To achieve "zero waste" (90% waste diverted from the waste stream) by 2050 through single stream recycling, diverting organic waste, minimizing single-use plastics and enhancing a circular sharing economy.
How Do I Know...
In the News:
- Paper markets from Boom to Bust
- Paying a price for sloppy recycling (Press Herald)
- ecomaine communities struggle with costly contaminated recycling (Press Herald)
Programs & Policies:
The City of South Portland and ecomaine are working together to address high residential recycling contamination through a summer tagging and education program. This program first launched as a pilot in the Redbank Community in 2018 and has since grown to several neighborhoods throughout the city.
In July 2018, South Portland rolled out an opt-in citywide food waste recycling program available to all residents in the city. By diverting food waste from the landfill, this program helps to ensure that excess food is better used to nourish people, animals, industries, and soils.
On March 1st, 2016 the City's Reusable Bag Ordinance went into effect. Food retailers charge customers a five cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. Plastic bags are not recyclable or compostable and often end up as litter in our landscape and marine environment. The City is hoping to reduce waste and encourage shoppers to use reusable bags.
On March 1st, 2016 the City's Polystyrene Ban Ordinance went into effect. The use of polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) is banned from every establishment that uses it to package food for retail sale. Polystyrene is not easily recycled and when littered or discarded breaks into small, non-biodegradable pieces that are harmful to water to water quality, storm water, and wildlife. Recyclable, reusable or compostable alternatives are on the market and readily available.
The ultimate goal of a Zero Waste Event is to divert 90% or more of trash from the landfill through purposeful purchasing, recycling and composting. While this may seem like a lofty goal, the City is making strides to achieve it.
Special Waste Disposal Events:
- Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Disposal Day
- Community Shredding Day
- Prescription Drug Drop Off