DEP Awards Grants to Support Recycling and Organics Management Initiatives

September 24, 2018

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

AUGUSTA, September 24, 2018 - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the recipients of grant awards 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 7 proposals requesting over $112,000, and will award over $88,000 to fund 6 of the projects. This is the first-time DEP is providing grants to help businesses, institutions and municipalities address solid waste management challenges.

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

  • The Town of Falmouth will conduct a pilot project to assess the effect of increasing the convenience of collection drop-off sites on the diversion of food scraps from disposal to composting. With this grant, Falmouth will construct and operate three food scrap collection locations with educational kiosks. Additional community education efforts will be targeted based on monthly collection results from each drop-off location.
  • The University of Maine at Presque Isle will use its grant to establish a year-round composting operation on the UMPI campus. After the pilot year, it is expected that the costs of the operation will be offset by savings from avoided disposal tipping fees and that the operation may be self-sustaining through revenue from compost sales.
  • Bo' Lait Farm in Washington, Maine will establish an on-farm commercial composting facility accessible to the underserved Midcoast area. Bo' Lait will team up with ScrapDogs Community Compost from Camden to offer food scrap composting services to area schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other businesses and households stretching from Camden to Washington. They will also lead an intensive community education effort, visiting schools and providing presentations for area civic organizations.
  • The Central Penobscot Solid Waste Facility will construct a new reuse building at its transfer station to serve its three member towns. Expanding reuse opportunities will provide a second life for many consumer goods, provide community members with the opportunity to obtain everyday goods at no cost, and reduce the amount of materials sent for disposal.
  • The Maine Resource Recovery Association will use its grant to trial the recycling of waste PVC building materials. Through this project, MRRA will determine the practical logistics and economic viability of on-going recycling of this waste stream.
  • Pleasant River Farms in Mason Township will expand its on-site composting operation and organics diversion, transportation and marketing/education services. This will provide a local composting alternative to disposal for food scraps from area schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other businesses in Maine's western mountains area. This will also include education and training to highlight the benefits of food scrap composting, including avoided disposal costs for communities and improved soils for farms and local food gardens.

DEP plans to issue a second round of request for grant proposals in early 2019.