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Whatever your skill level in the kitchen, some amount of food waste is inevitable. Make sure you have a plan to keep those food scraps out of the trash—either composting at home, feeding to backyard chickens, bringing it to the food scrap bins at local transfer stations or drop-offs or using curbside pickup from a local food scrap hauler.

For more information on these options go to and download the easy Compost with Confidence Guide (PDF) or the more comprehensive The Dirt on Compost (PDF).

First, pick a container to collect your food scraps. 

This can be as simple as a large bowl or yogurt container kept on your counter, or a purchased compost bin with a lid kept under your sink.

You have many options as to what to do with the scraps.


Composting at home can be easy. Just follow these 3 steps.

  1. Purchase a bin from your solid waste district or town, or build your own enclosed container.
  2. Cover one-part food scraps (“greens”) with three-parts dried leaves, wood chips, sawdust or shredded paper (“browns”).
  3. Mix occasionally and cover exposed food scraps with more browns to reduce odors.


Vermont transfer stations, bag drops, and compost facilities accept food scraps for composting.


Ask your hauler if they pick up food scraps for composting or call one of the haulers on our statewide list of food scrap haulers (PDF).


Some folks save their scraps to feed the chickens.

To find more solid waste information specific to your town, visit


Tips for Composting Food Scraps in Bear Country


  • Take down birdfeeders, except when bears are hibernating.
  • Compost in a hard, durable bin, ideally with a lid that would be challenging for a bear to open. Cover all food scraps with “browns” (dried leaves, wood chips, sawdust, or shredded paper) to help reduce odors, and mix the pile often.
  • Don't compost meat and bones at home. Bring them to a compost drop-off or put them in the trash.
  • Consider bringing your food scraps to a drop off in the spring when bears are most active.


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