouses/apartments are responsible for bringing all recycling out to the nearest recycling dumpster by their living area (recycling dumpsters are clearly labeled and conveniently located next to the trash dumpster).What is recyclable on campus? Download this handy guide to find out!
*Note that electronics fall under the mandatory recycling law and are banned from the landfill. Employees (with college-owned electronics) should submit a work order through the Facilities work order system for staff to pick-up any electronics that need to be recycled. The college works with Good Point recycling to ensure these items are responsibility and ethically disposed of.
Since 2007, the college has been composting all of its pre and post-consumer food scraps from the dining hall in Alliot. With Act 148, now the rest of campus gets to join in on the fun! Just as recycling is easy on campus, it’s easy to discard your food scraps so we can turn them into compost to be used on the campus landscape!
Every building on campus has a food scrap container (generally, this is located on the first floor of every building). For the Residential Halls, every floor in each building has a green food scrap container located in the Trash/Recycling room. For all students living in the apartments/townhouses, you are provided a small green food scrap container in your kitchen that is clearly labeled with what we do and don’t accept in the college compost. Students in the apartments/townhouses are responsible for emptying the container into a green compost toter located next to every trash/recycling dumpster near your living area. To keep with the spirit of reducing waste, please take good care of your bin so that future students can use it.
For what can and can’t be composted on campus please refer to the brochure linked at the beginning of the page.
Here’s a short video from our partners at Chittenden Solid Waste District on how to make composting easy:
Waste Warrior Competition
A new campaign launched during the Fall of 2017 in which the Office of Sustainability and the Eco-Rep program deemed November Waste Watchers Awareness Month. During this month, the Eco-Reps are focusing on various residential programming aimed at educating residents about waste/recycling/composting.
The Office of Sustainability has launched a Waste Warrior Competition to see who among the faculty, staff and students are worthy of this prestigious title. Not only will the winners get awarded this title (winners to be posted each year here), but they will also get a swag bag of various items to keep them on their waste warrior lifestyle.
Zero Waste Events
Are you hosting an event and want to make it as waste free as possible? Reach out to the Office of Sustainability for tips on how to do this and various resources to help (recycling bins, food scrap containers, posters/labels, etc). Are you having coffee/tea at an event? Encourage folks to bring their own reusable mug (a major source of waste in the landfill bins throughout campus).
Year End Move-Out: Ditch the Dumpster
In 2015, the Office of Sustainability began the annual Ditch the Dumpster move-out campaign. This campaign was an effort to reduce the amount of waste generated by students during move-out and to “re-home” items in good condition with local non-profits and other organizations. During Finals Week, student volunteers help staff a centrally located collection site to collect various items (see list below). Students whom donate items receive raffle tickets to be entered into a drawing to win an Amazon gift card (as a little incentive to think twice before discarding usable items).
In 2016, the Office of Sustainability joined forces with the college’s Mobilization of Volunteers Efforts (MOVE) office to expand the campaign’s impact on and off campus. With MOVE’s help, the campaign was able to increase the list of acceptable items (and organizations whom benefited from the campaign) to include clothing and non-perishable food items.
Since its inception, the Ditch the Dumpster campaign has not only successfully diverted thousands of pounds annually from the waste stream, but it has also raised awareness about the importance of donating items to those in need rather than carelessly tossing them away.
Other Misc. Waste/Recycling Info
The college recycles the used cooking oil from the dining hall.
Did you know?
Recycling just 3/4 of your household waste would reduce your carbon footpring by 3,600 lbs per year!!
The amount of oil saved by recycling your cartridges could reduce your carbon footrbint by 38 lbs of carbon dioxide! Just imagine how much the college's carbon footprint could be reduced if every staff, faculty and student recycled their cartridges!
Using reusable containers (such as tupperware for left-overs or lunch items) reduces an individual's carbon footrping by 16 lbs in a year.
Using plastic bags will add 99 lbs of carbon to your carbonfootprin (or more if you use lots of plastic). BYOB - bring your own bag - when you go to the grocery store or other store.
Purchasing bottled water adds 110 lbs to your carbon footrpint. Use a reusable bottle for water.
("The Environmental Equation," by Alex Shimo-Barry, 2008)