STOCKBRIDGE — A Stockbridge man said he is ready to haul away Rutland’s table scraps.
Zach Cavacas announced this week that he is launching Music Mountain Compost, a compost pickup service that will operate in the Rutland area. For $20 a month, he will collect a 5-gallon container for food waste every two weeks. Cavacas said he just got word from the state he would have his hauler’s permit when Vermont’s new food waste law takes effect July 1 and has begun recruiting customers.
“The state of Vermont is on a skeleton crew,” he said. “I didn’t want to start getting customers until I knew I can do it.”
Most recently a recovery technician at Serenity House, Cavacas said he has no experience in the waste-hauling industry but plenty of personal experience with composting.
“My wife and I, we do a lot of gardening on our property,” he said. “We try to homestead as much as possible.”
Cavacas said he was reading up on the compost law and concerns about compost attracting bears and saw that while there were compost pick-up services in Chittenden County, Rutland seemed underserved.
Joseph Fusco, spokesman for Casella Waste System, which hauls away the trash of 4,000 Rutland customers, said while Casella handles food waste for about 50 commercial customers, it decided against offering individual composting services.
“We’ve been thinking about this issue for years,” he said. “We’ve piloted programs and services in other parts of Vermont with very uneven success. We’ve found, at this point, that there’s a reluctance among people to pay extra for this kind of service.”
Fusco said a University of Vermont study showed 72 percent of Vermonters would prefer to just compost in their backyards, so Casella is pointing its customers toward resources on home composting. Fusco likened the state of food waste disposal to that of recycling 40 years ago.
“There’s a lot of work to be done to build out an infrastructure and build out an economic model where it becomes affordable,” he said.
Still, the area isn’t completely unserved. The state lists two food scrap haulers operating in Rutland County — Seguin Services and Wyman Frasier Compost.
Cavacas said he will work with two composting facilities until he can launch one of his own.
“There’s a lot of ropes I have to go over to get my own large-scale composting facility,” he said. “Some of it might go to some people I know who have animals that’ll eat the food scraps.”
Cavacas said would-be customers can call him at 342-3834 or find the company on Facebook.