The Northeast Kingdom (NEK) Residential Food Scrap Drop-Off pilot was carried out in the northeast corner of the state that includes 55 towns and unincorporated areas spanning Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. According the USDA Rural Development website, “This region of Vermont is the most isolated and sparsely populated,” and thus, “it has consistently been the most economically distressed.” (USDA, 2012). The residential food scrap drop-off pilot program targeted towns that have a population less than 2,500, and are at least eighty percent below the Nonmetropolitan Median Household Income level. This pilot program also serviced additional towns without these target demographics. For these reasons, the Northeast Kingdom Residential Food Scrap Drop-Off was a great candidate for a pilot project supported by HCC’s USDA Rural Development Grant.
The NEKWMD oversees transfer station facilities in twenty-seven towns throughout the Northeast Kingdom, and from those, seven facilities were selected to be residential food scrap drop-off locations for this pilot. After initial assessment of the success of this program, the NEKWMD will implement food scrap drop-offs at additional transfer stations around the district.