Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to give your Christmas tree the old heave-ho-ho-ho. But don’t let all that holiday spirit languish in a landfill! In Chittenden County, we have lots of options for giving that tree new life, as long as you make sure it is stripped of anything Mother Nature didn’t install herself.
Step 1: Prepare your tree: Remove anything Mother Nature herself didn’t install:
REMOVE ornaments, tinsel and lights
No artificial snow (trees with fake snow must be landfilled)
No artificial trees (fake trees are landfill fodder — next time try getting a real one!)
No bags or other wrapping around trees
No tree stands; boards used as stands are OK as long as they have never been painted, stained, glued, or pressure-treated, and nails or screws must be smaller than 1/4-inch diameter.
Step 2: Choose an option that works for you:
Burlington: Trees must be on the curb by 7 a.m. Monday, January 6. Trees will be collected by Burlington Public Works as soon as possible. No charge. Burlington residents only.
Colchester: Boy Scout Troop 658 will be picking up trees as a fundraiser to sponsor scout camp or other adventure a kid might otherwise not be able to afford to attend. Call 802-655-6258 to arrange pickup for Saturday, January 4. Trees must be completely bare (see specifications above). $10 donation suggested.
Essex Town & Village: Trees must be on the curb by 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 6th and will be picked up by the Village and Town Public Works crews and subcontractors. You must make sure tree remains unburied by snow. The tree pickup is planned to end on Friday, the 10th of January, unless delayed by weather. No charge. Essex Town & Village residents only. More details may be found on the Essex Town & Village web site.
Hinesburg & Shelburne: The CVU Music Department will be picking up Christmas trees in large neighborhoods in Hinesburg & Shelburne for a $10 donation on Saturday, January 4th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Net proceeds will support the Touring Band’s trip to Costa Rica in February.
To participate: 1) Call Brooke at 802-598-8771, to arrange pickup; 2) Make a $10 check out to “CVU Music,” put it in an envelope, then a plastic baggie, and attach it to your tree. 3) Put your tree by the curb on the morning of the 4th. (Condos and apartments, leave at entrance of development.) If your tree is not picked up by 2:30pm, call Brooke.
DROP-OFF LOCATIONS All trees brought to CSWD Drop-Off Centers and the McNeil Wood & Yard Waste Depot will be chipped up and used as fuel to generate electricity at the McNeil Generating Plant.
Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) Drop-Off Centers:
- Up to 3 trees can be brought to the Essex, Milton, Richmond and South Burlington locations, and unlimited trees to the Williston location through January 31.
- Trees are NOT accepted at the Burlington and Hinesburg locations.
- There is no charge for trees properly stripped according to the list above. Customers with trees not properly stripped of decorations will be charged $1/foot (in height of tree) for disposal in the landfill — not a happy ending!
- Find hours and locations here: http://www.cswd.net/facilities-fees/drop-off-centers.
McNeil Wood and Yard Waste Depot: (111 Intervale Rd., Burlington; Tue-Fri 8-12; Sat 8-4) Unlimited trees accepted at no charge. All trees must be stripped according to the above list.
Make it a New Year’s resolution to keep as much as possible out of the landfill! Contact CSWD to find out how easy it is to do just that. Visit http://www.cswd.net, call our hotline at 872-8111, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post-holiday waste-line reduction guide
While the glow of Christmas gift-giving and receiving is still fresh, it’s time to think about what to do with old possessions that have been replaced by something shiny and new. Here’s how to keep as much as possible in use — or, at least, out of the landfill:
Electronics: Got a new gizmo for Christmas? Thanks to the Vermont E-Cycles program, Vermont residents and businesses may bring up to 7 old TVs or computer items to CSWD Drop-Off Centers for recycling at no charge. This includes CPU, laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, hard drive etc. Visit CSWD’s Electronics Recycling Page to find out if your electronics qualify for this program.
Christmas lights: There’s copper in them thar lights — or at least there is in the wiring that connects them. If your string of lights burns out, or you’re replacing it with newer, energy-efficient LEDs, don’t throw the old ones away! Bring them to any CSWD Drop-Off Center and we’ll accept them in our scrap metal bin for recycling — FREE! (If your lights include larger, old-fashioned bulbs, please remove the bulbs before recycling the rest of the unit in the scrap metal bin. You can throw the lights away with your regular trash.)
Batteries: If St. Nick brought you a gadget that uses batteries, consider getting rechargeables so you can keep those units of energy out of the landfill longer. You can recharge some batteries hundreds of times before they lose their ability to recharge. If you have batteries to get rid of, remember you can toss regular household alkaline batteries in the trash (they don’t contain the high levels of heavy metals that they once did). Please bring all rechargeables, button cells, lithium, nicad, lead-acid, etc. to any CSWD Drop-Off Center for proper handling.
The CSWD website is packed with great information on keeping as much as possible out of the landfill. Here are some shortcuts:
Reuse Options page — Lists places that accept a wide variety of materials for resale, including architectural & building materials, automotives and parts, clothing, books, computers, toys, sporting goods, household goods … take a peek and find out how to get your still-usable item into the hands of someone who will be glad to have it.
CSWD A-Z List — This list contains just about anything you can think of that you would want to dispose of, and lets you know the most earth-friendly way to do it in Chittenden County.
Visit our facilities
- CSWD’s Drop-Off Centers: We take a lot more than trash and blue-bin recyclables at our seven DOCs located in Burlington, Essex, Hinesburg, Milton, Richmond, South Burlington, and Williston. Residents and businesses from any town in Chittenden County can use any location. Items we accept include appliances, batteries, books, cardboard, cell phones, clothing, electronics, fluorescent bulbs & tubes, food for composting, yard & garden trimmings, leaves, mercury products, motor oil & filters, propane tanks, scrap metal, tires, reusable items, and more. Fees, limits, and specifications apply to certain items. We also accept reusable items at our ReUse Zones that meet DOC standards.
- CSWD’s Environmental Depot: We accept hazardous leftovers from households and qualifying businesses in Chittenden County. Materials accepted include automotive supplies, hobby supplies, health & beauty aids, home improvement supplies, household cleaners, garden supplies, and more. Bring your leftover latex paint and it might even be reblended into fresh, premium paint called Local Color, made and sold right here at the Depot (2 gallons for under $20!). We accept hazardous materials from households at no charge; some fees apply to businesses. The Depot accepts materials only from Chittenden County residents and businesses.
- CSWD’s Green Mountain Compost: Bring kitchen scraps to any Drop-Off Center or to Green Mountain Compost (GMC) and we’ll take them at no charge. You will cut the amount of trash you toss out by about a third, which means you could save money on your trash bill! We’ll even give you a free compost pail and transport bucket if you want to give it a try. Stop by the GMC office or any Drop-Off Center and ask for one!
Got a question? CSWD staff is available Monday-Friday, 9-4, to answer your questions. Here’s how to contact us: Call 802-872-8111 or E-mail email@example.com. Go ahead — try to stump us!
Creative ReUse Showcase call for entries
Get those creative juices flowing! January 10 is the final day to register for the 18th Annual CSWD Creative ReUse Art Showcase! It’s the trash-to-treasure art event of the year for Chittenden County high school students. This contest invites participants — and those who view the art — to see that there is still plenty of use and beauty in materials we typically toss in the trash can.
Enter your objet d’art in any of seven categories, plus you’ll have a shot at three additional prizes: People’s Choice, Strongest Written Statement, and Best In Show — that adds up to TEN chances to win a fabulous array of cash and prizes from your favorite local sponsors. Category winners and other select artists will also earn the awesome experience of having their art displayed at Frog Hollow Gallery in Burlington for the month of March.
Here are the category choices:
- 2-D Awesome Art
- 3-D Awesome Art
- Fabulous Fashion
- Perfectly Practical
- Techno Totems
- True Trash
- And our newest category: Interactive Inventions
Please, spread the word! This competition is for any Chittenden County student, grades 9-12, and not just those in an art class. Check out some of the past entries for inspiration, talk to your teachers and friends, and start collecting materials for your reuse art!
Got questions? Contact Johnny Powell: firstname.lastname@example.org or 872-8100 ext. 211.
Please let our sponsors know how much you appreciate them for helping make this event possible: Frog Hollow, Renewable NRG Systems, Adams Farm Market, Advance Music Center, Bolton Valley Resort, Boutilier’s Art Center, Burlington City Arts, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Battery Street Jeans, Casella, and ReSource!
Free double-feature movie night in Jericho!
On the agenda: A double feature PLUS raffle prizes, free popcorn, cider and a chance to win a backyard composting bin. Bring your own cup and bowl and help us make this a zero-trash event!
Jericho Energy Task Force and CSWD are hosting a double header movie night on Thursday, January 9, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Deborah Rawson Library (8 River Rd., Jericho).
“Trashed” In this new docu-feature, Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This investigative journey takes Irons (and us) from skepticism to sorrow … and then to hope.
“Story of Stuff” Originally released in 2007, this 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, it’ll help you see your part in the solution.
For more info contact CSWD at 872-8111 or Larry Lamb at email@example.com or 899-4863.
Agency of Natural Resources solicits public comment on Act 148: the universal recycling law
In 2012, the Vermont Legislature unanimously passed Act 148, a universal recycling law that offers Vermonters a new set of systems and tools for keeping as much as possible out of the landfill. The first thing the Legislature did was jettison the concept of waste itself.
The universal recycling law is designed to encourage the development of infrastructure and systems that will enable everyone in Vermont to keep reusable resources out of the landfill and make progress in energy and resource conservation.
The Agency of Natural Resources is holding a public meeting to solicit comments on the draft Materials Management Plan — the guiding document for the new universal recycling law.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 5, 6-7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pavilion Auditorium, 109 State Street, Montpelier
WHAT ELSE: Public comment period ends February 21, 2014. Click here for more information on Act 148. Comments may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by snail mail to Bryn Oakleaf, Agency of Natural Resources-DEC, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 1, Montpelier, VT 05620
Donate yarn for volunteer knitters
Help spread warmth for those in need
If you have ever been on the receiving end of a hand-knit hat, scarf, pair of socks — come to think of it, a hand-knit anything — then you will have basked in the glow of warmth and care that comes with it.
Here’s your chance, knitters and non-knitters alike, to help someone else who might need a little of that glow: Donate yarn — even as little a 6 feet will help — to the Loving Hands Workshop, a group of knitters at Cathedral Square’s Grandway Commons site who get together once a week to knit up a storm for those who could use some extra warmth and cheer all year ’round.
Specifics for Donation:
- Yarn must be from a NON-SMOKING environment
- Does not need to be new, but needs to be CLEAN
- Highest need is medium weight
- Cottons in double-knit (DK) or medium weight
- Wool in DK or medium weight
- Synthetics in most weights including bulky
- Just about any length yarn will do as some projects take as little as 6 feet. The group is creative with their resources and can double strand or knit stripes with smaller amounts
Projects may include:
- Toe socks for hospital patients
- Hangers for food banks (knit covers for metal hangers, sell them, then donate $)
- Hats, scarves, mittens-all of which are donated to Burlington area charities or medical facilities who serve those in need
- Prayer shawls for the sick and dying
- Afghans and lapghans for babies and the sick or elderly
Want to make a donation? Please email them in advance to make sure your donation fits their criteria and to review drop-off details. Items may NOT be dropped off without prior consent.
Contact Beth Alpert: Alpert@cathedralsquare.org
High school students and faith communities: Three chances to win $1,000 and more in scholarships, funding, and prizes!
#1: Know a college-bound high school student who loves compost? That happy obsession could be worth $1,000 in scholarship funds!
Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded through the Composting Council Research & Education Foundation (CCREF) to encourage students to follow that crazy-for-compost feeling into science studies in college — and maybe even end up with a job in the compost industry. Submit an essay about your experiences with compost and how it has helped shape your choice of major in college or university.
Application deadline: Monday, January 20, 2014. Get the dirt on this CCREF scholarship by visiting their Sustainable Student Scholarship Award web page.
#2: Imagine the future of resource management and you could win $1,000!
If you’re in high school, you may not remember a time when recycling wasn’t part of the disposal equation. Years from now, there could come a time when we shake our heads and wonder that we ever threw things “away,” into a landfill, never to be used again.
What will that time in the future be like? If you’re in high school, you could win $1,000 by imagineering an answer to that very question. The National Waste & Recycling Association is holding a “Raise Your GreenPoint Average” contest. All you have to do is perform a little sleuthing and submit an original written or photo essay, graphic, cartoon, or video that answers one of these questions:
- “What My Garbage Man Means to Me.” Sometimes the most underappreciated contributors to our communities are the people who touch our lives daily, but may not be known to us. Often, our local trash and recycling collectors are the first people on our street in the morning, keeping an eye out for their neighborhoods.
- “What Waste Management and Recycling Will Look Like in the Year 2050.” Modern innovation and technology have already brought us a long way from the way we managed our waste even just a few decades ago. Recycling is a big part of that, and it too has been driven by innovation and cool new technology. But as society’s needs and behaviors continue to change, so, too, must the way we manage those things we no longer need. Using information from BeginWithTheBin.org and other resources, look at the systems and technology used to manage waste and recycling today, and tell us what it will look like in the year 2050.
Note: Read the rules and regulations AND FAQs carefully. For example, you must cite information found on beginwiththebin.org as one of your three required references.
#3: Faith communities can win $1,000 for sustainability 2013 efforts
If your faith community has done a project that involves recycling, composting, or energy savings, you can enter the Cool Congregations Challenge — and maybe win yourselves a cool $1,000! The project must have been completed by December 31, 2013. Deadline to enter is January 31, 2014. Check it out at CoolCongregations.org
Green Thumbs at Work grants open to small businesses
Plant a veggie garden at work and you could be slicing tomatoes grown at the office for lunch in the company kitchen! Apply for a Green Thumbs at Work grant and the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network could help defray the cost of installing a garden at your workplace.
Find out more at the Vermont Community Garden website!
Tuesday, Dec. 31
All CSWD and partner facilities: Open regular hours.
Wednesday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day
Happy New Year! All facilities closed in celebration of New Year’s Day.
All will resume regular business hours the following day.
Materials Recovery Facility (open special hours Saturday, Jan. 4: 8-12)
CSWD Administrative Offices
Casella Resource Solutions Transfer Station
Burlington Area Transfer Station
McNeil Wood & Yard Waste Depot
Burlington Residents: Residential recycling WILL be picked up on Wednesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, by the fabulous folks at Burlington Public Works. Give ’em a cheer as they go by!
Monday, Jan. 20 – Martin Luther King Day
All CSWD facilities except the Materials Recovery Facility will be closed.
All will resume regular business hours the following day.
Green Mountain Compost