Cows Save the Planet Book Discussion – May 6

Partnership Brings Vermont Author to Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week 

The Varnum Memorial Library and the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District (LRSWMD) have partnered to bring awareness, enthusiasm, and Vermont author, Judith D. Schwartz together to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW).  Schwartz is “an author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance. She takes a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems.” https://www.judithdschwartz.com/ 

A co-hosted book discussion will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m., with author Judith D. Schwartz, to support this year’s ICAW theme, Grow, EAT…COMPOST…Repeat.  “The theme recognizes the circular movement of the organics recycling process flowing from farm to table to farm again. This circular process turns recycled organic materials into compost which creates healthy soils…,” explained Amy Freeman, ICAW Committee Chair. 

In her book Cows Save the Planet, Judith D. Schwartz lays the foundational knowledge for supporting this year’s ICAW theme.  Compost is important for improving or maintaining high quality soil, growing healthy plants, reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides, improving water quality and protecting the environment.  Schwartz “looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises” within the covers of this powerful, solutions-oriented book.   

Copies of the book are still available. Email varnumrequests@gmail.com or call 644-2117 today to get your hands on one! To register for the Zoom discussion, visit lrswmd.org/resources/. All attendees will have a chance to win a Soil Saver Backyard Compost Bin, a food scrap collection bucket, or 5 gallons of compost! 

Started in 1995, ICAW is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry and is celebrated annually, nationwide and in other countries, each year during the first full week of May. The goal of the week is to build awareness on the benefits of compost use and organics recycling.  More information on ICAW can be found at http://www.compostfoundation.org.  

First HazWaste Collection – May 1

The Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District (LRSWMD) received a grant from the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation to offset the expense to our District members for safely and responsibly disposing of household hazardous waste.  The grant, in the amount of $106,977 over the course of four years, helps to keep these collections free to our District members. In 2019, the funds from a similar grant helped capture over 21 tons of hazardous waste to keep it out of the environment and safely managed by trained professionals.

According to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation HHW webpage, ‘hazardous waste includes any household product labeled “caution, toxic, danger, hazard, warning, poisonous, reactive, corrosive, or flammable”. Many of these products are very common and can be purchased from local hardware, automotive, and grocery. Because these products are so common and easy to purchase, people forget that HHW can be extremely harmful to their health or the environment.’ For tips to reduce hazardous wastes in your home, visit: https://bit.ly/3dzP7kk or https://bit.ly/2PIoFNx.

To protect the health and safety of humans, wildlife, and the environment, it is extremely important to manage hazardous waste appropriately. Residents should bring their hazardous waste to one of the three free collections offered by the LRSWMD this year.  The 2021 collections are May 1 – Morrisville, June 26 – Stowe and September 18 – location to be determined.   Visit lrswmd.org/hazardous-waste/ for additional details.

Businesses should register their waste inventory by Friday, April 23 using the online form found here: https://lrswmd.org/2021-hazwaste-business-registration-form/ or by calling Joyce Majors, 802-888-7317. Registrations are required a minimum of one week prior to each collection. Registration is not required for non-business participants.

Celebrate National Poetry Month with LRSWMD

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate this year, the LRSWMD is seeking submissions of poems about materials management! Writing poetry is a great way to release creativity and reflect on how we perceive materials management such as recycling, composting, and trash disposal. Everyone is encouraged to submit poems- students, residents, businesses, professionals, amateurs, or complete poetry novices! While this is not a competition, and winners will not be chosen, all poem submissions will be posted at LRSWMD locations throughout the spring and summer for our residents to enjoy. Poems will be accepted until April 30, 2021 and can be submitted to Lexi Chambers at americorps@lrswmd.org.

Here is an example to spark inspiration:

“There was a young lad from lamoille

Whose trash was a terrible toil

Until he used his blue bin

To put recyclables in

And his food scraps were turned into soil “

~Susan Alexander, District Manager

Zoom Discussion to Help Our Community Find Solutions to Keeping Food Out of the Trash

As of July 1, 2020, all Vermonters are required by law to keep food waste out of their trash bags.

We hosted a Zoom discussion with the Lamoille Chamber of Commerce to help our community members find answers to how they were going to be able to do this. Some of the answers were:

  • Compost in your backyard
  • Drop it off with us
  • Find a new compost hauler to take it away

The discussion kicked off with a brief, yet thorough, overview of what the law does and does not require. Local legislators were present to support the law some of the passed unanimously 8 years ago; some shared personal composting experiences. Local organics haulers, of the seasoned and green varieties, offered tips and service details about how they can help community members be successful. Area homeowner association managers shared strategies for success and steps towards implementation. It has been an active season with black bears in residential areas so strategies for making backyard piles less attractive to them were even addressed.