Vermont is the first state in the nation to enact a law that makes composting mandatory for everyone. It’s all part of Act 148, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, which was put fully into effect in 2020.
The state has launched a web site, ScrapFoodWaste.org, where they are looking for folks to do two things really: to eat what they buy, and really think differently about preventing food waste in the first place.
There are new composting facilities and new haulers that offer services. There are now over 100 transfer stations across the state that offer collection of food scraps. And a lot of people have started backyard composting where they can do so.
Your Own Composting
Creating Your Compost Heap Location – One of the most important factors for starting a compost pile is its location. Choose an open, level area with good drainage. You do not want your compost to sit in standing water. An area with partial sun or shade is also ideal. Too much sun can dry the pile out, while too much shade can keep it overly wet. Finally, choose a site that is easy for you to get to and avoid areas near dogs or other meat-eating animals. Size – The recommended size for a compost pile is generally no smaller than 3 feet (1 m.) high and wide and no larger than 5 feet (1.5 m.). Anything smaller may not heat up efficiently and anything larger may hold too much water and become difficult to turn. It is recommended to start your pile on bare ground or composting bin rather than on asphalt or concrete. This impedes aeration and inhibits microbes.
The key materials for composting are nitrogen/greens and carbon/browns. When starting a compost pile, the recommended practice is to layer or alternate these greens and browns, the same way as you would for making lasagna. Your compost pile should be moist, but not soggy. Most of your water will come from rain, as well as the moisture in green materials, but you may need to water the pile yourself on occasion. If the pile gets too wet, you can turn it more frequently to dry it, or add more brown materials to soak up excess moisture.
You should turn your compost pile over often to not only mix the “green with the brown” but to discourage foraging by animals… especially bears.
There are numerous sites on the web about composting particularly in Vermont. You should search for them and learn more about this important conservation need.