Recycling is the process of taking a product at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. The internationally recognized symbol for recycling includes three arrows moving in a triangle. Each arrow represents a different part of the recycling process, from collection to re-manufacture to resale. Recycling reduces our waste sent to landfills, and making new products out of recycled ones reduces the amount of energy needed in production.
The U.S. EPA estimates that 75 percent of our waste is recyclable, which goes well beyond what you toss in your recycling bin at home or at school. Recycling serves two key purposes:
Because of the second purpose, it's important to recycle lots of products, including those that you might not initially think of recycling. This includes batteries, electronics, motor oil, paint and any product that has "Caution" or "Warning" on the label.
Attention Southern Windsor County: Recycle Your Used Batteries and Save Our Landfill
The law affects all Vermonters.
Vermont has new solid waste legislation that focuses on recyclables and organics. It will lead to more consistent services throughout the state. To read much more about this law, click here. If you would like to look at and/or use the new universal recycling symbols for recycling, food, and trash, click here. And here's a news article that sums up the law. Download the Universal Recycling timeline and/or a summary of the new law.
March 2015: Thanks to the efforts of wine drinkers throughout the District, we have recycled over 25,000 corks. We ship natural corks to reCork which uses them to make cork soles for shoes. The shipping is free so there is no cost to the District and it's one more resource that's not going to the landfill. All District transfer stations collect corks.
The paint stewardship law requires the paint industry to be responsible for collecting and managing leftover architectural paint in Vermont, reducing the role of government and taxpayers. The cost of the program is paid by manufacturers who sell paint in the state; a fee is included in the price of paint sold in Vermont. The program is administered by a paint stewardship organization, PaintCare. Click on www.paintcare.org for a list of what products are accepted and what are not.
In our District, latex and oil-based paint are accepted at the four annual household hazardous waste collections. Several retailers have also signed up to be year-round collection locations: Bibens and Sherwin-Williams in Springfield, Aubuchon Hardware in Windsor and LaValley's in Ludlow. Bring labeled, non-rusty, non-leaking cans to the retailers; we'll take the rest at our household hazardous waste collections.
There are two important parts to the Vermont's e-waste (used electronics) law which took effect in 2011. The first part is the landfill ban on many electronic devices as of January 1, 2011. The second is the FREE recycling of certain e-waste (computers, computer monitors, CRT-containing devices, printers, and TVs) as of July 1, 2011. For the details, click on the Department of Environmental Conservation's website. Vermont is the twenty-first state in the country to enact an e-waste law. The free program is open to Vermont residents, charities, school districts, and small businesses with up to ten employees. In our District, the Cavendish, Ludlow, Rockingham, Springfield, and Weathersfield transfer stations have registered as free collection sites.