CSWD Report Shows Chittenden County Ranks Among Top U.S. Communities That Eliminate Trash
Households and businesses in Chittenden County kept approximately 57% (by weight) of all their “stuff,” including construction and demolition (C&D) waste, out of the landfill in 2020. That’s according to the CSWD Diversion and Disposal Report 2020, which draws on multiple data points to estimate how much solid “waste” is generated each year in Chittenden County, and where it all ends up.
CSWD estimates that by keeping resources out of landfill-related waste and instead diverting them to reuse, recycle or compost, district members have saved nearly 5,000 tractor-trailers from having to make the trip. 142 mile round trip from Chittenden County to landfill in Coventry in 2020.
In addition to avoided noise, traffic and wear and tear on the roads across our communities, this means more than:
125,000 gallons of diesel fuel not used by these tractor-trailers
164,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided through diversion (the equivalent of taking 35,000 cars off the road or saving 18 million gallons of gasoline)
“Everyone who lives, works and plays in Chittenden County should be proud of their efforts to prevent and reduce the tons of ‘garbage’ we send to landfill each year,” said Sarah Reeves, Executive Director of CSWD.
Even when heavy construction waste is removed from the equation, households and businesses still reached 50.4% diverted from landfill for the first time since 1993 when CSWD began tracking this data. To put that into perspective, here’s how CSWD’s diversion rate compares to those reported by other US communities known for their high-performing waste reduction and diversion programs:
Seattle (2019): 54%
San Francisco (FY21): 51%
Portland, OR, Metro (2019): 46%
Another remarkable achievement noted in the 2020 CSWD Diversion and Disposal Report is that the countywide recovery rate for only “blue bin” recyclables has soared to a remarkable 81.5% in 2020. , up from an already high 78.7% in 2019. Most communities do not. invest in the studies necessary to estimate this rate, so it is difficult to make comparisons. However, in its 2020 State of Curbside Recycling Report, The Recycling Partnership estimates that communities with curbside recycling programs have an average recovery rate of 61.5% for “blue bin” recyclables.
“We are energized by the opportunities to build on such a strong foundation,” said Sarah Reeves, CSWD’s chief executive. “It will be exciting to see how much more of the remaining 50,000 tonnes of landfill resources we can capture with CSWD’s commitment to ongoing training and our planned investments in future programs and 21st century facilities.”
CSWD’s full 2020 Diversion and Disposal Report and CSWD’s FY21 Annual Report are available at https://cswd.net/forms-publications/.
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