CSWD Digest: September

The Digest from CSWD: Food for action.
Hi Christina,
September is always a time of reflection for me. Maybe it’s the shock of cool air that gets me thinking about what I accomplished over our short summer, and looking ahead to everything I hope to do before the calendar changes again.
CSWD’s staff and Board of Commissioners have been doing some reflecting of their own, looking back over the last 25 years of our existence and—more importantly—where we hope to go in the next decade and beyond.
In June, they sat down for an initial strategic look at our Drop-Off Centers (DOCs). At that public meeting, they considered the changes that have impacted DOC operations since the District was created 30 years ago.
For example, here’s a small sampling from just the last 10 years:
Total visits are up 62%
(from 224,000 to 363,000)
E-waste collection is up 76%
(from 496,000 to 872,000 lbs)
Motor oil collection is up 42%
(from 24,000 to 34,000 gals)
Food scrap collection is up 1,183%
(from 134,000 to 1.72m lbs)
While visits and materials have grown dramatically, our sites haven’t (that’s a story for another day), an obviously unsustainable scenario. It was clear that our Board had some decisions to make. The very first question they considered at that meeting was as basic as it gets: “Do we want to keep operating Drop-Off Centers?” (Spoiler alert: They said “yes.”)
That may seem like a strange question, since for many of you CSWD is the Drop-Off Center.
And why not? After all, we collect a broader range of materials, at more locations, than anyone else in Vermont, and we are among only a handful of municipalities in the entire country that provide a year ‘round hazardous waste facility and seasonal Rover.
We’re proud that our Board has supported CSWD in providing services and programs that far exceed what is required by the State.
In all of the facilities and services we provide to our community, one of the responsibilities we take most seriously is customer and staff safety. Early in that June Board meeting, as our Board considered the issue of safety at our DOCs, it became clear that the ReUse Zone (a.k.a. “the free shed”) contributes more to safety concerns for our customers and staff than any of the other services we provide.
After much discussion during the June meeting, our Board arrived at the difficult decision to close the ReUse Zones at our Drop-Off Centers.
Does this mean that we are giving up on reuse? Of course not.
As always, we will continue to encourage, promote, and invest in the kind of creative solutions to waste that our community is admired for. Solutions like Repair Cafes in Burlington and Charlotte, Local Color recycled paint, and Huntington’s packaging reuse shed (among many, many others).
We have a long and growing list of local reuse & donation options on our website and a grant program with $25,000 available for projects to reduce waste (Huntington used it to build their reuse shed). I strongly encourage you to take advantage of them!
We will keep exploring options to improve safety and efficiency at our facilities while providing affordable, convenient service as our community grows and evolves over the next 25 years—and beyond.
Thanks for reading,
Jonny Finity
Marketing & Communications Manager
Next CSWD Board Meeting:
6:00pm on Wednesday, September 12th
at Williston Central School (Auditorium)
Fire at sorting facility highlights dangers of “wishful recycling”
Your recycling bin or cart is for a specific set of items – containers (like bottles, cans, and jars), paper & cardboard. Putting other items in your bin, like plastic bags or batteries, can endanger our workers and cause shut-downs at our facility.
Show Your Bounty is back! Win a truckload of compost
Fall is the best time of year to add compost to your lawn or garden, and good thing, too: The Show Your Bounty contest from Green Mountain Compost kicked off September 1st! Share your 3 best “bounty” photos, and you could walk away with a truckload of compost.
Got a project to reduce waste?
We have grant funding for that.
We have $25,000 in funding available for projects that reduce the amount of trash being sent to the landfill from Chittenden County.
Here’s an idea: The Town of Huntington used a grant to start a Packaging Reuse Shed for residents to share leftover boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing materials.
Back to school with CSWD!
“Recycle Rhonda” visits schools around Chittenden County, engaging students, teachers, and administrators alike about the importance of reducing our reliance on the landfill, and what we can do about it.
Want to get out of the classroom? Rhonda can take you on a field trip to see how we manage the community’s recycling, food scraps, and more!
“Talk to us, like neighbors do.”
Upcoming Tours & Workshops
Home composting workshops
You’ll leave this interactive workshop confident and ready to start composting at home.
Recycling facility tours
Ever wondered what happens to the stuff you put in your recycling bin? Come find out on this behind-the-scenes tour!
What do I do with…?
Got a question? Just ask our A-Z list: From donation & recycling options to the landfill (last resort), we can tell you what to do with just about anything.
In other news…
Wood bunker service interruption at South Burlington Drop-Off Center