What is landfill?

Landfills, also known as dumps or tips, are a waste disposal system that involves taking waste and dumping it into large holes in the ground. The rubbish then breaks down over millions of years until it becomes part of the earth. It is the longest standing method of waste disposal, having been used by various cultures as a primary method of disposing of unwanted waste products throughout history. The idea behind a landfill is to compact all the rubbish into the smallest amount of space possible for the sake of efficiency, and then to essentially forget about it. It is the most cost-efficient type of waste disposal, but is harmful for the environment and dramatically reduces the stability of the soil.

What shouldn't be put into landfill?

Avoid putting in landfill

  • Computers and computer accessories (e.g. Mouse)*
  • Phones*
  • MP3 players*
  • Televisions*
  • Batteries of any kind*

*These Items can generally be contributed to e-waste and in most cases can be recycled. More info on e-waste

Banned from landfill

  • Hazardous liquids. (Paints, thinner, oil, automotive fluids, etc.)
  • Chemicals
  • Syringes
  • Propane Cylinders
  • Scrap metal
  • Clean wood
  • Grass and leaves
  • Large Appliances
  • Mandatory Recyclables
  • Explosives
  • Construction and demolition waste

Construction and demolition waste

These construction and demolition materials may be mixed together and taken to a CSWD Drop-Off Center (size limits apply) or to one of the two privately owned C&D recycling facilities in Chittenden County for recycling. Cardboard and other mandatory recyclables MUST NOT be mixed with these materials.

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Clean plywood & Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
  • Untreated dimensional lumber (2×4’s, 2×12’s, etc.), including pallets
  • Scrap metal (siding, plumbing, HVAC chase, etc.)


Mandatory recyclables

These following things you are required to recycle and cannot put in landfill 

  • Rigid plastic food & beverage containers & packaging
  • Glass jars & bottles
  • Aluminium & steel cans, and aluminium foil
  • Tires
  • Cardboard, mixed paper, newspaper

More info on recycling

A Guide to a Cleaner Australia


  • Use reusable bags instead of plastic bags.
  • Buy fresh bread in either paper bags or no bags.
  • Bring your own container for meat and prepared food.
  • Buy cans of soft drink rather than bottles of soft drink.
  • Buy food in ;large packaging instead of buying multiple smaller packets.
  • Reuse containers for storing leftovers.
  • Reuse bottles and mugs.
  • Use matches instead of metal lighters.


  • Buy bottled water.
  • Buy frozen food.
  • Use produce bags.
  • Use plastic straws.
  • Chew gum (Made of plastic).