Natasha Duarte

Natasha Duarte

Natasha Duarte

Composting Association of Vermont, Inc. | "Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law drives infrastructure development throughout the state."

Hinesburg, VT |

Natasha Duarte is the Director of the Composting Association of Vermont (CAV). She represents CAV in policy initiatives, develops and leads outreach and education initiatives, and promotes the production and use of compost as vital to soil health through practices that contribute to water quality, plant vigor, and environmental resilience. In 2018-2020 Natasha led a team of organics experts assembled to work with the Northeast Recycling Council on a USDA Rural Utilities Services funded project – “Implementing Rural Community Composting in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.” Natasha is also the Chair of the Farm to Plate Network’s Food Cycle Coalition.. She has an M.S. in Soil Science from N.C. State University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont.

Session Code: B3

Session Name: Infrastructure Development

Session Time: Wed, January 27, Round 3, 12-1:15 PM EST

Session Description: The biggest impediment to diverting more organics is the “infrastructure gap.” Listen to speakers from rural and urban states on the East and West coasts talk about their efforts to shrink the “compost deserts”.

Presentation Title: Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law drives infrastructure development throughout the state.

Presentation Description: In 2012, the Vermont Legislature unanimously passed Act 148, a universal recycling and composting law that offers Vermonters a new set of systems and tools for keeping as much as possible out of the landfill. With so many options for recovering and reusing recycled materials, and with landfill space steadily shrinking, the State of Vermont determined that the best tool for keeping as much as possible out of the waste stream is a materials management system, where valuable resources are collected and marketed as commodities.

Similar to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s hierarchy, the universal recycling and composting law encourages businesses and residents to prioritize their diversion practices based on the following hierarchy: reduction at the source; rescuing quality food for people; diversion for agricultural uses, including as food for animals; composting, nutrient management, & anaerobic digestion; and energy recovery.

Phased in over time, starting with largest generators in 2014 and applying to all Vermonters in 2020, Vermont has been building infrastructure to support the goals of universal recycling for all tiers of the organics hierarchy.

This presentation will highlight the successes, challenges and opportunities for organics management in Vermont.