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Maine Department of Environmental Protection Announces Food Scrap Recovery Program and Trainings
Maine Department of Environmental Protection Announces Food Scrap Recovery Program and Trainings

The Sustainability Division at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is offering free workshops to encourage the recovery of food scraps and the beneficial reuse of those materials either through composting, anaerobic digestion or other applications. 40 percent of Maine's municipal solid waste is organics and could be diverted from a landfill and beneficially reused.

"Reducing the materials being sent to our landfills isn't just good for the environment, although the benefits are clear - it makes economic sense too. Expanding landfill capacity takes time and money, which is reflected in rates taxpayers and businesses have to pay. There are options for these materials recovered from disposal - whether they are composted, utilized in manufacturing or energy production - that provide economic benefits," said Patricia Aho.

Organics can pose a challenges because their generation can be sporadic and difficult to predict, be wet and require a higher level of attention because of associated odors. The workshops provide guidance on how to address those challenges successfully.

Each session will include: an introduction to Maine's Food Scrap Recovery Program; techniques to divert, collect and process food scraps; regulations surrounding food scrap recovery and use; and lessons learned from current/past collection efforts. Full-day sessions will also include a tour of an organics processing facility.

The department is co-hosting the sessions in Auburn with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments; Ellsworth with the Hancock County Planning Commission; Wiscasset with the Lincoln County Planning Commission; Skowhegan with the Town of Skowhegan; Bangor with Eastern Maine Development Corporation; Calais with Sunrise County Economic Council (also broadcast in Machias); Caribou with Northern Maine Development Commission and Freeport with the Harraseeket Inn.

Entrepreneurs, municipal employees, farmers, local haulers, businesses and private citizens are all invited to attend.

In its 2014 Materials Management Plan, the department identified organics diversion and beneficial reuse as a priority in moving forward with sustainable materials management. These workshops are a step toward meeting that goal.

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (Archive on Wednesday, May 21, 2014)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre

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