Picnics and Pollution: Being Mindful of Your Waste This Summer

When planning summer activities, it’s important to be mindful of the waste you are producing and where it goes. Picnics in particular are a popular summer pastime, but are often accompanied by a multitude of single-use products. These disposable products require minimal cleanup, but aren’t recyclable and generate unnecessary waste - and they can contribute to environmental pollution when disposed of improperly.


Some people believe that paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils can be recycled – however, this is not the case. Including these items in your blue bin recycling can cause issues for material recovery centers down the line. Paper plates and cups are often contaminated with stuck-on food which attracts bugs and vermin – remember that a lot of the sorting at recycling facilities is done by hand. Plastic utensils are too small to recycle – anything that goes into your blue bin has to be at least 2 inches by 2 inches, otherwise it can fall through the gaps in the machinery at the recycling facility and end up contaminating other materials. 


Another popular type of disposable dishware and silverware are so-called “compostable,” “greenware,” or “bioplastic” products. Many folks purchase these products thinking that they are less harmful than other disposables. However, these items are usually not compostable anywhere in Vermont. Companies often market these products as Earth-friendly, but they don’t account for regional differences in recycling markets or whether or not local compost facilities can actually process them.

To cut down on your waste for summer gatherings, consider packing a kit with reusable dishware and utensils, cloth napkins in lieu of paper ones, and reusable containers and wrappings for your food. And remember - food scraps are banned from going to the landfill in Vermont, so make sure to save any leftovers or properly dispose of them.

For larger events, consider utilizing our Bin Loan program to help you sort, collect, and manage any waste your event generates! Visit our Zero Waste Events page on our website for more information or to reserve equipment.

For more information on zero-waste living, check out our Zero Waste at Home page!

Compost and Recycling Equipment For Sale!

Did you know that CVSWMD sells composting and recycling equipment at discounted rates to District residents?

Although all of our Soil Savers, Green Cones, and recycling bins were in the ARCC at the time of the July 2023 flood, the good news is that only the packaging was damaged! For this reason, all of our composters and recycling bins are being sold at a heavy discount. Don't worry - all of the equipment is still perfectly fine to use!

Soil Saver Compost Bins ($45) – These bins are easy to assemble and use right out of the box and can be set up anywhere. The lid locks in place, keeping critters out of your compost while providing an easy top opening for adding food scraps and mixing in browns.

Green Cone Solar Digester ($80) – An in-ground digester for all food scraps, including meat, dairy, and bones. This composter can be installed in any area that is sunny and has good soil drainage. The basket of the Green Cone is buried underground to allow the microorganisms and insects in the soil to break down the food scraps.

Recycling Bins ($6) – A convenient bin to collect all of your recyclables for pick up for drop off!

Compost Pails ($8) – Use these to collect food scraps on your kitchen counter until you can bring them to your compost bin or a drop-off site.

Please note that your equipment may still have some dirt on it due to the flood.

For more information or to schedule a pickup appointment, head over to our Compost Equipment Order Form on our website!

Got Hazardous Waste? We've Got You Covered!

Do you have household hazardous waste to dispose of? Good news - we have four more collection events scheduled for this season, and our next one is coming up next month in Tunbridge!

Join us on Saturday, June 22 between 9am - 1pm at the Tunbridge Transfer Station to safely dispose of any household hazardous waste you have at home.

What to Bring: Automotive fluids, aerosols, chemical cleaners, fuels, paint thinners, solvents, pesticides, etc. Look for warning words on product containers like Danger, Warning, Toxic, Hazard, Flammable, Poisonous, Reactive, or Corrosive.

Event Fees: $20 per vehicle, cash or check only (in-district residents* only). Businesses, towns, and schools must call to register at least two weeks in advance for HHW collections.

Event Rules: No containers larger than 5 gallons can be accepted at these events; waste containers will not be returned. Keep all products in their original containers. All materials must be in trunk or bed of vehicle. No pets and no smoking allowed.

For full event details and more information on what to bring, visit our Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events page on our website.

*These events are open to residents of the CVSWMD towns only: Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Bradford, Calais, Chelsea, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Fairlee, Hardwick, Middlesex, Montpelier, Orange, Plainfield, Tunbridge, Walden, Washington, Williamstown, and Woodbury.

The A-Z Guide: Our Searchable Disposal Database!

Picture this: the warm weather has finally arrived, you’ve just finished doing some Spring cleaning and reorganizing your home, and you’re feeling refreshed for the upcoming season; but now you have a bunch of old household items that have built up over the year that you need to get rid of!

Does this sound familiar? If so, check out our A-Z Guide on our website, a database where you can search for specific items and see your options for recycling or disposal!

Whether you’re looking to get rid of electronics, furniture, lightbulbs, appliances, batteries, or other odds and ends, the A-Z Guide has you covered! Just search for your items and click “Generate Report” and the database will present you with all of your options, whether that means disposing of them in the trash or blue bin recycling, or bringing them to a drop-off site like our ARCC facility.

To search our A-Z Guide, please visit a-z-guide.cvswmd.org, or go to our website and click the button on our homepage.

CVSWMD is a 19-member union municipality with a mission to provide “leadership, education and services for residents and businesses in reducing and managing their solid waste, with a vision for working toward a zero waste community by reducing waste. All of CVSWMD’s programs work toward its mission and goals.
CVSWMD member towns include: Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Bradford, Calais, Chelsea, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Fairlee, Hardwick, Middlesex, Montpelier, Orange, Plainfield, Tunbridge, Walden, Washington, Williamstown, and Woodbury.

CVSWMD | 802.229.9383 | comments@cvswmd.org | cvswmd.org


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