Outreach Topic of the Month

Each month, we’ll cover a new waste and recycling topic and provide tips and tricks to better manage your waste!

December 2021

For the month of December, our topic is Textile Reuse + Donation!

Textile manufacturing is a large contributor of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Here are a few tips for reuse and donation of textiles.


  • If clothes no longer fit, they can be brought to local charities or drop off bins to be resold or given to the less fortunate. Do NOT place these items in your blue-bin with other recycling.
  • Clothing swaps with friends are a great way to add new pieces to your wardrobe and offload older items without buying brand new.
  • Old clothes can be used for scrap fabric for new clothes or blankets or cut down into smaller pieces for cleaning rags
  • Gifts can be wrapped in old fabric as opposed to buying wrapping paper.
  • Old bedding can be donated to animal shelters for use as animal bedding.

Visit the A-Z Guide on this website to locate the nearest clothing donation facilities in your area.

November 2021

For the month of November, our topic is Reducing Food Waste + Food Donation!

Did you know that 40% of all food produced in the United States is wasted? Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day alone, Americans waste approximately 25% more food than throughout the entire rest of the year. What can you do to help reduce food waste this holiday season?


  • Prepare your grocery list ahead of time. Check your fridge and pantry to make sure you’re only adding items you don’t already have. Plan meals around using what you have currently that will go bad first.
  • Keep your refrigerator below 40F and freezer at 0F to ensure food is kept cold.
  • During the holidays, cook and serve with a plan. Create a menu based on how many people will be attending and avoid purchasing excess food that could go to waste.
  • Send guests home with leftovers and repurpose what is left. leftovers don’t have to be boring, or eaten the same way day after day!
  • Donate any extra, wholesome, food such as unopened items still in edible condition and canned or boxed goods.

Visit the A-Z Guide on this website to locate the nearest food donation facilities in your area.

October 2021

For the month of October, our topic is Extended Producer Responsibility!

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a mandatory type of product stewardship in which the manufacturer is responsible for helping properly manage its products even after they have been sold.

EPR Products in Vermont:

  • Batteries
  • Bulbs
  • Electronics
  • Paint
  • Thermostats

What does this mean? An EPR Rule on these products means that there are locations throughout the state at hardware stores, transfer stations and other drop-offs that collect these items at no charge to the consumer. The cost of recycling of these items is shared between the manufacturer and consumer at the time of purchase.

Visit the A-Z Guide on this website to locate the nearest drop-off for specific EPR items in your area.

September 2021

For the month of September, our topic is How to Separate Food Scraps!

There are a lot of items that can be considered “Food Scraps” that you might not think about. Scraps aren’t just apple cores and the skin from your peeled veggies, check out the list below for some other things that can be placed into your compost bins as food scraps.

Yes- It’s a Food Scrap:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps, peels and cores
  • Egg shells
  • Leftover/uneaten food on your plate
  • Paper towels and brown napkins
  • Coffee grounds, filters and tea bags
  • Sauces
  • Candy

No – It’s NOT a Food Scrap:

  • Produce stickers
  • Plastic silverware and regular/reusable tableware
  • Butter packets
  • Sauce packets
  • Plastic bags
  • Twist ties
  • Rubber bands
  • All plastic packaging of foods, utensils, etc.

August 2021

For the month of August, our topic is Landfill Banned Items!

There are many items that are banned from disposal in the State of Vermont. What does this mean? Both businesses and residents cannot throw these items into their regular garbage, they must be reused or recycled in some way.

Landfill Banned Items:

  • Paints, stains, varnish and thinner
  • Tires
  • Waste oil and filters
  • Recyclables (plastics #1 & 2, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and steel cans and foil, cardboard, mixed paper, newspaper)
  • Mercury-containing products (CFLs, thermostats, lamps, thermometers etc.)
  • Electronics
  • Food Scraps
  • Clean wood, yard debris, branches, grass clippings
  • Lead-acid and rechargeable batteries
  • Appliances (also known as White Goods)
  • Hazardous Wastes

July 2021

For the month of July, our topic is At Home Composting!

Did you know that if you’re composting at home, meat and bones are exempt from the food scrap ban? You can throw meat and bones into your regular garbage bin. Here is a quick guide on what goes in or stays out of your home compost:

Greens that Go IN:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags
  • Grass and shrubbery clippings
  • Green yard plant parts such as yard waste and weeds

Browns that Go IN:

  • Dead plants/weeds and clippings
  • Leaves raked in fall
  • Small sticks
  • Straw and hay
  • Wood shavings/chips
  • Shredded newspaper, cardboard, office paper

Things to keep OUT:

  • Meat, bones, fish scraps
  • Yard plants w/ diseases
  • Anything treated w/ pesticides
  • Pet waste
  • Cut flowers from a florist (often have fungicides)

Other Basic Compost Tips:

  • Food scraps go in
  • 3x as many browns as greens
  • Turn the pile to mix ingredients regularly
  • Keep the pile as damp as a wrung-out sponge

Visit this link for more information: The Dirt on Composting

June 2021

For the month of June, our topic is Leaf & Yard Debris Management!

Composting is the best option for these types of materials. You can pile leaf and yard debris in your yard and forget about it, you can also use it as “browns” for your home food composting. If neither of these options work, you can bring leaf and yard debris to your local facility that accepts trash from April-December.

Click here to read more about managing your leaf and yard debris in addition to clean scrap wood at home!

May 2021

For the month of May, our topic is Household Hazardous Waste!

Here are some quick facts on Household Hazardous Waste (HHW):

What Is HHW?

Hazardous waste includes any product that is poisonous, reactive, corrosive, or flammable.

-How can HHW be easily identified?

You can identify hazardous waste by looking for these keywords on product labels; “Warning! Danger! Poison! Caution!”

-What are some of the most common products?

Common products found in homes and businesses are cleaning products like oven cleaners and drain cleaners, indoor pesticides such as ant and cockroach sprays and baits as well as mouse and rat poisoning, automotive products such as motor oil and automotive batteries, painting supplies like oil/enamel based paint, stains, finishes and paint thinners/removers and turpentine, lawn and garden products like herbicides and insecticides and other items such as mercury containing devices and fluorescent light bulbs. For a more in depth list, visit the Hazardous Waste page.

-What can you do with these items?

Visit a town Household Hazardous Waste Day to dispose of these items safely and for free.

April 2021

For the month of April, our topics is Recycle Better!

Here are a few tips for better recycling:

1. Empty and clean

Recyclables must be empty and clean, so… Take that last sip! Enjoy that last bite!

2. Keep it loose

Remember to Keep it loose! Bags are a drag! Bagged recyclables cannot be sorted, so if you collect your recyclables in a bag, be sure to dump them out when you get to your cart.

3. Shape matters

When recycling, remember shape matters! Small and narrow items slip through the cracks in our sorting equipment and cannot be recovered. They should go in the trash. Caps are OK if you twist them back onto the container.

4. When in doubt, throw it out!

Americans toss far too many non-recyclable items in their recycling bins. These sorting mistakes add up and hurt recycling programs. We all need to understand what’s acceptable in our local recycling program and remember: When in doubt, throw it out.

5. Don’t forget to reduce and reuse!

Recycling is great but waste reduction and reuse can be even better. Don’t forget to reduce and reuse whenever you can.

For more tips, toolkits and printable resources, click here to visit Casella’s Recycle Better Page