ecomaine awards $18,500 to Maine schools for landfill diversion programs

Maine’s leader in single-sort recycling provides funding for recycling, composting, and increased public awareness of sustainable habits

Following America Recycles Day on November 15, ecomaine announced more than $18,500 in grant funding to 10 recipients of its 2020-21 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.

“This year is obviously proving to be a tough one for all of us — especially schools and students,” said Caleb Hemphill, Chair of ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee. “It is ecomaine’s hope that this funding can help kickstart or maintain some of the important programming around recycling, compost, and waste reduction that we’ve seen in our schools.  I am very pleased to see such thoughtful and creative proposals from our students and educators.”

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: Chemical-free, compostable paper towels made from recycled content to replace reusable towels during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine, Portland Clubhouse: To establish a composting program in the Portland Clubhouse
  • Children’s Nursery School, Portland: Composting materials
  • Gorham Cooperative Preschool: One compost tumbler
  • Gray-New Gloucester High School, Gray: Composting materials, curriculum development, and community support
  • King Middle School, Portland: Trash cleanup materials
  • St. Brigid’s School, Portland: A Palgram Greenhouse
  • Waldo County Technical Center, Liberty: Recycling collection and transportation
  • Westbrook High School: Two reusable water bottle filling stations
  • Kent’s Hill School, Readfield: To establish a campus-wide recycling bin program with consistent bins and labeling

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 2020, ecomaine reached more than 55,000 school children and members of the public through grants, tours, presentations and events.