Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Americans produce a great deal of waste and the people of the state of Vermont are no exception. Currently the state estimates that it recycles 36 percent of all the waste it produces, but over half of the remaining 64 percent that finds its way to landfills is recyclable. As the state's landfills near capacity Governor Peter Shumlin has signed a new bill into law that aims to move the state towards universal recycling by 2020. The new regulations will fall into place in phases with solid-waste collectors being required to collect separate recyclables by 2014. That will be followed by separate collection for leaves and yard waste by 2015 and then food waste by 2017. The law will apply not only to private residences but also to commerical businesses and includes a provision that requires all public buildings to have an equal number of trash and recycling bins by next year. The state estimates the value of the recyclable waste that is thrown away to be $7.6 million per year.