Brattleboro's compost program sending a message

Friday March 15, 2013

We are all participating in the townwide Curbside Compost program to help preserve landfill space, reduce methane gas generated by buried organics, save the Town and taxpayers money, contribute the raw materials (food scraps, soiled paper, etc.) to produce nutrient rich compost and to feel good about about ourselves -- to do the right thing for our community and the environment.

You may not know it, but cities all over Vermont, New England and beyond are watching Brattleboro to judge the success of our curbside compost program and trying to decide if they should undertake a curbside compost in their town. The results of Brattleboro's efforts will affect people far beyond our borders.

A participation rate of 33 percent or higher will demonstrate the viability and positive impact of Curbside Compost pick up in a small town. We need to enlist 33 percent of our households to participate to show others that it can be done.

We now have more than 470 households signed up. It sounds like a lot, but it is only 17 percent of the 2,700 households whose trash and recycling is picked up by the town. We need to double our current number to reach the 900 participant threshold -- more than 33 percent of the households.

Can we double our numbers in the four weeks? Yes! It sounds daunting, but it is really quite easy. Each of the 470 participants currently signed up -- that's you -- simply has to do one small thing ... get one more person, neighbor or friend, to sign up. Just one.

I know many of you have already done this. In fact, some of you have enlisted many more new participants than just one and I, the town and the environment thank you, but would one more be that difficult? No -- in fact, it should be quite easy. On your street, in your neighborhood, among your friends it is likely that for every one household already signed up there are four households that are not. Talk to them, share the attached information ... sell them on Curbside Compost. After few weeks of curbside composting they will be thanking you.

It is pretty cool being "The One and Only Brattleboro," but it will not be cool if Brattleboro remains the One and Only Town in Vermont and New England with curbside compost. If we cannot demonstrate that the community is behind this program -- by having at least 33 percent of households participate -- we cannot justifiably say, "Follow our lead. We have shown that Curbside Compost pick up works."

Please do your part by getting at least one more household to sign up for Curbside Compost. Tell them to go to and click on "Curbside Compost Sign Up and FAQ," or e-mail if they have questions. If they do not have a computer they can call the town at 802-251-8103 or use the computers at Brooks Memorial Library.

You have taken a big step by signing up -- please take one more small step and tell your friends and neighbors about Curbside Compost.

Moss Kahler is the Brattleboro Recycling Coordinator.


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