Recyclables from Chittenden County are sorted at this facility in Williston.
John Dillon / VPR

Upheavals in global markets will soon be felt in Vermonters’ pocketbooks. The international market for some recyclable material has crashed, and that has forced some municipalities and solid waste companies to start charging for recycling.

piles of cardboard box recycling
danielvfung / iStock

Recyclable materials are one of the US's major exports. And a lot of our "stuff" goes to China. Recent policy changes coming out of Beijing are aimed at restricting what material comes from the United States. That's having a major effect on the US waste system.

Sarah Reeves, general manager at the Chittenden Solid Waste District, tells Vermont Edition how these Chinese policy changes are going to be felt in Vermont and why it's important to be vigilant about following recycling guidelines.

This label is showing up more frequently alongside bins for recycling and trash.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont is now three years into its plan to get the whole state on board with universal recycling and composting.  But when you look at the number inside the triangle with arrows, do you know immediately what kind of plastic it is and how to recycle it? And are you occasionally still scrapping food scraps into the garbage?

Melody Bodette / VPR

As Vermont’s universal recycling law reaches a new phase, more households will have the option to have their food scraps taken away along with their trash and recycling. People in St. Albans are already trying out a new food scrap collection service.

DNY59 / iStock

Returning from the holiday weekend, we'll be again sharing two memorable Vermont Edition pieces from this spring – one dealing with coincidences and the other about recycling containers.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

Officials implementing Vermont's universal recycling law say they've seen a 5 percent decrease in trash statewide. Act 148 has banned recyclable materials from landfills for over a year now, and the state is now implementing the next phase of requirements in the law, dealing with yard and leaf debris.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Starting next month, the state of Vermont officially bans the disposal of leaves and yard debris in the trash. We're digging into this next phase of the rollout of the Universal Recycling Law. Several pieces of that legislation are already in effect, so we'll also look at what impact the law has had so far.

Last week VPR reported on a recent downturn in commodity prices that has some waste district managers scrambling to make ends meet to comply with Vermont's universal recycling law. Our story drew a response from officials with the Chittenden Solid Waste District, because they say planning for exactly this kind of circumstance has left them in a much better position.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A recent downturn in commodity prices has some waste district managers scrambling to make ends meet just as they are getting ready to meet new demands of the state's universal recycling law.

Courtesy of Michael Sipe

If you frequent any of the transfer stations in Chittenden County, you may have noticed some changes to the big metal containers you throw your recyclables into. The Chittenden Solid Waste District has initiated a new public art project — "The Art Of Recycling" — in collaboration with and funded by Eight of the district's big receptacles have been turned over to local artists to beautify. And they're pretty striking.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

They’ll be talking trash in Fairfax on Town Meeting Day. Specifically, they’ll be voting on whether to continue with town-wide curbside trash pickup.

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Did you know you can recycle disposable batteries in Vermont? And as of last month, Vermont became the first state to require disposable battery manufacturers to make battery recycling more convenient.

Tony Talbot / AP

For many, sorting trash from recyclables and compost comes down to personal preference. With the unanimous 2012 passing of Act 148, or the Universal Recycling Law, this practice is becoming mandatory. The second phase of the eight-year plan to reduce materials sent to landfills goes into effect July 1, and instates compulsory recycling statewide.

Vermont Waste Management & Protection Division

Vermont is poised to take the next step toward the goal of universal recycling.

Many of those involved in producing and handling waste met in Randolph Center Thursday for an annual summit to discuss how recycling is changing.

Already under Act 148 the state’s Universal Recycling Law, transfer stations and drop-off facilities have to accept recyclables. Beginning July 1, trash haulers will have to do the same at no additional charge.

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

The Rutland County Solid Waste Alliance Communities, also known as SWAC, is rewriting its solid waste implementation plan. The alliance is looking to residents of its member communities to help shape the new plan, which is being drafted to comply with the state's new Materials Management Plan and Act 148, Vermont's universal recycling and composting law.

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

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.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. The Town of Jay has put that motto to work in re-purposing its former town garage. The Jay Planning Commission and Zoning Board recently issued a change of use permit to house the Troy/Jay Recycle Center in the fourth bay of the Cross Road building that formerly served as the town garage.