Mandatory Recycling, Composting Bill Headed To Senate

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Recycling and composting could soon be mandatory in Vermont. Legislation to make it so recently passed the House by a unanimous vote, and is now in the Senate.

Representative Tony Klein is the chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and a sponsor of the bill. He says the legislation is long overdue.

(Klein) "Everybody in the industry, in the private marketplace, said look, we know where we need to be. Set the goals, set the mandates, but set them far out enough so that we can respond to it. And don’t tell us how to do it. And that’s exactly what we’ve done."

The bill sets mandates for recycling and for composting that would be phased in over the years… starting with traditional recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic and glass. By 2020, even organic materials, such as food scraps, would be banned from landfills.

The legislation would also require that all trash cans set out in public spaces be accompanied by a recycling bin. And it would mandate a "Pay-As-You-Throw" system, where the more trash you generate, the more you pay. Recycling would be free.

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