DEP awards second round of grants for recycling and organics management initiatives

June 19, 2019

CONTACT: David Madore, Maine DEP Communications Director, (207) 287-5842 david.madore@maine.gov david.madore@maine.gov

AUGUSTA, June 19, 2019 - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the second round of grant award recipients for recycling and organics management projects. These projects are targeted to divert waste from disposal by expanding composting and recycling opportunities across Maine. DEP received 14 proposals requesting $347,486 and will award $212,790 to fund 13 of these projects. Maine DEP is providing these grants to help businesses, institutions and municipalities address solid waste management challenges.

Reducing the amount of materials consumers buy and use, reusing items, and recycling products and packaging are all actions that significantly reduce our environmental impacts and help to enhance sustainability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs.

Maine DEP is pleased to award funds for the following projects across the state:

Northern Aroostook Solid Waste Association, Eagle Lake - $30,000.00

Recycling - Regional licensed transfer station will construct a new steel building to establish a year-round recycling program for 7 area towns. This will increase the recycling infrastructure in an underserved yet motivated population and allow for year-round recycling.

University of Maine System, Statewide - $38,764.00

Recycling - The Cooperative Extension, working in concert with several agricultural sector partners, will pilot a statewide system for recycling low density polyethylene (LDPE) from greenhouses and high tunnels. This includes: production of a how-to video on removing old plastic to maintain commodity value; establishment of a network of drop-off collection sites; transportation, baling and marketing services; data collection; and analysis of sustainability of this new recycling system.

Bo'Lait Farms, Washington - $24,780.00

Composting - Facility and operational equipment upgrades will improve efficiencies for this newly-established regional composting facility and collection operations.

Pleasant River Farms, Mason Township - $8,460.00

Composting This recently-established regional composting operation in western Maine will upgrade transportation and handling equipment to eliminate the need for single-use plastic liners and improve collection efficiencies and worker safety.

DM&J Waste, Ellsworth - $31,687.00

Composting Expansion at an existing successful licensed composting operation to increase amendment storage will allow for the on-going diversion of 2000 tons annually of mouse bedding from a near-by research operation for composting with food scraps and seafood processing wastes.

Town of Limerick - $16,500.00

Waste reduction /reuse The Town of Limerick has a demonstrated need for a larger building to expand its very successful reuse operations at the transfer station. The proposed project will allow year-round diversion of furniture, dimension lumber and other building supplies in this under-served area.

Town of Vinalhaven - $20,425.00

Composting The town will establish a year-round on-island composting program available to all residents. This will decrease the costs and environmental impacts associated with shipping wastes to the mainland and provide much-needed soil amendments for island gardens.

Manchester Conservation Committee, Manchester - $8,304.00

Recycling - Manchester will pilot the use of an in-town public-private partnership to offer a year-round curbside recycling option with the goal of eliminating contamination that has plagued previous recycling systems. The new system will also significantly decrease transportation for recycling and its related greenhouse gas emissions. Town of Kennebunkport - $8,000.00

Composting This will provide seed funding to establish on-going systems to supply and support backyard composting in Kennebunkport.

City of South Portland - $8,570.00

Composting South Portland will establish a fourth 24/7 residential food scrap drop-off location and expand the availability of food scrap collection to the entire city.

City of South Portland - $2,750.00

Waste reduction and Composting South Portland will establish a voluntary recognition program for the food service industry aimed at changing behavior to reduce and eliminate the use of single-use plastics and to divert organics from disposal to composting.

Town of Lisbon - $3,750.00

Composting Lisbon will establish food scrap collection available to all town residents by constructing a permanent food scrap drop-off station next to its transfer station.

Town of China - $10,500.00

Recycling and composting China proposes to establish a radio frequency identification (RFID) system to gather data on the use of the various components of waste management services (swap shop, recycling stations, disposal) by town of origin. This data will be used to assess expansion of recycling operations to serve residents of neighboring towns, to design operational efficiencies, and to improve education and outreach on recycling.