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


Universal Recycling (Act 148) is the new solid waste legislation that focuses on recyclables and organics. It will provide convenience and choices for solid waste generators, including individuals, and will lead to more consistent services throughout the state.




Universal Recycling Documents


Information and Resources

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.



Universal Recycling (Act 148) requirements are in addition to any solid waste management entity mandates or ordinances.  Please check with your solid waste management entity to ensure full compliance with regional mandates.

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.

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.


Standardized Symbols

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. ANR Secretary Markowitz unveiled the symbols with the assistance of Main Street Middle School students at a press event on November 13th. See the new symbols here.



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





Act 148 Study and Reports

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



Final Study Design
The study elements presented in this Final Study Design are a result of a legislative mandate contained in Act 148. The objective of the studies are to provide a thorough analysis of the existing solid waste system in Vermont. The mandate also requires an evaluation of the expenditures needed to increase the State's solid waste system capacity to manage the adjustments in the waste stream to account for the anticipated increases in diverted materials as they are phased-in over the next eight years.

More specifically, the Final Study Design seeks to obtain and evaluate data relating to:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive and thorough cost analysis of the:
    1. Existing and foreseeable expansion of the solid waste system to manage anticipated adjustments to the waste stream based on Act 148,
    2. Expense and benefits related to diverting specific material types as seen by municipalities, manufacturers, and generators; and
    3. Investment made, and return seen on the investment of diverting specific material types from the waste stream,
  2. Infrastructure capacity needed to implement recently adopted solid waste legislation (Act 148).
  3. Administration, operation, and cost of services for each type of municipal solid waste management entity. This shall include municipalities (including solid waste districts, solid waste alliances, and individual municipalities) with an approved Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP), as well as municipalities that do not have their own, or are not part of a group of municipalities with a State approved SWIP.
  4. Bottle Bill implementation costs and revenue and the existing single stream recycling program costs and revenue; and Bottle Bill expansion cost and revenue comparison between the two diversion systems.



Department of Environmental Conservation

Waste Management & Prevention Division, Solid Waste Program

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

(802) 828-1138



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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