Throwing food waste in the trash is now illegal in Vermont

Vermont has long been praised as one of the greenest states in the US, and rightfully so. Last year, the Green Mountain State passed into law the most comprehensive ban on single-use plastics in the US, setting a commendable standard for other states to follow.

Now, in a bid to further their efforts at protecting the environment, state officials recently passed legislation that will no longer allow its residents to simply toss their food into trash cans, a decision intended to divert tons of food waste from ending up in landfills.

Under the new law that went into effect at the start of the month, Vermonters are now required to compost any unfinished food – including inedible scraps like peels, eggshells, and pits – in their yard or through a professional compost facility.

Known as the Food Scrap Ban, the initiative addresses food waste from a few angles, by providing different options for drop-off and curbside collection, along with resources to help residents compost at home.

The state, however, doesn’t plan to enforce the ban at the residential level. Instead, officials are asking for voluntary compliance – and they expect to get it. Even before the ban went into effect, 72 percent of Vermonters were composting at home or fed their food scraps to livestock, according to a study from the University of Vermont.

While Vermont is already a step ahead of most states when it comes to handling things in an eco-friendly way, the new law is expected to further advance the state’s environmental record and serve as a model for others looking to address their problem of food waste.

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