Some of the vandalism to a port-o-let in the Mad River Valley.

Vandals have been marauding stewardMRV sites around The Valley, damaging port-o-lets and the structures that house them at sites including Mad River Park and the Lareau Swim Hole, both in Waitsfield.





Eric Friedman, executive director of the Mad River Valley Chamber said that the port-o-lets from Wasted (which sequester urine and up-cycle for fertilizer) were upended last week. He said in a separate incident at Brooks Field in Warren, a car hit one of the shelters that houses the port-o-lets and that that person came forward to make amends.

Tom Spencer, who manages stewardMRV for the chamber and its partners, said that the cost of the vandalism is not yet known. He said Wasted personnel were onsite first thing Monday morning this week to clean the interior and exteriors of the port-o-lets that were tipped over.

“Excluding their costs, the major expense or work has been the amount of volunteer time cleaning it up. I’m guessing it will cost about $300 per unit for the two port-o-lets,” Spencer said.

Beyond the vandalism to the structures at the stewardMRV sites, Spencer said he’s been seeing a lot of illegal dumping with people pitching their household trash into the shelters that house the port-o-lets and trash, recycling, and dog waste bins.

“I just spent 30 minutes cleaning up personal garbage left at the Lareau structure last night. An animal got into it and I had to clean it up. If this continues, it’s a reflection on our program and not one we want. We’ve been very successful at this – I did a full sweep yesterday, all 66 miles of our sites and at every single location, things were immaculate,” Spencer said.




Friedman said it is disappointing to see such disrespect for an effort involving the local towns and select boards, community nonprofits, business sponsors, and over 30 volunteers monitoring 25 different sites.

“It’s frustrating to provide these facilities and services and have this happen. We just don’t need the extra work, expense, or aggravation,” Friedman said.

“It’s important to remember that Charlie Hosford put a huge amount of work into these shelters. It’s doubly disappointing – people know the effort that this one man has put into toilet facilities for our community for decades and he literally built these shelters,” Friedman added.

In a chamber blog post, Friedman noted that “the stewardMRV program stands as a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with a shared vision. It funds essential amenities like the vandalized port-o-lets as well as trash and recycling pickups at key public places. These much-needed facilities are essential to residents and visitors alike who utilize our network of outdoor places. The recent incident has highlighted how crucial these amenities are and how vulnerable they can be to acts of disrespect and irresponsibility.”

“This act of vandalism is not just a setback but a call to action. We must reinforce our commitment to the principles that stewardMRV represents. We urge our community to come together, not only to repair the immediate damage but to strengthen the foundation of our stewardship efforts. Increased awareness and support are paramount. Donations, volunteer efforts, and simply talking about it around town are crucial to ensuring that such incidents do not deter our mission,” he wrote.