The following has been prepared by Bob Spencer, Executive Director of Windham Solid Waste Management District (WSWMD), and Sandra Rulewich, who is Vernon’s representative to the WSWMD.
VERMONT ISSUES NEW FOOD RESIDUAL DROP-OFF REGULATIONS
On Tuesday, August 18, 2020 the Vernon Select Board voted to remove the COW (Composting Organic Waste) food scrap dumpsters at the highway garage “until a legal solution could be found.”
Staff at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation have been working for more than a year to develop the following new regulations regarding food scrap dumpsters, which takes effect November 1, 2020. The rules are part of revised solid waste regulations, and can be found in Subchapter 12 – Organic Solid Waste Management Facilities, Section 6, Food Residual Drop-Off Facilities.
Food Residual storage containers shall be located 50 feet from property lines, unless otherwise approved by the Secretary;
Drop-off locations shall be approved by the local Solid Waste Management Entity (WSWMD);
All food residual drop-off facilities shall be designed to:
- Control vectors, and to control emissions or discharges to the environment, including odor and dust, so as to preclude the creation of nuisance conditions and undue threats to public health and safety or to the environment;
- Prevent, to the greatest extent feasible, the reduction of the quality of the waste, such as the rotting or contamination of stored wastes; and
- Ensure the effective collection, storage, and processing of all waste materials.
Food Residual Drop-off facilities. In addition to the requirements of this section, these facilities shall provide storage capable of preventing leaking, providing protection from precipitation and to be secure when the drop-off is not open for drop-off activities.
- The containers used to store the food residuals shall be watertight, and have lids which can be closed securely and locked to prevent vectors, fugitive odors, and access when not operating;
- Facilities shall control liquids and prevent vectors and odors from the stored waste;
- All food residuals stored at the facility shall be removed from the facility as needed to preclude the creation of nuisance conditions and the deterioration of the material; and
- In no case shall food residuals managed at the facility create public nuisance conditions, including odors or vectors.
Now that the new regulations are in effect, the Vernon Selectboard may want to consider seeking state approval for food waste dumpsters somewhere on town property.
At the request of the Selectboard, WSWMD staff can work with the Town to find a location for the dumpsters, identify acceptable types of dumpsters, apply for a state permit, and send out a bid for collection of the food residuals.