71 Member Communities Strong
FY 2017 was an important milestone year that demonstrated our leadership in the solid waste industry. We now number 71 communities strong! And just ten years after ecomaine brought single-sort recycling to Maine, we entered the long-awaited movement toward food waste recycling.
Through the food waste diversion efforts of grocery stores, cafeterias, restaurants and curbside collection pilot programs, we diverted more than 2,700 tons of food waste in the very first year of the program. Recycling these valuable organic resources provides a pathway towards our goal of 50% recycling.
This was a good year of learning to provide the best, most economically sound and environmentally responsible food waste recycling solution.
The recycled ton has changed significantly in the past 10 years as lighter, more flexible packaging is adopted by consumer goods manufacturers, online shopping grows, and printed media continues to digitalize.
Despite some of the volatile market conditions we’ve experienced over the last few years, this year we recorded a record $3.8 million in recycling revenues as demand outpaced supply forcing prices to rise for recyclable materials. Our recycling efforts really paid off in FY 17.
Finally and perhaps most notably, we added a record 15 new communities this year, a growth of 51 percent over the past three years. We are now 71 member-communities strong and poised for even more positive growth.
We could not have achieved this position without the leadership of our board, employees and communities. You help us to provide comprehensive long-term solid waste solutions in a safe, environmentally responsible, economically sound manner and help us raise public awareness of sustainable waste management strategies.
Chief Executive Officer
Board Of Directors 2017
“Our growth in members gives me continued confidence in a sustainable future for all ecomaine communities for years to come.”
– Troy Moon, Chair, ecomaine Board of Directors
Outreach & Recycling
Waste-to-Energy: Perfect 10s
Carmel achieved our most significant year-over-year spike in recycling tonnage—an amazing 81 percent increase in just one year. This eco-conscious community diverted 96.7 tons from the landfill in FY 17, up from 26.6 tons in FY 16. Pictured: The colorful recycling station in Carmel was created by Freeport artist Sebastian Meade for the ecomaine Recycling is a Work of Art 2017 competition.
Glenburn achieved the second greatest recycling tonnage increase—nearly 33 percent—in FY 17 (95.72 tons) as compared to FY 16 (72.2 tons). Pictured: ecomaine led a Blue Tarp Waste Audit at Glenburn Elementary School in December 2016. Their principal and student-led Green Team helped to implement single-sort recycling right away, diverting recyclables from trash into interior bins and dumpsters.
With the help of a $3,000 ecomaine School Recycling Grant, the Manchester School in Windham secured a food waste hauling contract and single-sort recycling bins for their cafeteria. The school went from producing nine large bins of just trash per day to just one, diverting 11,200 pounds from the landfill in 14 weeks and winning the school a 2017 ecomaine eco-Excellence Award.
Waterville Alternative School, winners of a $1,000 ecomaine School Recycling Grant in 2017, used the funds to build on-site compost and recycling bins and raised garden beds. Pictured: Cassidy Hartin, was one of the Waterville Alternative School students to assist with building the three-part compost bin she sits in here. Photo by Linda Nichols.
Despite year-to-year volatility in recycling and electricity markets.
Recycling revenue in FY 17
of food waste moved up the hierarchy
Electrical revenue in FY 17
decrease in paper tons over 3 years
increase in contracted waste tonnage over 3 years
“We want to think outside the box and see if there’s a better way to deliver solid waste management services through a more regionalized approach.”
— Troy Moon, Chair, ecomaine Board of Directors