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The Food Cycle Coalition (FCC) is comprised of organizations and individuals committed to building healthy and resilient communities where no one is hungry and no resource is wasted. Diverting food and other organic materials from the landfill will help increase food security, create jobs, reduce fossil fuel dependence, reduce greenhouse gases, protect waterways and soil, sustain local food systems, and build stronger communities. 

ACT 148: WHAT IS IT AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) effectively bans disposal of three major types of waste materials commonly found in Vermonters’ trash bins over the course of six years. 

Blue bin recyclables were banned in July 2015, leaf and yard debris were banned in July 2016, and food scraps were banned in July 2020.

This website focuses on the on-going ban of food scraps, also known as organics. Ideally, the ban on disposing of organics as trash will reduce methane emissions, increase food security, save energy, and increase sustainable jobs. Here you can find resources to help redirect these valuable materials. 

  • Though Act 148 does not dictate how to manage discarded food and food scraps there is a suggested hierarchy to ensure that these materials are reduced in volume and managed as a resource. Source reduction means to reduce the amount of food being wasted in the first place. This can involve proper storage, preservation techniques such as freezing or canning, reduction in purchases and preparation, understanding best-by dates, and intentional use of food. 
  • The next preferred destination for left-over food is other people. Donating quality food - whether harvested from your garden, left-over from an event, or accidentally purchased - to food shelters and banks, your neighbors and friends, are all ways to ensure that food is being used as effectively as possible.
  • Food that is no longer appropriate for human consumption can possibly be used to feed animals, whether pets or livestock. The feeding of livestock is regulated by the federal government, and attention must be paid to follow relevant policies and protect the health and well-being of the animals. 
  • Food that cannot serve these purposes may than be used to create soil or energy. Commercial haulers under Act 148 are mandated to collect food scraps, or there may be farms or composting facilities in your area that accept drop-offs. Composting in your backyard or through vermicomposting (worm composting) may also be a viable option for you. 

Why is food loss and waste an issue? (Motivating factors for Act 148)