Recycle Logo and Stacks of recyclables


Why recycle? Recycling symbol

Recycling  is a simple and effective way to preserve natural resources and reduce global energy demands. Processing recyclables for market is significantly less expensive than landfill disposal, and results in new products, new  jobs, and less environmental liability. Recycling sustains an economy based on the regeneration of goods, not the indefinite throughput of goods destined for a landfill. 

How To Recycle in Vermont

1. Understand the six materials that must be recycled statewide

"Paper, Aluminum, Cardboard, Steel, Glass, and Hard Plastics. That's the deal!" This is one way to remember which materials must be recycled statewide as required by the Universal Recycling Law. Another way to remember is to review the chart below:A chart showing "the statewide six," or the materials that are required to be recycled everywhere in Vermont.

If everyone in Vermont recycled the six materials listed above all the time, our statewide recycling rate would increase drastically. 

2. Connect with your local solid waste district or town to see what additional materials are recyclable in your area

Many regions of the State accept or require recycling of additional materials. Visit the website or call your solid waste management entity to ask for a handout on the options available in your town. Your waste hauler may also provide resources or information specific to your service.

3. Learn the top recycling DOs and DON'Ts! 

Recycling plastics and different paper types can be confusing at times. Thankfully, there are a few essential tips that you can memorize that will have you recycling right the majority of the time. 


  • Rinse recyclable containers clean. They do not have to be perfect--just free of most residue.
  • Breakdown and fold large cardboard boxes
  • Pay attention to size! Anything under 2 inches on all sides is too small to be captured in large recycling facilities. 


  • Place plastic bags in the recycling bin! Even if it has a #2 or #4 on it. Recycling facilities are not designed to handle plastic film,  and bags will clog up the sorting machines.
  • Put anything with leftover food on it in the recycling. Think about it: pizza boxes with greasy tomato sauce simply do not make beautiful new paper products. 
  • Place styrofoam in the recycling. Styrofoam is very difficult to recycle, and cannot be handled in Vermont facilities.

For more tips like these, visit: I Want to Be Recycled, a campaign designed by Keep America Beautiful to promote recycling education

4. Place recycling bins conveniently next to your trash. Get going.

Where to purchase recycling bins

Many hardware stores and office supply stores carry recycling and trash containers in different sizes, colors, and shapes for residential and office use. However, you don't need anything fancy or official to get recycling: virtually any container will do for inside your home.

Tip: Many people find themselves more likely to recycle if their recycling container is at least as large as their trash container. Recycling has to be convenient. Reduce the number of trips you take from your kitchen to your outdoor bin by starting out with an appropriate-sized container.

If you are a large business or organization looking to purchase in bulk, contact a local food service distributor for product options.  For custom receptacles, consider Recycle Away, LLC., based out of Brattleboro, Vermont.

Tip: Municipalities and schools are eligible to purchase in bulk using State of Vermont pre-approved contracts for trash, recycling, and food scrap containers. View the available contracts under 'Waste Hauling & Recycling' at the Agency of Administration.

Have questions? 

Drop-off your recyclables or have them picked-up curbside.

Find a transfer station or recycling center near you using the Materials Management Map. Or, contact your local solid waste management organization to access a directory of waste haulers that service your area.

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management and Prevention Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704