MONTPELIER - The Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources' (ANR) Materials Management Plan (Plan) went into effect yesterday, June 18, 2014. Formerly named the State Solid Waste Management Plan, the Plan sets source reduction, reuse, and recycling goals for local governments for the next five years. Required by the 2012 Universal Recycling law, the Plan ensures consistent services where Vermonters live work and play.
"I'm proud of our Agency's Solid Waste staff who worked hard to develop this excellent plan," said ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz. "Vermont is the first state in the country to begin to implement such an ambitious waste-reduction plan. In implementing this plan, we'll decrease greenhouse gas emissions, improve local waste-reduction infrastructure, and increase the amount of valuable materials that are reused or recycled."
The Materials Management Plan focuses primarily on five materials streams: recyclables, food scraps, construction and demolition materials, hazardous wastes, and biosolids. Outreach and education and convenience targets are set for each material stream. At the end of the five-year Plan implementation timeline, ANR expects to reduce the waste disposal rate by 25 percent, a reduction of 100,000 tons.
"Vermonters will soon have access to recycling, trash, and food scrap collection services at home, and on the go," said Cathy Jamieson ANR Solid Waste Program Manager. "We have ambitious waste-reduction goals, but in partnership with solid waste districts, municipalities, and the private sector, we know we can get there."
The Materials Management Plan is the culmination of three years of work. The Plan has passed through formal rulemaking and public participation processes. Local governments, or solid waste management entities, as they are referred to in the Plan, have one year from today to submit a solid waste implementation plan, outlining how they will achieve the goals set forth in the Plan.
Consistent with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state trends, the shift in the Plan's name, from the State Solid Waste Management Plan to the Materials Management Plan, reflects a shift in approach to viewing and managing waste as valuable materials.
The Plan is available online.For a list of solid waste management entities see: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/solid/swmdlist.htm.
The Universal Recycling law (Act 148), passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2012, bans all recyclables from landfills by July 2015 and food scraps by July 2020. The full text of the law can be found here: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/Acts/ACT148.pdf. Follow ANR's latest developments related to Universal Recycling and materials management on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VTrecycles.