ecomaine grants $25,000 to Maine schools for landfill diversion programs

ecomaine celebrated America Recycles Week by announcing $25,000 in grant funding to 20 recipients of its 2019-20 School Recycling Grants, which are designed to raise recycling awareness in schools and communities, and to help schools implement more efficient recycling programs or add composting to their waste collection.

“We had far more requests for funding than we’ve ever had before,” said ecomaine CEO Kevin Roche. “I’m encouraged by the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm Maine’s students and educators bring to these important projects. And I’m thrilled that ecomaine can be a part of each of them.”

The recipients are located in many parts of the state, and proposed a variety of programs designed to divert waste from landfills:

  • Appletree School, Cape Elizabeth – composting supplies
  • Bonny Eagle Middle School, Standish – composting supplies
  • Children’s Nursery School, Portland – vermicomposting supplies
  • Falmouth Elementary School, Falmouth – recycled material park bench project
  • Falmouth High School, Falmouth – reusable water bottle filling station
  • Freeport Middle School, Freeport – reusable cutlery
  • Gorham High School, Gorham – reusable cutlery & trays
  • Kittery School District, Kittery – composting program
  • Lincolnville Central School, Lincolnville – composting program
  • Maranacook Community Middle School, Readfield – recycling bins & signage
  • Portland Public Schools, Portland – recycling dumpsters for multi-school use
  • Reiche Elementary School, Portland – compostable cutlery in cafeteria
  • Riverton Elementary School, Portland – recycling bins & signage
  • Saco Middle School, Saco – compost program
  • South Portland High School, South Portland – compostable cafeteria materials
  • University of Southern Maine, Portland/Gorham – compost bins/materials, outreach materials
  • Waterville Alternative School, Waterville – community cleanup & education supplies
  • Windham High School, Windham – recycling & composting in cafeteria
  • Vinalhaven School, Vinalhaven – school field trip to ecomaine
  • Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth – composting supplies

Recipients were chosen by ecomaine’s Outreach and Recycling Committee based on the following criteria:

(1) Project outline and school commitment

(2) Ease of project replication

(3) Likelihood of success and program sustainability

(4) How compelling and worthy the funding is, overall

Along with its grants program, ecomaine also promotes increased public awareness of sustainable waste management through its eco-Excellence Awards, Recycling is a Work of Art painting contest, and a vigorous public education and outreach program.  In fiscal year 2019, ecomaine reached more than 38,000 school children and members of the public through grants, tours, presentations and events.