A Major Proposed Overhaul for Trash & Organics Collection


Per the direction set by a 2018 City Council resolution, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has been evaluating whether to consolidate collection of trash, recycling and food scraps for small residential customers. Currently, the City picks up recycling while residents are responsible for contracting for their individual trash pickup and managing their compost. This results in multiple trash and compost haulers serving the same streets.

During our review, we learned that a more coordinated collection of waste streams can reduce truck traffic and emissions, lower costs to residents and increase customer convenience. After conducting a community survey, interviews with other communities and multiple public meetings (including a current tour of NPAs), we are now sharing our recommendation with the Public Works Commission on June 16th at 6:30PM and with the Transportation, Energy and Utility Committee (TEUC) on June 22nd at 5:30PM.

DPW is recommending a hybrid consolidated collection system where the City continues to collect recycling and the City selects a private hauler through a competitive bidding process to collect trash and organics in each established district (think large neighborhood) for at least 1 to 4 unit residential properties in Burlington. 

This approach is expected to:

·   Save residents money as it is more efficient to have one company collect all trash and organics on a street, instead of 3 to 4 different companies

·   Reduce garbage truck traffic and emissions on most residential streets by two-thirds according to our consultant

·   Increase convenience by having all trash, recycling and organics collected in each neighborhood on the same day of the week

The Commission and TEUC may choose to support this recommendation or make alternate recommendations to the full City Council. Later this summer, we anticipate the full City Council deliberating on next steps for this process. Your feedback has been and will be important to this process. We encourage you to join us at these meetings and share your views with these bodies. If you cannot make this meeting, you can always submit feedback at or call us at 802-863-9094.

After the City Council decides which collection model to advance, DPW is recommending another resident engagement process to determine specific service levels and options that would be initially offered. Do note that implementing a consolidated collection system takes time – and that any model selected by the Council would take 2 to 5 years to launch.

To learn more about consolidated collection, please visit

To see the agenda for the DPW Commission meeting, please visit

To see future agendas for the TEUC (next week’s has not been posted yet), please visit 


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Public Works Department