ACSWMD is here to help your event reduce waste and comply with Vermont's Universal Recycling Law. ACSWMD staff are available to train event staff in the basics of waste management, including what the event's responsibilities are, what can and can't be recycled and composted, how to help event goers and vendors properly sort waste materials, and how collected materials need to be handled or disposed of.
Vermont's Universal Recycling Law requires recycling of plastic containers, glass bottles, metal cans, paper, and cardboard. Events of all kinds need to provide for recycling. Further, the law requires that any trash container in a public buildings or on public land must be accompanied by a recycling container. It is helpful to have clear signs next to every receptacle with examples of what is recyclable. Note that common single-use items such as plastic bags, coated paper products (paper cups and plates), plastic utensils, and containers with food or liquid in them are not recyclable.
Learn more about ACSWMD's recycling containers available for public events. Waste Warrior volunteers can help staff waste sorting stations to reduce contamination of recyclables. Learn more and request Waste Warrior volunteers.
All food scraps are banned from the trash in Vermont. Plan to collect food scraps and used cooking oil at your event. For smaller events, food scraps can be taken to the District Transfer Station or your town drop-off. For larger events, find a hauler who provides collection of food scraps.
Make sure you know what is accepted for composting and what contaminants should be kept out. Please note that no compostable products, including paper napkins, compostable cups, dishware, and utensils are accepted for composting drop-off or collection in Addison County. It is helpful to have signs with examples of acceptable items (either pictures or the real thing!) next to every collection container. If applicable, coordinate with food vendors or caterers about how serviceware and food scraps will be handled.
Waste Warriors are trained volunteers that help event attendees properly sort their discarded materials into recycling, compost, and trash. Recycling at events can be confusing, and many event-goers are focused on enjoying the event, not deciphering where their plastic cup should go. Waste Warriors are a friendly, enthusiastic, and cheerful presence at waste sorting stations to communicate with attendees about which items go into each bin.
Waste Warriors are not members of the event’s clean-up crew or waste management team. They don’t empty collection containers, transport bags of materials, pick up litter, or do other tasks that the event is required to do.
We can’t guarantee that Waste Warrior volunteers will be available for every event that requests them. We will prioritize requests from events that are keeping food scraps out of the landfill and taking steps to reduce waste and control the waste stream. There’s no fee for Waste Warriors, but events must demonstrate commitment to responsible waste management by meeting the standards outlined on the request form.
Vermont state law prevents stores and food vendors from giving out single-use plastic products including straws, plastic stirrers, plastic bags, and Styrofoam cups and containers. Consider using reusable food service ware instead of single-use items such as plastic cutlery, paper cups, straws, and paper plates, none of which are recyclable. Keep in mind that compostable products such as compostable napkins, plates, cups, and utensils are NOT accepted for composting in Addison County. Alternatively, the HOPE Resale Store in Middlebury sells dishware and utensils for cents apiece, or ask your guests to bring their own reusable dishware.
The District has Zero Waste Event Kits of reusable ceramic dishware, drinking glasses, and silverware available for events to borrow.