AUGUSTA, Maine — Several municipalities and organizations from Alfred to Lubec will split more than $300,000 in grants from the State Planning Office to help expand recycling programs, specifically for corrugated cardboard and yard and leaf waste.
According to a recent assessment by the State Planning Office, capturing more disposed corrugated cardboard for recycling could increase the statewide recycling rate by as much as 6 percent.
“It’s easy to collect, we have the basic infrastructure to recycle it, and there are strong markets for it,” said Darryl Brown, director of the State Planning Office. “Composting lawn wastes also requires minimal effort and gives the town a valuable compost product in the end.”
The grants range from $2,200 to $25,000 for a range of initiatives including: site work for compost pads, bins for local businesses to collect corrugated cardboard, balers and recycling buildings.
Old Town is adding storage room to its existing recycling center for an expected increase in corrugated cardboard. Bangor, Rockland and Skowhegan are constructing paved compost pads. Lubec is purchasing bins for businesses to recycle cardboard.
The towns of Nobleboro and Jefferson, which share a recycling center, will construct a satellite facility centrally located in Jefferson that will make recycling more convenient.
In 2009, Mainers recycled 38.7 percent of household waste, but the state continually has fallen short of its goals. Funds for recycling grants come from fees on the disposal of certain wastes in Maine landfills, such as incinerator ash and sewer sludge.
A minimum local match of 15 percent is required for each grant awarded by the State Planning Office. The communities that have been awarded grants are:
- Alfred, $25,000
- Bangor, $25,000
- Central Penobscot Solid Waste in Corinth, $2,200
- China, $20,000
- Jefferson-Nobleboro, $22,896
- Lincoln County, $25,000
- Lubec, $15,513
- Mid-Maine Solid Waste Association in Dexter, $25,000
- Old Town, $25,000
- Readfield-Wayne, $7,650
- Rockland, $25,000
- Skowhegan, $25,000
- St. George, $7,506
- United Area Regional Recycling Center, $14,173
- Vassalboro, $22,525
- Yarmouth, $14,293
More information on the state’s recycling program is available online at: http://www.maine.gov/spo/recycle.