CSWD materials recovery facility

At the current materials recovery facility, workers sort recycling by hand. The new facility will have technology to automate the process. 

CHITTENDEN COUNTY — Voters on Tuesday approved a new recycling center in Williston.

The Chittenden Solid Waste District reported more than 80% of voters approved a bond to build a $26 million materials recovery facility, which will sort and process recycling from Chittenden County and beyond.

“When it comes to conserving natural resources, Vermonters step up to do what’s right,” Sarah Reeves, CSWD’s executive director, stated in press release. “We want to thank the voters of Chittenden County for supporting this important bond initiative that will allow Vermonters to recycle more."

The waste district's current materials recovery facility is about 30 years old and is processing double the materials it was designed to process, most of which are sorted by hand.

“Every container, every bit of cardboard, every paper that comes through is sorted by people,” Reeves said during a June 8 Village of Essex Junction board of trustees meeting.

The bulk of the sorting at the new facility will be done by technology and the employees will do quality control, looking after the materials possibly overlooked by the machines. With the new technology, CSWD can also sort specific materials and then get a better price for them.

CSWD hopes to begin construction of the new facility a year from now on a property that the district owns in Williston. The goal is to have it operating in early 2025.

“You have made a real, tangible difference in our state and for our planet by voting in favor of this critical infrastructure for Vermont’s recycling," stated Paul Ruess, Underhill commissioner and chair of the CSWD board of commissioners.

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