It's America Recycles Day, and in commemoration the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources rolled out a series of three "statewide universal recycling symbols" this week. The symbols are intended to encourage Vermonters to separate out recyclable and compostable waste as the state moves toward mandatory statewide recycling.
An Agency of Natural Resources press release explains:
These symbols will be used as implementation tools for Vermont's Universal Recycling law (Act 148), which passed the Vermont Legislature in 2012. The new law requires statewide recycling by July 2015, and diverts food scraps from landfills by July 2020. Once implemented, the law is expected to increase Vermont's recycling and composting rate from 30% to 60%.
The new symbols were unveiled at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier on Wednesday, before the school's Green Team. In a press release, ANR Solid Waste Program Manager Cathy Jamieson explained that the color scheme of Vermont's new symbols matches that of similar efforts in cities across the country, so they should be easily recognizable even to visitors to the state.
"We are excited to unveil these universal symbols in time for America Recycles day. They're designed to be used everywhere: in public places, schools, businesses, curbside containers, even dumpsters" said Jamieson. "The goal is to create consistency statewide to encourage recycling, composting, and waste reduction. With universal messaging, Vermont's communities will find waste management increasingly accessible and approachable."
Vermont's universal recycling timeline calls for increased diversion of recyclables and compostable materials from the waste stream starting this July. By July 2015, recyclables will be banned from Vermont landfills. Food scraps will also be banned from landfills by 2020.