ecomaine announces thirteen 2016-17 School Recycling Grant recipients

Contact: Lisa Wolff, Communications Manager   207-523-3018

PORTLAND, Maine January 13, 2017 – ecomaine, based here, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2016-17 School Recycling Grants. Schools operating within ecomaine’s 58 member communities were invited to submit grant requests for up to $5,000 for waste reduction initiatives. At this time, the ecomaine Recycling Committee has decided to award twelve Maine schools with funds or goods valued at a total of $19,765.35.

“We are very pleased by the creative and ambitious programs this year’s grant recipients have planned to reduce, reuse and recycle more of the waste in their schools,” said Caleb Hemphill, chairman of ecomaine’s Recycling Committee. “We look forward to following the results of these efforts in the months ahead.”

Below is a summary of grant recipients, who were chosen based on the following criteria: (1) project outline and school commitment (2) ease of project replication (3) likelihood of success and program sustainability, and (4) how compelling and worthy the funding is.

The 2017 ecomaine School Recycling grant winners are:

  • Lake Region Middle School, Bridgton, Naples and Casco, is being awarded $900 to build a school grounds composting bin and to cover bussing costs to visit ecomaine’s facilities. Their goal is to develop integrated and exciting curriculum to instill waste-reduction practices.
  • MSAD #51, Cumberland and North Yarmouth, is being awarded $4,560 to fund four locally made recycling, trash and food waste receptacles as well as eight second-hand food waste toters. The creative approach the school took to integrating single-sort recycling and food waste recycling was a collaborative effort.
  • Falmouth Elementary is being awarded $769 for a water bottle filling station. As their recycling and food waste programs are already mature and effective, Falmouth is installing this station as a way to further reduce their impact on the earth by reducing dependence on single-use water bottles.
  • Freeport Middle School is being awarded $700 to increase awareness of the “three Rs”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A comprehensive recycling program will be implemented through school-wide education and a field trip to ecomaine’s recycling and waste-to-energy facilities.
  • Sacopee Valley Middle School (serving Baldwin, Cornish, Hiram, Parsonfield and Porter) is being awarded $261.46 for the purchase of gloves to sort recycling from trash and to cover bussing costs for a field trip to ecomaine’s recycling and waste-to-energy facilities. Here, they will make a movie about the recycling and waste-to-energy operations to bring back to their classmates.
  • Howard C. Reiche Community School of Portland is being awarded $576.09 for outdoor composting bin tools, in-class compost collection bins and to cover costs for a field trip to ecomaine. If the third-grade classroom composting pilot goes well, grades K-5 will get on board next year!
  • Catherine Morrill Day Nursery of Portland is being awarded $1,320 for food waste reduction efforts. They will receive monthly pick-up of all kitchen, lunch and snack food waste in efforts to cut down on amount of food in their trash while educating parents of their students along the way.
  • Thornton Academy in Saco is being awarded new sorting bins valued at up to $1,548.80. The school is confident that new, cohesive bins with ecomaine’s educational messages, will ensure students and staff will have a clearer road to increased recycling.
  • South Portland High School is being awarded $820 to purchase TerraCycle boxes to recycle even more materials that are not suitable for the single-sort recycling process. Since South Portland High School already has a robust and successful recycling and composting system in place, TerraCycle is their next step closer toward zero waste.
  • Massabesic High School in Waterboro is being awarded $810 for the purchase of materials to improve the ease and efficiency of recycling throughout the school. A trolley will assist students in collecting recycling from new large recycling bins. Recycling and composting is second nature for students, who have a well-established Zero Waste Club committed to recycling collections.
  • Waterville Alternative School is being awarded $1,000 to purchase an indoor worm composting system and worms, outdoor composting bin materials, food waste collection cans and buckets, a moveable greenhouse and a light system for the greenhouse. The school has enthusiastic involvement from their Green Class. It is their goal to grow food for their students while learning how waste can be a valuable resource.
  • Manchester Elementary School in Windham is being awarded $1,320 toward food waste reduction efforts, as well as new trash and recycling bins (valued up to $1,680). They will receive monthly pickup of all kitchen, lunch and snack food waste in efforts to cut down on the amount of food in their trash. Bins will assist in proper sorting of waste materials by students and staff.
  • Peak’s Island Elementary School is being awarded $3,500 toward their zero-waste goal to install a dishwasher to cut down significantly on the amount of waste generated through disposable trays, plates and utensils.

We are so proud of our communities and schools in their efforts to follow the waste hierarchy by Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Composting or Digesting food waste to reduce what goes to Waste-to-Energy or Landfills. Be on the lookout for the fiscal year 2018 School Recycling Grants application process later in 2017.

In other award news: ecomaine is still accepting eco-Excellence Award nominations!

Champions of Sustainability in any of ecomaine’s 58 member communities are eligible for this prestigious award and will receive a special prize and an invitation to an awards luncheon at ecomaine’s Portland facility. Nominate your sustainability hero online here by no later than Feb. 3, 2017.

About ecomaine: ecomaine is a community-owned sustainable waste management operator of a single-sort recycling facility, waste-to-energy plant, and food waste recycling transfer point in Portland, serving 58 member communities and handling one-third of Maine’s waste and recyclables.