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July’s News from CSWD

The Rover is coming to your town!

The Rover is the mobile household hazardous waste collection unit that hibernates at the Environmental Depot, CSWD’s year-round hazardous waste collection facility in South Burlington. While the Depot takes hazardous materials all year long, the Rover will stop once in each town, until mid-October.

The Rover accepts household hazardous wastes such as paints and stains, automotive fluids, hobby supplies, pesticides, fertilizers, household cleaners, and similar items with the words “Danger,” “Caution,” “Warning,” or “Poison” on the label.

NOTE: The Rover is free and available to Chittenden County households only.)

The Rover Schedule:

July 12 Essex Drop-Off Center 8:00 -3:30
July 19 Colchester Malletts Bay School 9:00 – 1:00
July 26 Westford Town Garage 9:00 – 1:00
August 2 Charlotte Central School 9:00 – 1:00
August 9 Hinesburg Drop-Off Center 8:00 – 3:30
August 16 Shelburne Highway Garage 9:00 – 1:00
August 23 Winooski Landry Park, 9:00 – 1:00
August 30 Burlington Drop-Off Center 8:00 – 3:30
September 6 Underhill Town Garage 9:00 – 1:00
September 13 Jericho Highway Garage 9:00 – 1:00
September 20 Richmond Drop-Off Center 8:00 – 3:30
September 27 Huntington Center Fire Station 9:00 – 1:00
October 4 Williston Drop-Off Center 8:00 – 3:30
October 11 St. George Town Center 9:00 – 1:00
October 18 Bolton Fire Station 9:00 – 1:00

Need more info? Call our Hotline at 872-8111 or visit cswd.net

Can’t make it to the Rover on any of these dates?
You now have two options:

1. If you are a Chittenden County household, bring it to the  Environmental Depot any time of year–free of charge!
2. If you’re a resident of anywhere in Vermont, and all you have to get rid of is architectural paint, (includes common paints, stains, coatings, etc. for use on stationary objects), you don’t have to wait for the Rover: Visit the PaintCare website to find a location near you that accepts paint year-round! Check first to see if your material is covered. PaintCare is a product stewardship program set up by paint manufacturers to provide plenty of convenient options for recycling architectural paint products.

Environmental Depot
1011 Airport Parkway, South Burlington.
Wednesday-Friday 8-2; Saturday 8-3:30.

The fine print: The Environmental Depot is available only to Chittenden County residents (free) and businesses (some fees may apply).

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Lawn lacking luster? Sprinkle on some compost!

Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence? Does your lawn have more bare patches than beautiful blades of grass? Wondering how to have an environmentally conscious, healthy, happy lawn? Does your bubble gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? Wait, let’s get back to talking about compost before we grapple with that one.

Compost isn’t just for your garden. Your entire property is made of soil, which is exactly where compost works its mojo. Your lawn draws its life from a healthy, happy ecosystem in the soil, just as your garden plants do. At Green Mountain Compost, we process local ingredients into Complete Compost, available at GMC in bulk, by the bag, and in our bag-your-own bunker. Here’s how compost keeps all green things going strong:

  • Healthy soil contains spongy crumbs of humus and particles held together by fine, fungal strands. Compost adds those structural elements, enabling your soil to naturally strike a balance of aeration, water retention, and drainage. It also helps your soil stay loose and easy to cultivate.
  • Compost contains a diversity of beneficial microbes that help restore the balance of life in soil, making nutrients readily available, and helping to fight soil-borne pathogens.
  • Unlike synthetic fertilizers, which tend to wash away quickly, compost uses natural processes to integrate slow-release nutrients, living microbes, and structure-building elements into your soil.
  • Till it in to restore all kinds of soil: sandy, compacted, or clay.

Topdressing with compost is a great way to keep your soil well-balanced, which will result in a lush lawn that will have your neighbors looking longingly over your fence, wondering what your secret is. Learn more about the benefits and how-to’s of topdressing with compost!

THIS JUST IN: PRE-BAGGED COMPOST FOR SALE!

Now, in addition to our bag-your-own compost, Green Mountain Compost is once again selling pre-bagged 20-quart Complete Compost at our facility in Williston (1042 Redmond Road, open Monday-Saturday 8-4). Crafted from local ingredients such as food scraps and yard trimmings, Complete Compost is finely screened, weed-seed free, and fully tested. 

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CSWD seeks participants for Citizen Advisory Committee

The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) is forming a Citizen Advisory Committee to get public input on a proposal to change how trash and recycling is picked up from households in Chittenden County. CSWD has been examining a system called “consolidated collection,” whereby the County is divided into trash and recycling collection districts. Each district would be serviced by one hauler, who will be selected based on how they meet specific criteria.

CSWD is investigating introducing consolidated collection to Chittenden County because of its potential to reduce collection costs and the impact of excessive truck traffic on roads and the environment. Largely due to these economic and environmental efficiencies, consolidated collection is the most common form of residential service in the country. However, residents would no longer be able to choose their hauler.

Please visit our consolidated collection web page for more in-depth information.

The Committee of 12-15 members will meet four times, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on July 31, August 14 & 28, and September 11 at CSWD’s Administrative Office in Williston. A light meal will be provided.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email the following information by noon on July 16th to advisory@cswd.net (the information will be used to ensure a wide spectrum of participants):

Name:
City/Town/Village of residence:
E-mail address:
Phone number:
Age:
Gender:
Occupation:
Whether you rent or own your home:
Number of units in your building (e.g., single-family, duplex, 4 apartments, etc.):
Whether a hauler collects your trash curbside or you self-haul to a drop-off center:
Name of current hauler:
Have you heard of consolidated collection systems?  If so, based on what you currently know, would you support or oppose this kind of system for Chittenden County?
Confirm availability on the 4 dates:

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Wrong recycling can lead to injured workers

The Case of the Exploding Toner Cartridge

Recycling is so efficient these days, it sometimes seems like it all happens by magic. How else could a newspaper that you put in your blue bin for recycling go through the whole sorting, baling, shipping, pulping, paper-making and printing process and end up back on your door step in just two weeks?! The process is anything but magic, as one recycling worker discovered the hard way, when he was injured by a product that did not belong in the blue recycling bin.

At CSWD’s Materials Recovery Facility, about 35 living, breathing, hard-working people hand sort nearly 200 tons of recyclables a day as it flies by on a conveyor belt, working alongside the huge machines that help them get the job done. Part of their job involves picking off trash and other material that doesn’t belong in your blue bin or cart.

This spring, one of those workers spotted a box with a rolling-pin-sized toner cartridge inside — definitely NOT something that belongs in a recycling bin! As he grabbed the box off the conveyor, the cartridge slid out the other end and a noxious, black cloud of toner powder flew out of the cartridge and into the face of the worker next to him.

That worker was rushed to emergency care. Thankfully, he was able to return to work the next day.

So please, remember that your choices at the blue bin directly impact not only the effectiveness of the recycling system, but more importantly, the health and safety of the people who are making a living on the sorting line. We do everything we can to protect them, but we need your help to ensure their well-being.

As for those toner cartridges, here’s the information from the handy A-Z list on cswd.net:

Empty toner cartridges are not recyclable in your blue bin or at any CSWD facility and should be returned to a vendor program or discarded as trash. Contact the cartridge manufacturer for recycling options.

Note: Some printer and toner cartridges can be refilled. To learn more about this option, contact:

Ribbon Recyclers: 185 Commerce St., Williston; (802) 660-8960
Vermont Toner Recharge: 400 Ave. D, Suite 30, Williston; (802) 864-7637

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CSWD Materials Recovery Facility gets a $1.8 million upgrade

CSWD’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is getting its first upgrade in 11 years. New equipment means that our enormous recycling plant will be able to sort your blue bin recyclables more precisely and with less downtime due to aging machinery.

When we ship plastic, paper, or metal recyclables to the companies that buy them, those shipments need to contain only the specific material that they have purchased — and as little as possible of other materials. The more pure the shipment, the more valuable they are on the commodities markets. The more valuable our shipments are, the more we can plow back into the recycling system to maintain, improve, and expand it.

The $1.8 million upgrade is in the testing phase right now, and we’re hoping to be fully operational by the end of July.

Some of the improvements include:

  • New cardboard sorting screen to replace aging equipment.
  • New “polishing” screen, to better separate paper from containers. New steel paddles march paper off one end and bounce plastic and metal containers off the other end. This results in less incorrect material that human sorters have to work around.
  • New glass crushers direct glass more effectively to the …
  • New glass cleanup system, which is much better at drawing paper labels off the crushed-glass conveyor. This means a cleaner crushed glass product for use in civil engineering projects.

Recycling didn’t stop during our upgrade. We worked with Casella Waste System’s MRF in Rutland to ensure that Chittenden County businesses and residents wouldn’t experience any interruption in their ability to keep on recycling.

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Feed your neighbors with leftover garden produce

Summer can be a tough time for folks who depend on schools and other organizations to help them meet their nutritional needs. It’s also a time when many of us find ourselves swimming in squash and excess produce from our own gardens and from CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture local food subscriptions). At CSWD, we talk a lot about composting leftover food, but when it comes from making the best use of surplus food fresh from the garden, feeding hungry neighbors is the best use for all that yummy produce.

“Since we serve about 2600 families per month and approximately 12,000 people per year, there is a huge need for perishable items like garden-fresh vegetables,” says Kelly McLemore of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. “This is especially the case since donated, perishable products are often highly nutritious!”

Kelly has a few guidelines for making your donation most helpful:

  • Food should be in good, edible condition. If you wouldn’t eat it, then please compost it instead.
  • If the produce has been inspected by the donor, washed and seems good to go, we encourage people to just drop by our location at 228 North Winooski Ave from 9am-4pm Monday through Friday to donate. We have trained volunteers and staff available to accept donations onsite during those regular hours. Volunteers and staff will inspect donations and address food-safety concerns (if any) when donations come in. We encourage people to call first only if they are not able to donate within those regular hours.

Don’t think you have anything to donate? Think again:

  • Un-served food at community dinners, club and church events. Anything that hasn’t gone out of the kitchen may be brought to a shelter or feeding location.
  • Your garden, fridge, or your own fruit and veggie basket. If you have high quality perishables that haven’t perished, think about donating them before they go bad or wind up in the compost bin. Going on a trip? Don’t let good food go bad. Donate it!
  • Your neighborhood. Put out a message to your neighbors asking if they have any extra food to donate before you make your

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CSWD seeks Event & Volunteer Outreach Coordinator

Are you good at rallying teams? Are you a recycling and composting fan? Then we’ve got the perfect job for you: Part-time Event & Volunteer Outreach Coordinator. We’re looking for an outgoing, organized, creative “people-person” who is passionate about recycling, composting, and educating the public about reducing waste.

Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) serves a population of about 153,000. The District’s mission is to provide efficient, economical, and environmentally sound management of solid waste generated by member towns and cities and their residents and businesses.

The Event & Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for assisting the CSWD Outreach staff educate the public about composting, recycling and other waste reduction issues at events. The Coordinator will also assist in recruiting, training and coordinating volunteer Waste Warriors who help attendees at all kinds of events understand which disposal options result in less material ending up in the landfill. This is the perfect role for someone looking to gain experience in program planning, coordinating volunteers and public outreach on the topics of recycling, composting and waste reduction.

This part-time, temporary, position runs from September 2014 through June 2015. $14/hour, up to a maximum of 180 hours.

To apply:

Visit our Job Openings page, check out the full job description, and email a resume and one-page cover letter to community@cswd.net by August 18, 2014. Please include a description of why you’re interested in the position and in what ways you feel you are the one we’ve been looking for.

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CSWD grant helps Hinesburg Community School stem the flow of wasted water bottles

Ever try to fill a water bottle at a drinking fountain? You have to work to angle it just right and even then, you can rarely really fill your bottle. To encourage the use of reusable water bottles, and thereby reduce the amount of single-use bottles that end up needing to be recycled, the Hinesburg Community School was awarded a Community Waste Reduction Grant from CSWD for turning their old water fountains into swanky, new water/bottle fill stations. Here are the results from the school:

  • Plastic diverted: We have dramatically reduced disposable plastic bottles in and around the school. We estimate that we are diverting approximately 60 plastic bottles per day. After 6 months of use we diverted approximately 9200 bottles.
  • People drinking water: In general more people are drinking water. People are enjoying cooled water in the vessel of their choice.
  • Reusable bottles donated: We had approximately 100 water bottles donated by local businesses to give to students. We rewarded students with these bottles for providing support for the projects.

Heads up, 7th and 8th graders: The 6th graders are leading the way: The school found that it is more difficult to get 7/8th graders to change their drinking preferences. Sixth graders quickly changed their behavior to choosing water over bringing in a sugary bottled beverage.

Nice work, Hinesburg Community School!

CSWD offers thousands of dollars in grant funding annually to help Chittenden County communities, businesses, institutions and not-for-profit organizations keep more resources out of the landfill. Check out our online Grants and Funding page to see if we can help you with your waste reduction project!

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Material of the Month: Styrofoam packing peanuts

Which part of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra do you think applies to Styrofoam packing peanuts?

Give up?

The first two: Reduce and Reuse.

  • The reason “Reduce” comes first in the mantra is that the best way to keep waste from happening is to reduce your need for it in the first place. Use other materials around you, such as wadded-up newspaper, grocery bags, etc., instead of using fresh, new material.
  • “Reuse” is obvious: Use ’em again! There are lots of places in Chittenden County that will gladly accept your used packing peanuts. Not only do shipping shops accept them, but many artists who make and ship delicate objects accept them as well. CSWD keeps a list of packaging reuse options for foam peanuts as well as those air-filled packing “pillows,” bubble-wrap, and cardboard boxes. Check it out!

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CSWD Calendar

Visit our website for the full CSWD calendar

July-Oct: Check the Rover story above for dates when the CSWD hazardous waste mobile collection unit visits a town near you!

Monday, July 14: CSWD Executive Board Meeting , cancelled.

Wednesday, July 23: CSWD Board Meeting, cancelled.

Visit CSWD at local farmers markets: When you’re bopping around at your local farmer’s market, you might just run into John Powell, CSWD’s School & Youth Outreach Coordinator. That’s a perfect opportunity to get answers to those recycling and composting questions you’ve been wondering about. Pick up a copy of the new “Where Do I Chuck This?” guide, along with other information on how easy it is to keep as much as possible out of the landfill. Also, kids will love the worm puppet show and take-home summer project sheets!

Thursday, July 17: Milton Farmers Market, 4-7

Sunday, August 3: South Burlington Farmers Market, 10-2 

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