Recycling and Waste Disposal

After nearly two years of study, the 21 owner-municipalities of ecomaine voted on May 18, 2006 to bring single stream recycling to Maine. Single stream is leading-edge technology that eliminates the need to separate recyclables by category for collection. The many ripple-effect benefits are both economic and environmental and include: increased participation in recycling, less time for curbside collection, less idling time for trucks (resulting in less pollution), and fewer trips to the ecomaine recycling facility.

The single stream equipment and installation cost approximately $3.7 million and was operational in May of 2007. Funding came from reserves and earnings from the sale of recyclables.

For our member and associate communities, ecomaine provides large collection trailers (known as “silver bullets”) for recycling by local residents. These trailers/containers are usually placed at transfer stations, large parking lots, or other easy-access locations to encourage recycling. ecomaine owns 120 recycling trailers (sometimes called “silver bullets”), which are placed within easy reach of about 20% of Maine’s total population.

Did You Know?

  • Maine law requires that old TVs, computers*, cell phones and other HHW (household hazardous waste) materials be recycled at State certified sites, such as the City of Portland’s Riverside Transfer Station. For more information and to find the site nearest you, contact your municipal government .
    (*Computers -only- are accepted at no charge by Goodwill at their offices; do not leave at community collection boxes.)
  • When you recycle you are also reducing your amount of waste. And, every pound of material you recycle is one less pound for which your town must pay a disposal fee.
  • ecomaine has the largest municipal recycling program in the state, processing more than 35,000 tons of recyclable material per year.
  • Each person in the United States disposes of about 4 pounds of trash every day – about 30 percent more waste per person than in 1960.
  • About 61 percent of the material recycled by ecomaine is paper. Cardboard, glass, steel cans and aluminum make up the other recyclables.
  • Paper is often recycled into more newsprint, cardboard into more cardboard, cans into new steel, and plastic into more plastic. However, PET (plastic) soda bottles are also used to make fleece clothing or synthetic “wool.”
  • Anything that comes to ecomaine not labeled as recyclables is re-used as fuel to produce electricity.

More single sort recycling information

Download a copy of A Guide to Recycling for Small Businesses. (PDF 163KB)