Vermont Food Waste Law

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

Vermont has long been recognised as one of the greenest states in the US, and has already passed into law the country's most comprehensive ban on single-use plastics, setting a commendable standard for other states to follow. Now it's turned its attention to food waste.

To further Vermont's efforts to protect the environment, state officials have just passed legislation to stop residents throwing unused food into trash bins. The objective is to get Vermonters to do something useful with this waste and divert tons of food waste from ending up in landfills.

Under the new law, residents are required to compost any unfinished food – including inedible scraps like banana skins and eggshells – in their garden or pass the waste to a professional compost facility.

Even before the ban went into effect, 3 out of 4 Vermonters were already composting at home or fed their food scraps to livestock, according to a study from the University of Vermont.

Known as the Food Scrap Ban, the new law is designed to get the last 25% of its population to fall into line. To help, the state is providing different options for drop-off and roadside collection, along with initiatives to assist residents compost at home. Currently, officials don't intend to police the ban and are simply asking for voluntary compliance – and they expect to get it.

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.