Tag Archives: reuse

Hey, You Gonna Recycle That?

Here at ecomaine, we take recycling very seriously.

f13e40ef-9fd5-4161-8487-129ca1488f1eBut it’s worth noting that recycling – while tremendously important – is not the first rung on the Waste Hierarchy; Reduce and Reuse take priority.

So when a major corporation takes that to heart and does something that puts some focus on the preferred alternatives, we take notice. That’s exactly what IKEA has done with its new pillow.

On Sept. 12, IKEA is asking its customers who live in Belgium to bring in their old catalogs so they can be reused as stuffing in a new pillow — the KÜSS — that will be available at IKEA later in the year.

The Waste Hierarchy. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
The Waste Hierarchy. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

The designer behind the pillow, Charles Kaisin, said his design reflects and embodies the ethos of recycling:  “I drew the design inspiration from the cellulose molecule, the natural raw material of paper pulp. Styled and repeated into a visual structure it becomes its very own source of inspiration.”

At the moment, the new pillow is really more of a publicity stunt aimed at calling attention to the latest and soon-to-be-released IKEA catalog, but the idea itself is commendable; anything that gets people to think about the impact of solid waste is worth calling out.

File Under: Reuse – Homemade Instruments to Appear in Freeport Parade

The North Pownal Plastic Pipe Players do what they do best at a Fourth of July parade a few years back.

The North Pownal Plastic Pipe Players will be performing in the Freeport July 4th parade after a hiatus of several years.  They made their debut several years ago in that parade and have performed in several other parades since then.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 3.31.56 PMThey are a group from the North Pownal area who perform on a variety of horns made from recycled plastic items including baseball bats, lawn ornaments, beach pails, planters, piggy banks, vases, plastic pipe and more.  They are best known for performing that perennial favorite: “When the Saints Go Marching In,” with a solo by their PVC foghorn quintet led by Maestro Craig Dietrich.

IncredibleMaineThe instruments were all made by Alan Bradstreet of North Pownal – who, coincidentally, is on the ecomaine Board of Directors, as well as the host of MPBN’s Incredible Maine.  New this year is an 18′ long horn constructed from a windsurfing mast, a wiffle ball bat, a plastic vase, a mixing bowl and PVC pipe.

If you go to only one Fourth of July parade this year, it probably should be this one.

Keep It Simple: How To Reduce and Reuse by Upcycling

The Waste Hierarchy. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
The Waste Hierarchy. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

At ecomaine, we’re in the recycling and Waste-To-Energy business — but those aren’t at the top of the Waste Hierarchy.

That would be Reduce and Reuse.

Check out this short video put out recently by the Scottish Government for a clever and funny take on how to do both better. It features popular Scottish comedian Phil Kay.

 

Hey, Artists! You Can Still Enter Our Recycling Is A Work Of Art Contest!

This winning design came from, and was executed by, the kids at the One Tree Learning Center in South Portland, Maine.
This winning design came from, and was executed by, the kids at the One Tree Learning Center in South Portland, Maine.

By popular demand, we’ve extended the deadline for our annual ecomaine, “Recycling Is A Work Of Art,” contest – but only until Friday, April 24.

After that, if you still haven’t gotten your material to us, you’re out of luck.

So, if you’re an artist, or a student in an art class at any level, then go ahead and show us what you’d do with 22 feet of cold, hard steel and $500 worth of art supplies. This is your chance to see your work of art come to life – and our roll-off recycling containers get a lot of exposure.

Click on the link here to download the forms, and get them back to us by 5 p.m., Friday, April 24, and you could be seeing your art rolling down the highways and byways of southern Maine.

Hey, Augusta! Get A Free Recycling Bin From ecomaine!

With Single-Sort Recycling, you don't have to worry about sorting paper, plastic, metal and glass anymore! One bin unites them all!
With Single-Sort Recycling, you don’t have to worry about sorting paper, plastic, metal and glass anymore! One bin unites them all!

With the City of Augusta now officially on board with a new single-sort recycling program, we’re working with the community to get the word out about how it works.

“We think the people of Augusta will love single-sort recycling,” ecomaine Business Development Director Lissa Bittermann said. “With single-sort, people in Augusta will be able to recycle a much greater variety of materials, much more easily. With single-sort recycling, you don’t have to separate plastic from metal from paper from glass with a separate bin for each. It all just goes right into one bin, and we do the sorting at ecomaine.”

Currently, Augusta offers drop-off recycling for a limited roster of materials. With the new program, the city will offer single-sort recycling at Hatch Hill, the John Charest Public Works Facility on North Street and City Center, and dramatically increase the menu of materials that can be recycled. The City Center location will become available in the Spring when the snow melts.

So, where do all your single-sort materials end up? Here at ecomaine, on the tipping floor of our Single-Sort Recycling Facility, pictured above.
So, where do all your recyclables end up? Here at ecomaine, on the tipping floor of our Single-Sort Recycling Facility, pictured above.

With Augusta’s single-sort recycling program kicking off on Friday, March 6, we’ve put together a full slate of educational materials and outreach events designed to let people know how they can take full advantage of the new service. The outreach effort will include a kick-off event, community outreach booths, presentations, posters and other educational materials, as well as a significant social media component.

The outreach events include:

  • Presentation and Q&A sessions at the Augusta City Center on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • A kick-off event at Augusta Public Works on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • A presentation and Q&A session at the Lithgow Library on March 14, 2015; 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Presentations and Q&A sessions at Augusta City Center on March 17, 2015, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • An information table at Augusta Public Works on March 20, 2015, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • An information table at Augusta Public Works on March 27, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come to one of the events listed to the right, and you can get your hands on a free recycling bin, similar to the one this young man is holding.
Come to one of the events listed above and you can get your hands on a free recycling bin, similar to the one this young man is holding.

At each event, we’ll have staff on hand to explain how the program works, provide take-home informational materials and answer any questions you might have. In addition, the presentations will include a detailed explanation of how ecomaine’s single-sort recycling works and a virtual tour of ecomaine’s sorting facility in Portland.

And as a special bonus, the first 25 people at each event will receive free ecomaine recycling bins.

 

 

 

New Packaging Solutions For Food That Could Change The Game

packagingAmericans generate a lot of trash – more than four pounds of it per person per day.

And a lot of that is food packaging, which ends up in landfills, where it sits for thousands of years, doing nothing … except perhaps contaminating our environment.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s Friday, so why not take a moment or two and read this story about a Scandinavian company that’s coming out with some amazing ways to package food items we use every day, and completely take the landfill out of the picture.

Now that’s thinking out of the box.

if you throw

Don’t Be This Guy …

OpenHouse SadPug memeEach year, on one special day, we throw our doors open for our annual  Open House so people can come in and see exactly what we do and how we do it here at ecomaine.

This year, that special day is Saturday, Sept. 27.

From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, you can come to our Open House and get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to your trash and your recycling after the trucks pick it up on Trash Day. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty cool; that’s why thousands of people tour our facilities each year.

leo shadesNow, normally, you’d have to schedule something like that weeks in advance, but at the ecomaine Open House, all you have to do is stop by.

But that’s not all!

At the ecomaine Open House, you can score tons of cool, free stuff, too!

Like what, you ask?

Well, let us lay it out for you:

  • Free recycling bins!
  • Free breakfast sandwiches, hand-crafted to order by friendly ecomaine staffers!
  • Free ecomaine swag, like these cool, retro shades modeled by our Environmental Educator Leo Maheu (above), made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled material!
  • Free composting demonstrations from the folks at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and WormMainea!
  • Free reusable shopping bags and other swag from the groovy scenesters at Yelp!

yelplogoBut wait! There’s more!

A the ecomaine Open House on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 8:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m., you’ll also find:

  • Free recycling for your gently used clothes, toys, housewares, and other items, courtesy of our friends at Goodwill!
  • Free drop-off of items that could be used in class by Greater Portland teachers, courtesy of Ruth’s Reusable Resources!
  • Free disposal of your e-waste items, such as computers, TVs, dvd players, cellphones, etc., thanks to our friends at North Coast Services!
  • Free info on the amazing 70-mile network of hiking trails in Portland, courtesy of Portland Trails!
  • Fun stuff for the kids, like papermaking demonstrations, facepainting, and the chance to get behind the wheel of a big, ol’ garbage truck, courtesy of the City of Portland!

So, don’t be like the sad pug at the top of this post, haunted by the terrible specter of missed opportunity. Come to our annual Open House on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

You’ll be glad you did.