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Fall 2012 CVSWMD News - Residential Composting, Here We Come!

posted at 1:07 pm Thu Sep 6th, 2012 by (WherezIt_Staff)

Zero Waste Central Header
Quarterly Newsletter
Fall 2012 

Who We Are
Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District is a union municipality committed to helping its 17 member communities work toward Zero Waste. 
We are 
Zero Waste CentralTM. 

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Like our page for tips, resources, and information about reducing, reusing, and recycling in Central Vermont. We'll also post up-to-the-minute news about our special collections and programs; and as an added bonus - we raffle off a prize at every increment of 100 fans. 
We are Zero Waste Central!
food scraps in tote PilotResidential Composting Coming Soon! 
Seeking Hardwick Residents for Pilot Composting Project
We're starting up a residential composting pilot project in both Montpelier and Hardwick. Montpelier's pilot is still in development with details to be revealed soon. In Hardwick, we have the help of Highfields Center for Composting as we seek 60 families living in the town of Hardwick to join us.
    This is a great opportunity for people who want to compost but for one reason or another can't or don't want it in their yards. There will be at least two central drop-off locations to be announced when we start collecting.
   All pilot participants receive tool kits to get started, including collection containers, easy instructions, an orientation to composting, and prizes. One great feature of the pilot is that people will be able to compost all food scraps INCLUDING meat, dairy, bones, bread, and fish, something most home-composters keep out of the bin because those items can promote mold growth or attract animals. CVSWMD has long encouraged people to FIRST home-compost (if that is a viable option). This pilot compliments our efforts on that front. As well, we invite people who are already home composting to participate in the pilot, as a venue for composting those meat, dairy, bones, bread and fish scraps.
   We are able to develop this pilot thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Vermont Attorney General's office, which came to us as part of a payment required under a recent consumer protection settlement with Fabri-Kal Corporation of Kalamazoo, MI, a supplier of "compostable" products, which only really compost in large-scale commercial facilities. We are excited to bring to residents what we've already been doing for businesses and schools for many years now - facilitating diversion of food scraps and organics from landfills to our local compost businesses, which turn it into a valuable product.
    If you're interested in participating, call 229-9383 or email


LAST 2012 Hazardous Waste Collections is September 22  
Three More Collections of Other Materials Throughout Fall
paint cans
It's not too late to participate in our Household Hazardous Waste, e-waste, textile, tires, or books collections. We still have four more happening throughout Central Vermont. If you have questions about any of the collections, please call 229.9383. Still wondering what hazardous waste is? Check out our household hazardous waste page to learn what to bring.*All events are from 9AM- 1PM, $15 per carload - shared carloads encouraged! 


Please visit our website for more information, locations and directions! *Businesses: Call to pre-register! 



Sept. 22:  Hazardous Waste / Montpelier 


Oct. 6:     E-waste, Textiles, Books / Chelsea 


Oct. 13:   Document Shred / Montpelier 


November: Tires / Bradford (Stay tuned for more details!!)   


SchoolSchool Updates
by Gwen Lyons


What to Look for this School Year:   
  • All of our schools have been trained to compost! We will work on maintaining high diversion and participation rates and low contamination rates.
  • More waste stream audits - a waste stream audit can help a school identify what makes up their waste stream audit and areas to target waste reduction efforts
  • School Zero Waste Grant Program - 11 schools applied for and were awarded funding to reduce waste in their school. Schools can apply for up to $2500 each year for a grant to fund a project or purchase that will help the school reduce waste. The grant guidelines and application can be found on our website.
  • We have recycling bins! CVSWMD recently purchased a large number of recycling bins for schools. The school program staff is working toward making sure that there is a recycling bin next to every trash can in all of the 24 public schools in the district. New educational signage has also been developed and will be distributed with the bins.
  • Educational lessons and activities have been developed for each grade (from K-8). Contact school program staff for more information or to schedule a staff member to come to your classroom.

From School Coordinator to School Program Manager
Congratulations, Gwen! Former School Zero Waste Coordinator, Gwen Lyons, has recently transitioned to becoming our School Program Manager. Gwen developed our School Zero Waste program over the past two and a half years; it has been so successful that the need has arisen to have a second staff person and an intern to help her implement programming. We've recently hired a new School Coordinator and will post details soon.





NotesCVSWMD Notes

casette tapes
Cassette tapes are one of many unusual items we are accpeting during our Dollar Days
 Liked our FREE  Fridays? You'll Love 'Dollar Days'!   

We have expanded our Free Fridays and renamed it "Dollar Days." We will continue accepting all the usual amazing hard-to-recycle items, as well as - new this month - Pellet Bags! We also are adding a day, so we'll be open both Mondays and Fridays 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at our Barre Facility (recently dubbed A.R.C.C. - the Additional Recycling Collection Center). Click here for a complete list of items we accept or call 229-9383 x106 for more info. Some of the interesting things we accept during Dollar Days: VHS & Cassette tapes; CDs, DVDs and their covers; toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes; cheese packaging ... and much, much, MUCH more.




Introducing our new Program Assistant: Carl Witke    


Carl Witke
We welcome Carl, who started working with us this July as a Program Assistant. Carl came to Vermont in 1991 and fell in love with Vermont's landscape and communities almost overnight. Carl holds an A.A. in Forestry from Sterling College in Craftsbury, a B.S. in Natural Resources Planning and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education, both earned at UVM. From surveying fisheries and planting trees to teaching seventh grade science, Carl has always been passionate about how Vermonters can live sustainably. Carl notes that there is no 'waste' in natural systems; and his work is driven by the belief that Vermonters can live lighter on the land by using less stuff and using the stuff we need more efficiently and artfully.





Welcome Chrissy Lou, our new School Program Intern    

  Chrissy Lou School Intern

Originally from Staten Island, New York, I relocated to Vermont about a year  ago and quickly fell in love. I am interested in working to improve our communities and environment. I am very excited for the opportunity to work with CVSWMD and promote a zero waste philosophy as the school program intern! I am currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Vermont. In my free time I enjoy camping, snowboarding, cooking and baking.










NRDCAmericans Waste up to 40% of Food, NRDC Study Finds
The National Resource Defense Council recently published an article finding that Americans waste huge amounts of food, and much of that ends up in our landfills. This is bad news for those of us working to keep food scraps from landfills; most of the wasted food is creating yet more methane off-gassing into our already damaged atmosphere. Scary fact: "The decomposition of uneaten food accounts for 23 percent of all methane emissions in the United States. Of all the food that is lost at different stages from farm to fork, only 3 percent is composted." But there is good news: some grocery store chains have saved millions by implementing a basic analysis of how food is wasted and taking measures to fix the problem (see p. 11 of report).

An excerpt from "Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill"
"Food is simply too good to waste. Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten. Getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions." Read More.



Question of the Month: How to Re-use That Cereal Bag?


We get questions every day about how to recycle all sorts of items. This summer we have been accepting cereal bags, among many other items, during our Dollar Days (formerly Free Fridays).

One person wrote us, asking "what is a cereal bag ... and what do I do with it?" For starters, when we refer to a "cereal bag," we mean the semi-opaque plastic bag inside most cereal boxes. It's the thing that actually contains your cereal.
So how can you re-use it?
  • Check out Earth911's contest winners for creative ways to re-use bags (our favorite: as a bag dispenser) 
  • Use them the same way you use zip-loc bags; close with a rubber band or string.
  • Carefully pull apart the seams, and the bag turns into a rectangle almost exactly the size of 9" x 16" baking sheet; perfect for no-bake  cookies, sticky bars or for layering big batches of baked goods. They can be wiped down and used over and over again. Here's some instructions
  • There are infinite uses for these sturdy bags, but we love what "Stretch Mark Mama" has to say on her blog; click here to read 13 more ideas.
  • Terracycle upcycles the Mom's Brand cereal bags.
  • Nix the bag AND the box, and buy cereal in bulk at your local food coop. Bring your own containers or paper bags.
  • If all else fails, bring them (clean) to our Dollar Days (formerly Free Fridays).  
ceral bag disposable cutting board 
Another use for cereal bags: impromptu cutting board.


Congratulations Ted Thomas!  
Ted was one of our first 100 Facebook fans, and so he was entered into (and won) a Green Cone. We will raffle off another Green Cone when we reach 200 fans.
Contact Uscontactus


Physical Address:




Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD)

137 Barre Street

Montpelier, VT 05602-3618                                    

PH:  802.229.9383
FAX: 802.229.1318



General Questions or Comments?


Leesa Stewart - General Manager x101 


 Barb Baird - Administrative Coordinator x100


 Collin O'Neil Program Manager x 106


Gwen Lyons - School Zero Waste Coordinator x 111


Carl WitkeProgram Assistant x 105


Cassandra Hemenway Brush - Zero Waste Outreach Coordinator x 102


Annette Martin - Bookkeeper x 104

Bob Freeman - Driver


Ted Coles - Driver


Odin - Wellness Coordinator

Back to Quick Links 

CVSWMD Board Members by City/Town


Barre City - Nancy Wolfe

Barre City alternate - Steve Micheli

Barre Town ­ - Fred Thumm

Barre Town alternate - Jack Mitchell

Berlin - Matt Levin

Bradford - Gerhard Postpischil

Calais - Bill Powell

Calais Alternate - John Brabant 

Chelsea - Mark Lembke

Chelsea Alternate - Steve Gould

East Montpelier - Ginny Callan   

Hardwick - Heather Bryant

Hardwick Alternate- Paul Fixx

Middlesex - Anita Krauth

Montpelier - Mia Moore

Montpelier Alternate - Andy Hooper

Orange - Lee Cattaneo

Plainfield - Vacant

Tunbridge - Vacant

Walden - Vacant

Washington - Vacant

Williamstown - Charles Sandlin

Woodbury - Dave Barnowski


Relevant Address(es):
137 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)

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