Local schools receive ecomaine recycling grants

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PORTLAND — Manchester Elementary School in Windham and Lake Region Middle School are among the winners of more than $16,000 in grants awarded to 12 Maine schools as part of ecomaine’s 2017 school Recycling Grants Program.

The nonprofit regional waste management organization invited schools in its 58 member communities to apply for grants up to $5,000 in value for waste reduction initiatives. Ecomaine said the awards were chosen on such factors as project outline and ease of replication, school commitment, likelihood of success and sustainability and how compelling and worthy the funding was to the project.

“We are very pleased by the creative and ambitious programs this year’s grant recipients have planned to reduce, reuse and recycle more of the waste in their schools,” said Caleb Hemphill, chairman of ecomaine’s Recycling Committee.

Manchester Elementary School will be awarded $3,000 towards food reduction efforts and for new trash and recycling bins. The school’s food waste will be picked up monthly in an effort to cut down on the amount of food in the trash.

Lake Region Middle School, which includes students from Bridgton, Naples and Casco, will be awarded $900 to build a composting bin and to cover a student field trip to ecomaine’s facilities.

Other area schools that will receive grants included School Administrative District 51,  Catherine Morrill Day Nursery of Portland, South Portland High School, Falmouth Elementary School, Freeport Middle School and Howard C. Reiche Community School in Portland.

SAD 51, which includes Cumberland and North Yarmouth, will receive more than $4,500 to fund four locally made recycling, trash and food waste receptacles, as well as eight secondhand waste totes, in an effort to combine single-sort and food waste recycling.

Catherine Morrill Day Nursery of Portland will receive $1,350 for its food waste reduction efforts. The nursery will get food waste picked up monthly.

South Portland High School will be awarded $820 to purchase TerraCycle boxes in an effort to recycle additional materials that would not be sortable for single-sort recycling.

Falmouth Elementary School will be awarded $769 for a water bottle filling station.

Freeport Middle School will be awarded $700 to increase recycling awareness and to implement a school-wide recycling program, as well as a field trip to ecomaine’s facilities.

Howard C. Reiche Community School will receive $576.09 for an outdoor composting bin, tools, in-class composting collection bins and a field trip to ecomaine.

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @MelanieSochan.