Food Waste Collection Pilot

On May 10th, 2017 the City launched a one-year curbside food waste collection pilot program. Residents in the Knightville and a portion of the Meetinghouse Hill received a 6-gallon bin to collect food waste in. These bins are set out each week with regular trash and recycling for pick-up. The food waste may be kept loose or in clear bags within these bins and residents are responsible for cleaning them.

**Additional bins will be set up at the Transfer Station (929 Highland Ave) for residents who do not fall within the pilot area. 

                       Pilot area map                         How does it work?              What goes in the bin?    

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What are the benefits of this? 

South Portland has a goal to recycle 40% of its waste by 2020 through composting, reuse, recycling, and purposeful purchasing. Diverting food waste from the municipal solid waste stream is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal because on average, up to a third of household waste consists of food scraps. Rather than going down the disposal or being sent to a landfill, this food waste can be converted to compost or be sent to an anaerobic digester to produce sustainable electricity.

For this pilot, the CIty has contracted with Garbage to Garden to collect the food waste weekly and deliver it to ecomaine for processing. ecomaine then sends the food waste to Exeter Agri-Energy (co-located on a dairy farm) in Exeter, ME where anaerobic digesters convert it into sustainable electricity, fertilizer, and animal bedding. 

The City sees this pilot as an opportunity to introduce a more sustainable way of managing our waste. The pilot will allow us to gather data on participation, waste diversion, and cost effectiveness to evaluate the viability of adding this collection to the City’s overall waste management program.  

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Click on the videos below for tips, how to handle your food waste, and to learn more about where it goes: