Skip Navigation




The handling of waste has changed through the generations as our knowledge, technology, and economic well-being have improved. As a necessary consequence of the production and consumption of food, consumer goods, and other products, our current society generates a substantial volume of material. Most of this material is ultimately discarded and requires collection, re-use or recycling, or disposal.

This website summarizes the results (PDF) of two 2011 waste sorts conducted on Maine residential waste, provides links for related papers and studies, and contains photos, videos, and presentations given on the findings. We hope that this website will be useful for state, municipal officials, and active citizens as they consider recycling and disposal in their communities that balance environmental and economic concerns.

Thank you for visiting our site. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us or the School of Economics.

Waste Characterization Study
5782 Winslow Hall, Room 206
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 207-581-3151
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469