Setting a great example in waste conservation, Vermont became the first state in the United States of America to prohibit food scraps in trash.
As per the new legislation that came into effect on 1st July, the government has officially mandated composting throughout the entire state, banning residents, supermarkets, restaurants, and all other businesses from disposing food scraps either into trash cans or into containers used for refuse.
According to the government state website, food scraps are:
- Parts of food items that are typically discarded rather than eaten: peels, rinds, cores, eggshells, seeds, pits, bones, coffee grounds (and filters), loose-leaf tea & paper tea bags, and fats/oils/grease.
- Food that was not finished: “plate scraps” or leftovers that went bad. Any type of food can become scraps–bread, pasta, soup, veggies, fruit, sauces, meat, dairy, sweets, etc.
The prohibition also includes yard debris, which includes leaves, grass, and brush clippings.
So, residents are expected to first, collect the food scraps and debris in a big container. After this step, they have four options: firstly, they can compost it in their own yard; secondly, they can use solar digesters to use the sun’s energy to break down the food scraps in their own backyards; thirdly, they can feed the food scraps to animals such as chicken or pigs, if they rear any. Finally, they can drop the scraps off to any transfer station or composting site, coordinate a curb-side pickup, or hand it over to an authorized hauler facility.
When food scraps are left in landfills, they decompose without oxygen and do so slowly, a process that releases methane – a gas much more detrimental to the environment than carbon dioxide. But composting all the food wastes has numerous other advantages: apart from generating less trash and conserving landfill space, the process also helps produce valuable nutrients that are advantageous to the soil.
Isn’t this a fantastic initiative by the Vermont state government? What do you think about this move? Let us know your views in the comments section below.