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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 159 : Waste Management

Subchapter 001 : General Provisions

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 6604)
  • § 6604. Solid waste management plan

    (a) No later than November 1, 2013, the Secretary shall adopt, after notice and public hearing pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, a solid waste management plan that sets forth a comprehensive statewide strategy for the management of waste.

    (1) The plan shall promote the following priorities, as found appropriate for certain waste streams, based on data obtained by the Secretary as part of the analysis and assessment required under subdivision (2) of this subsection:

    (A) the greatest feasible reduction in the amount of waste generated;

    (B) materials management, which furthers the development of products that will generate less waste;

    (C) the reuse and closed-loop recycling of waste to reduce to the greatest extent feasible the volume remaining for processing and disposal;

    (D) the reduction of the State’s reliance on waste disposal to the greatest extent feasible;

    (E) the creation of an integrated waste management system that promotes energy conservation, reduces greenhouse gases, and limits adverse environmental impacts; and

    (F) waste processing to reduce the volume or toxicity of the waste stream necessary for disposal.

    (2) The plan shall be revised at least once every five years and shall include:

    (A) An analysis of the volume and nature of wastes generated in the State, the source of the waste, and the current fate or disposition of the waste. Such an analysis shall include a waste composition study conducted in accordance with generally accepted practices for such a study.

    (B) An assessment of the feasibility and cost of diverting each waste category from disposal, including, to the extent the information is available to the Agency, the cost to stakeholders, such as municipalities, manufacturers, and customers. As used in this subdivision (a)(2), “waste category” means:

    (i) marketable recyclables;

    (ii) leaf and yard residuals;

    (iii) food residuals;

    (iv) construction and demolition residuals;

    (v) household hazardous waste; and

    (vi) additional categories or subcategories of waste that the Secretary identifies that may be diverted to meet the priorities set forth under subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

    (C) A survey of existing and potential markets for each waste category that can be diverted from disposal.

    (D) Measurable goals and targets for waste diversion for each waste category.

    (E) Methods to reduce and remove material from the waste stream, including commercially generated and other organic wastes, used clothing, and construction and demolition debris, and to separate, collect, and recycle, treat, or dispose of specific waste materials that create environmental, health, safety, or management problems, including tires, batteries, obsolete electronic equipment, and unregulated hazardous wastes. These portions of the plans shall include strategies to ensure recycling in the State and to prevent the incineration or other disposal of marketable recyclables.

    (F) A coordinated education and outreach component that advances the objectives of the plan, including the source separation requirements, generator requirements to remove food residuals, and the landfill disposal bans contained within this chapter.

    (G) Performance and accountability measures to ensure that implementation plans are effective in meeting the requirements of this section.

    (H) An assessment of facilities and programs necessary at the State, regional, or local level to achieve the priorities identified in subdivision (a)(1) of this section and the goals established in the plan. These portions of the plan shall be based, in part, on an assessment of the status, capacity, and life expectancy of existing solid waste facilities, and they shall include siting criteria for waste management facilities and shall establish requirements for full public involvement.

    (b) The Secretary shall hold public hearings, conduct analyses, and make recommendations to the House Committee on Environment and Energy and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy regarding the volume, amount, and toxicity of the waste stream. In this process, the Secretary shall consult with manufacturers of commercial products and of packaging used with commercial products, retail sales enterprises, health and environmental advocates, waste management specialists, the general public, and State agencies. The goal of the process is to ensure that packaging used and products sold in the State are not an undue burden to the State’s ability to manage its waste. The Secretary shall seek voluntary changes on the part of the industrial and commercial sector in both their practices and the products they sell, so as to serve the purposes of this section. In this process, the Secretary may obtain voluntary compliance schedules from the appropriate industry or commercial enterprise and shall entertain recommendations for alternative approaches. The Secretary shall report at the beginning of each biennium to the House Committee on Environment and Energy and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy with any recommendations or options for legislative consideration. At least 45 days prior to submitting the report, the Secretary shall post any recommendations within the report to the Agency’s website for notice and comment.

    (1) In carrying out the provisions of this subsection, the Secretary first shall consider ways to keep hazardous material; toxic substances, as that term is defined in subdivision 6624(7) of this title; and nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable material out of the waste stream, as soon as possible. In this process, immediate consideration shall be given to the following:

    (A) evaluation of products and packaging that contain large concentrations of chlorides, such as packaging made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC);

    (B) evaluation of polystyrene packaging, particularly that used to package fast food on the premises where the food is sold;

    (C) evaluation of products and packaging that bring heavy metals into the waste stream, such as disposable batteries, paint and paint products and containers, and newspaper supplements and similar paper products; and

    (D) identification of unnecessary packaging, which is nonrecyclable and nonbiodegradable.

    (2) With respect to the items listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Secretary shall consider the following:

    (A) product and packaging bans, products or packaging that ought to be exempt from such bans, the existence of less burdensome alternatives, and alternative ways that a ban may be imposed;

    (B) tax incentives, including the following options:

    (i) product taxes, based on a sliding scale, according to the degree of undue harm caused by the product, the existence of less harmful alternatives, and other relevant factors;

    (ii) taxes on all nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable products or packaging;

    (C) deposit and return legislation for certain products.

    (c) A portion of the State’s Solid Waste Management Plan shall set forth a comprehensive statewide program for the collection, treatment, beneficial use, and disposal of septage and sludge. The Secretary shall work cooperatively with the Department of Health and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in developing this portion of the Plan and the rules to carry it out, both of which shall be consistent with or more stringent than that prescribed by section 405 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.). In addition, the Secretary shall consult with local governmental units and the interested public in the development of the plans. The sludge management plan and the septage management plan shall be developed and adopted by January 15, 1987. In the development of these portions of the plan, consideration shall be given to, but shall not be limited to, the following:

    (1) the varying characteristics of septage and sludge;

    (2) its value as a soil amendment;

    (3) the need for licensing or other regulation of septage and sludge handlers;

    (4) the need for seasonal storage capability;

    (5) the most appropriate burdens to be borne by individuals, municipalities, and industrial and commercial enterprises;

    (6) disposal site permitting procedures;

    (7) appropriate monitoring and reporting requirements;

    (8) actions that can be taken through existing State programs to facilitate beneficial use of septage and sludge;

    (9) the need for regional septage facilities;

    (10) an appropriate public information program; and

    (11) the need for and proposed nature and cost of appropriate pilot projects.

    (d) Although the plan adopted under this section and any amendments to the plan shall be adopted by means of a public process that is similar to the process involved in the adoption of administrative rules, the plan, as initially adopted or as amended, shall not be a rule. (Added 1977, No. 106, § 1; amended 1985, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 14, 1986; 1987, No. 78, § 2; 1987, No. 246 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 13, 1988; 1989, No. 218 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Oct. 1, 1990; 1989, No. 256 (Adj. Sess.), § 10(a), eff. Jan. 1, 1991, No. 282 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. June 22, 1990; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2011, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 47.)