Does my Recycling Actually Get Recycled?

It’s a question we get asked often at ecomaine, and the short answer is: YES!

The recycling from our communities absolutely does get processed here at our recycling center where it is sorted, baled, and then sold to a trusted group of partners that reprocess the materials into new raw materials, generating revenue for the operation of our municipally owned non-profit organization.

It makes economic sense for us to collect these resources to send out to market and be reprocessed into new materials. Still skeptical? Check out the recent verified segment from NEWS CENTER Maine where our CEO Kevin Roche shows you the numbers and confirms that recyclables get recycled.

Overall, aside from our own business self-interests, ecomaine prioritizes the solid waste hierarchy, which is guidance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and enshrined in Maine state statute. We look to push waste up the hierarchy as far as possible: reduction of waste generated; reuse of resources; recycling and employing materials back into the marketplace; composting or digestion of organic waste; creating electricity via waste-to-energy; and landfilling as a last resort.

Actually, we’re at an inflection point here in Maine with the forthcoming implementation of recently passed legislation that will provide funding for communities to support and grow their recycling programs. Maine’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law (passed in 2021) is making its way through the rule-making process with the Department of Environmental Protection. These new regulations will provide financial support and incentives for communities to not only continue with their existing programs, but also expand them, with producers of packaging having to pay into a fund that will be used to reimburse municipalities for eligible recycling and waste management costs, as well as to make investments in recycling infrastructure and recycling education.

At ecomaine we are transparent about where your recycling ends up, and keep up to date on legislation that affect recycling programs for the future. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about where your recyclables go!