ecomaine Receives Competitive EPA Grant

Maine’s leader in single-sort recycling has been awarded the Recycling Education and Outreach grant from the EPA, using funds to reach residents of multi-family dwelling units in an effort to make recycling more accessible. 

ecomaine has received the Recycling Education and Outreach (REO) Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with funding of $2 million dollars. The grant was awarded in response to the application submitted by ecomaine titled “An Effort to Increase Maine’s Recycling Rate through Outreach to Residents of Multi-Family Dwelling Units”.

“Recycling programs in apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings have always been the most challenging to implement,” says ecomaine board member Caleb Hemphill, “However there’s a lot of recyclable materials that are generated from these sources and they often end up in our landfills. This critical funding will help us improve our recycling rates, particularly in communities that include multi-family dwellings as well as disadvantaged communities that may not have regular access to recovery programs.” Hemphill is also the Chairman of the Outreach and Recycling Committee at ecomaine.

The grant aims to increase the recycling rate in Maine via a targeted pilot program with dedicated educational outreach programming and single-sort recycling strategies in multi-family dwelling units, where access to participation traditionally has been limited. With this grant, ecomaine plans on achieving these goals with outreach to residents and property owners, creating informational materials, social media marketing, and increasing access to recycling solutions that will help divert more recyclable material from Maine’s landfills.

ecomaine will be partnering with member communities (73 in total) to determine the highest-impact areas to target in this program. Additional work will be conducted in cooperation with community education programs, those with resources for New Mainers (and translation services), and residents and owners of multi-family unit properties.

 The organization has made it a priority to cater to disadvantaged communities by offering specialized educational opportunities and translated materials. Additionally, they are currently visiting towns with lower recycling rates to encourage participation and increase education. With the help of this grant, ecomaine will host a Kick-off Recycling summit which will bring together multi-family residents, property owners, homeowner associations and municipal stakeholders to better understand barriers and how ecomaine can further direct change while providing resources to communities where recycling programs are more challenging, despite willingness among members.

For more information regarding our pilot program, or grant details please reach out or review the press release issued by the EPA regarding the grant and award winners here: