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Legal Compost

About the Permitting Project: Legal Compost

The Legal Compost project began in September 2007 with the release of an Issue Paper. More than 10 stakeholder groups - including farm and environmental groups, solid waste districts, and representatives of the Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources - ‘came to the table’ for this landmark statewide effort.

The Composting Association led this initiative to address the gap between Vermont’s current regulations for handling compostable materials and the needs of the State’s communities and environment. Through a series of meetings – and drawing on successful models elsewhere – stakeholders mapped regulatory changes that further the composting of significant quantities of organic residuals statewide (currently 30% - 50% of the waste stream). The Permitting Project: Legal Compost is a critical step to create state level regulations that support organics diversion, resource recovery, composting, compost site development, and the use of compost as components of a sustainable economy.

Successful rule changes are helping the State to further protect native ecology, waterways, and public health – and at the same time – encourage new revenue opportunities for communities, farmers and composters. Compost is one of the few undisputed win-win options for responding to environmental concerns such as erosion and water pollution that impact Vermonters and the State’s natural resource wealth.

Without regulatory change, we cannot achieve
widespread environmental benefits from using compost.

The following documents include the work product from the stakeholder meetings and research reports that project participants are using as reference materials.

10/07 Site Permitting Issue Paper 

Stakeholder meetings – spring 2008

Resources and Reports used for the Legal Compost Project

Accepted Agricultural Practice Regulations

Overview of Vermont Law Governing Composting

Regulatory Options for Composting Operations in Vermont, Ben D’Antonio, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Vermont Law School, April 2008

Overview of Stormwater Permitting Requirements Related to Composting Facilities VT – DEC Stormwater Management Program,  May 2008

FORCE, Florida Composting Regulatory Report, August 2006

Compost Quality Standards and Guidelines, William F. Brinton, Ph.D., Woods End Research Laboratory, December 2000

The Compost White Paper, University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, October 2003

Realising The Value of Organic Waste, WRAP Organics Market Situation Report,  April 2008

Comparison of Compost Standards within the EU, North American and Australasia, WRAP, June 2002

EPA Decisionmaker’s Guide to Solid Waste Management, Composting

Addressing Vermont’s Solid Waste Crisis, Report of the 18th Grafton Conference,  January, 1990

Environmental Predictive Model for Locating Precontact Archeological  Sites, Vermont Archeology Guidelines, Appendix C,  July 2002



Comments to ANR  for reorganization

My Turn, 11/07, Burlington Free Press

Not Just Dirt: An Analysis of Composting Policy in the State of Vermont – Kate Claflin, UVM College of Arts and Sciences, senior thesis. Includes extensive history of waste in the US.


July 30, 2008 Seven Days - Compost Enforcements Threaten Vermont's Solid-Waste Dreams

July 29, 2008 Interview on Vermont Public Radio - Large-scale Composting

July 20, 2008 Letter to the editor

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