Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I bother to separate trash and recycling – both are emptied into the same truck!
You may notice that the items you’ve carefully separated appear to be emptied into the same truck. Pine Tree Waste uses a split-body truck, which contains separate compartments to segregate trash from recycling. Upon filling either compartment, the driver proceeds to ecomaine, the non-profit, community-managed waste management facility. Ecomaine operates the largest municipal recycling program in the state, processing nearly 45,000 tons of recyclable material per year. Next door to the recycling facility is their Waste-To-Energy (WTE) plant, where any trash identified as un-recyclable is converted at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit to energy in the form of electricity. The WTE plant processes about 175,000 tons of trash a year and, from that process, generates enough steam to create about 100,000 to 110,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. That’s enough electricity to power their WTE and recycling facilities, their company’s electric car, plus about 15,000 homes for a year. Converting the trash to energy also benefits the communities they serve by reducing its volume by 90 percent, leaving only ash to be stored at the landfill site
I’m new to South Portland. When is my trash and recycling collection day?
List of collection days by street name
My street's trash and recycling appears to have been collected, but my barrels were not emptied. What now?
There are several reasons that Pine Tree Waste may have to bypass an address, including: unacceptable items placed in barrels, barrels placed too close to an obstruction (such as a parked car), barrels not positioned upright at time of collection, barrels placed curbside too late. Barrels must be curbside by 7am, even if the truck normally arrives later in the day - the truck will not double-back for late put-outs. Pine Tree Waste submits a report to us identifying these types of issues at the end of each collection day, and in some instances will tag a barrel they have skipped for a reason listed above. If you’re still uncertain as to why you may have been skipped, please call our office.
How will I know if my waste collection day is cancelled or postponed?
On the rare occasion when collection is postponed due to inclement weather, information will be found on our Facebook page, on the front page of the City website, on our outgoing telephone message at 207-767-7635, and on local media stations and their websites:
TV: WCSH-6, WMTW-8, WGME-13
Radio: WGAN, WMGX, WFNK, WHOM, WJBQ, WBLM, WPOR, WCLZ, WCYY
For reschedules due to holidays, please refer to our holiday schedule.
My barrel is too small/large for my family. What do I do?
City ordinance provides a general guideline for assigning barrel sizes, based on number of occupants in your home. You may be eligible to upsize or downsize your barrel. Please call our office to learn more.
My barrel (or lid) broke. How can I get it fixed/replaced?
Please call our office to report your damaged barrel. You do not need to bring it to our office – we will come to you to make the repair.
Is Styrofoam recyclable?
Even though the packaging may be stamped with a recycle symbol, the ecoMaine facility is not equipped to process Polystyrene (Styrofoam) for recycling. There may be other items in this category as well.
Do I need a permit/sticker to use the Transfer Facility?
The Transfer Facility does not currently require residents to purchase a permit. Proof of residency, in the form of state-issued ID, or a tax or utility bill, etc, may be requested.
There is a dead animal on the street. Who do I call to remove it?
Public Works will remove deceased wildlife from the street. If the animal is a domestic (dog or cat), the Police Dept Animal Control Officer will take custody pending contact of the owner. Call the SPPD at 874-8575 for more info.
There is a skunk under my shed. Can you remove it?
The City does not remove or relocate feral animals, unless there is a rabies concern. Humane traps may be rented from local hardware stores. For more information, contact the Animal Control Officer at 799-5511, ext 7253.
ABOUT LEAF PICKUP:
- Leaves are collected by our Public Works staff, not Pine Tree Waste and not as part of your regular trash collection. In fact, please place bags curbside, but not close to your trash containers
- We cannot predict when our teams will be on your street to collect. The timing depends on the volume of leaves they must collect at each location as they make their way through the city.
- Leaves are only collected curbside in the fall (November), not in the spring.
- The biodegradable paper bags are pretty sturdy, and hold up quite well to rain and wet leaves. The early snowfall will provide an extra challenge, but we'll do our best to find your leaf bags.
- Please try to restrict the bags to leaves only. Sticks, brush, branches and prunings are not part of this curbside collection, but can be brought to the transfer station for disposal.
- We don't offer raking services or fall cleanup on private property.
- Please do not place leaves or yard debris in your trash or recycling containers, or they will be tagged out and not collected.