- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) - Vermont’s solid waste districts are grappling with a downturn in prices for recycled materials just as they face new demands from a state law requiring universal recycling.

Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/24LXSMG ) that recycling rates are climbing and that less trash is going into the landfills, both goals of the 2012 universal recycling law.

But solid waste managers like Bob Spencer at the Windham Solid Waste Management District say a recent crash in prices for the recycled materials has reduced a key income source.

“The markets have crashed for these commodities,” Spencer said. “Traditionally you could sell recycling, in that it was saving money. It’s good for the environment and keeps material out of landfills, but you used to be able to say also that it could save a community money. That’s not so much the case right now.”

Meanwhile, the law continues to ratchet up requirements for keeping materials out of landfills. Yard waste goes on the list this July 1; food scraps are following in phases, with large generators going first and households by 2020. Some waste districts are looking for new ways to deal with compost aside from putting it in landfills.

Towns that are not part of waste districts also have to plan for a future in which recyclables are kept out of landfills.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net

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