ecomaine announces winners of 2023 eco-Excellence Awards

Portland-based recycling and waste manager celebrates leaders in sustainability from across Maine

ecomaine, Maine’s leader in single-sort recycling and sustainable waste management, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 eco-Excellence Awards, with awardees ranging around the state from Scarborough to Livermore Falls.

Caleb Hemphill, Chair of ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee said, “Every year, it is inspiring to see the leadership and dedication of these Mainers committed to making Maine a more sustainable place to live, work, and play.  ecomaine is proud to recognize these outstanding efforts.”

The 2023 eco-Excellence Award winners are, with their categories:

    • Kathleen Athearn, Westbrook (Individual) – for her work cleaning up litter and promoting proper waste management on social media.
    • Rebecca Brown, Portland (Individual) – for her efforts to divert waste from the trash at Maine Medical Center and recycle and reuse it.
    • David Ertz, Yarmouth (Individual) – for his work on sustainability as part of the Town of Yarmouth’s Committee for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.
    • Dr. Noah Perlut, Scarborough (Individual) – for his commitment to conservation of land and resources on a number of boards and commissions in Scarborough.
    • Jeff Tarling, Portland (Individual) – for his efforts, over his career as the City of Portland’s Arborist, to promote sustainability and encourage it with area students.
    • Grady’s Motel, Bridgton (Business) – for their efforts to become a zero emissions motel and dedication to waste diversion.
    • MaineHealth Sustainability Committee, Portland (Business) – for incorporation of environmental and sustainability strategies in energy, waste, water, food, and transportation into its strategic plan.
    • Tanbark, Portland (Business) – for blazing a trail in non-plastic packaging with molded fiber that is lightweight and has potential for disrupting plastic use through innovation of a legacy Maine industry – paper.
    • Intercultural Community Center, Westbrook (Non-Profit) – for its commitment to waste diversion through recycling and composting programs, reduction of single-use materials, and increasing public awareness of sustainability.
    • Gorham School District (Education/Schools) – for leadership in keeping recoverable materials out of landfills by recycling and composting, and notably, diverting leftover food to the Gorham Food Pantry and food drives.
    • Heather Keegan, Readfield (Education/Schools) – for her work with school leadership, town staff, ecomaine, and her students to establish a recycling program that can be replicated throughout the district.
    • Spruce Mountain HS Envirothon Team, Livermore Falls (Education/Schools) – for their exemplary research and presentations on sustainable waste management, resulting in winning the Maine Envirothon and placing 20th in the world at the International Envirothon.

Awards will be presented at a luncheon and ceremony at ecomaine on March 21.

“We are very excited to have the eco-Excellence Awards ceremony in person again after missing a few years,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs.  “The energy and inspiration is tangible, and helps to fulfill our mission of increasing public awareness about this important work.”

eco-Excellence Awardees must be in or serve one of 73 ecomaine communities.  Nominees can be businesses, schools, nonprofits, municipalities or staff, or individuals and were selected based on the effectiveness, increased awareness, community impact, and ease of replication of their sustainability programs or initiatives.  Preference is given to nominees in the areas of sustainable waste management, recycling, composting, etc.  Submissions were judged by ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee at the Committee’s meeting on February 9, 2023.