Food scraps like carrot tops, egg shells, coffee grounds, and bread crusts—as well as leaves, grass and wood—are all organic materials. These types of organic materials make up 1/3 of the waste that ends up in our landfills. By properly disposing of these materials we can take those materials out of the landfills and turn them into useful soil.

What To Do With Those Food Scraps

1. Compost at home. One of the easiest ways to get rid of your food scraps is to compost them at home. Below we have created a list of everything you need to know to start home composting.  It’s free!

2. Bring food scraps to local transfer station. If you prefer to take your food scraps to your local transfer station or “fast trash” location, they will be accepted for a fee. 

Food Scrap Disposal Options for GUV Towns

3. Feed to the chickens. If you or a neighbor don’t have any, contact a local farmer about donating your scraps.

Reduce Food Waste!

Act 148 (Vermont’s Universal Recycling & Composting Law, passed unanimously in 2012) requires all organic material – like food scraps and other food waste – to be diverted from the landfill by 2020. The state developed a “recovery hierarchy” to prioritize the ways to both reduce food waste and decide what to do with it after it is generated:

Composting in 5 Easy Steps

Statewide food scrap separation is required of all Vermonters as of July 1, 2020! Below is a guide on how to get started composting. 

1.Types of food to compost

Nitrogen (green, wet)
  • Weeds
  • Manure
  • Vegetable & Fruit Scraps
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea Bags
  • Eggshells
Carbon (dry, brown)
  • Grass Clippings
  • Dead Leaves
  • Hay or Straw
  • Corn Stalks
  • Sawdust
  • Dried, brown grass clippings
  • Newspaper*
  • Food soiled cardboard*

*Shred and add in small quantities

2. Have Food Scrap Bucket in Kitchen

A food scrap bucket is where you will collect all your food scraps until it is full and ready for the compost. The bucket should be stainless steel or ceramic with a lid to keep smells from seeping out.

3. Buy Your Own Compost Bin

Buy an easy-to-set-up compost bin to put in your backyard. These bins will turn your food scraps and yard waste into precious “black gold” for your garden. An advantage of this type of composting system is its ability to keep critters, dogs, and other animals out of your food scraps.

Purchase from Green Mountain Compost

4. Build Your Own Compost

If you want more space to compost you can always build your own. First you want to have a fence around your compost pile to keep animals out. Place the compost pile in a place that will be out of the way. Once you have built your fence around the desired area, fence should be at least 3′ x 3′, you will turn the sod over to speed up the decomposition of the scraps into the soil.

Once you begin dumping your food scraps into the compost you will want to add three parts carbon materials to every one part nitrogen material. See the list above for details on these materials. By putting the carbon materials over the nitrogen materials you will discourage animals from becoming interested in the contents of your compost. After a month of starting your compost system take a shovel and turn the contents of your compost over. Basically churning them up. This will allow for the working compost bugs to get the air they need to turn the food scraps into beautiful useful soil. Once the soil has has turned to a dark brown it is ready to be used in your vegetable or flower garden! 

​Check out these great designs for inspiration before you build your own.

5. Curious Critters

If you have made it this far in your composting journey you only have one challenge left, critters. More specifically foxes, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and woodchucks. First and most importantly you want to remember to never put bones or meat in with your compost. Bones and meat are sure to draw the attention of animals to your compost. Bury chicken wire six inches below the base of your composting system to block animals from digging under to get to the contents of the compost. Finally, by adding the carbon material on top of the nitrogen material in your compost you will cover up and block the smell of the food scraps from the noses of those curious critters.