Meet Our Education & Outreach Staff

Yesterday, you finished off the milk at breakfast, printed a few too many copies of your document at work, and emptied the ice cream carton for dessert.  You put all these containers and paper, along with your glass, metal, cardboard, and rigid plastic containers in the recycling bin and out at the curb this morning.

Have you ever thought about what happens to all your recycling after it gets picked up by the truck?  Lucky for you, you can come see for yourself because ecomaine, the company that processes single-sort recycling and trash for one third of Maine, offers tours, presentations and outreach events opportunities for you!

Here to tell you all about these offerings are the Outreach and Education staff of ecomaine, including the expert educator, the wise intern, and our brand new educator!

Katrina, the seasoned Environmental Educator: Meeting new people every day within our member communities is definitely one of my favorite parts of the job.  Presentations to schools and businesses allow me to do just this on both a large and small scale. In-class programs, full-school assemblies, STEM expos, career fairs, lunch and learns and so much more allow ecomaine to come to your school or organization to teach students and staff about where their recycling and trash ends up and what happens to in along the way to make something new and productive.  The presentations we offer can be for a group as small as two people or we could speak to a full auditorium, gym, cafeteria, etc. So think of us at ecomaine the next time you want to educate your students or colleagues on where their trash and recycling goes, and what happens to it once it leaves your sight!

Gabe, the wise Intern: Spending a day outside in the fresh air is always fantastic, but it’s even better when I get to do it while teaching people all the Do’s and Don’ts of recycling. Hanging out at transfer stations, town halls, street fairs, and local festivals lets us create a direct connection with our community members!  It’s always awesome to see how excited and passionate people can be about commiting to the waste hierarchy and protecting their environment. Personally, I find it empowering to know that I’m doing meaningful work, and nothing emphasizes that feeling more than being able to see the lightbulb turn on in someone’s head and realizing that they can truly make a big difference with a remarkably small amount of effort in recycling.

Vanessa, our brand new Educator: Since my first day at ecomaine, I have learned so much about recycling and waste-to-energy through taking tours! Seeing is believing, here at ecomaine, and I was amazed to see just how much recycling is sorted each day. So far, the rubber stars are my favorite things to watch in action, as they spin and sort our cardboard and paper.

It can be really challenging to understand how Single-Sort Recycling works, and why some places can take materials that others cannot. Tours are a great way to learn about why we collect certain materials, and what technology is used to send them to the right place. You can watch everyday household items travel from the tipping hall to the baler in under four minutes!

Many communities in the state of Maine also bring their trash to our facility, where it is used to generate enough electricity to power both of our facilities, our electric car, and the rest goes back into the grid to power 15,000 homes! And our Waste-to-Energy Facility treats particles and gases so that we can keep our air clean. Our mission is to protect the environment, and by reducing the amount of trash going to landfills, and reducing our pollutants, we can keep Maine’s environment the way it should be.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to know how we generate electricity from your garbage, or if you’re curious about how recycling goes from our silver bullets to sorted bales, put on a hard hat and come schedule a tour with us. We’re available five days a week, and we love company!  We will also come to any of our 73 member communities to staff a booth, talk with councils or select boards, schools, or public works staff!  Call 207-773-1738 or email info@ecomaine.org!