Good Citizens for Sustainability

Engaging in sustainable initiatives and making decisions for the greater good are part of our mission. Here are some of the ways we are making a difference right here in our campus community:

  • Surpassing our goal of sourcing 20% of our food locally by 2020, and expanding that goal to 25% by 2025
    • Currently we are purchasing local food from 26 Maine farms and 33 local businesses
  • Trayless dining at many locations, reducing the amount of dishes used and water to wash them
  • Converting to WorldCentric compostable food service products
  • Zero Waste events on campus (Student Orientations, Maine Day and more)
  • Certified green cleaning products at all locations
  • Partnering with University of Maine Cooperative Extension in composting approximately 241.5 tons of food scraps and food waste per year
  • Installing a food pulper in the Hilltop Dining dish room to grind up food scraps and napkins, then compost them as part of the University Composting Program
  • Zero-Sort Recycling at all dining locations as part of a joint venture with Casella Resource Solutions
  • Purchasing food from Black Bear Food Guild, the University’s organic farming community and learning center
  • Converting to a Total Oil Management program which strains and filters oil, then converts it into biodiesel for reuse elsewhere
  • Receiving green building awards for the renovation of Wells Central in Leadership, Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the Environment Protection Agency in 2008
    • The updated dish room incorporates a food digester that uses microorganisms to break down food waste (similar to a stomach). The digestion turns solid food wastes into a liquid form, which goes straight into the floor drain in the dish room, then into the grease trap. The digester diverts food waste from landfills and saves in associated transportation costs and energy use.

Do Your Part: Look for Signs and Bins

Collected material is transported to a Zero-Sort Processing facility where materials are sorted, baled, and sold on the recyclables commodities market. A significant percentage goes to mills and processing facilities for the manufacture of new products.

YES! Do toss these materials into the recycling bins*:

  • CARDBOARD/PAPER: Pizza boxes, plates/bowls, coffee cups and hot sleeves, soup containers, food boxes/cartons
  • BOTTLES & CANS: Water, soda, juice
  • PLASTIC: Salad bar containers and lids, soda cups and lids (no straws), sandwich containers, condiment cups and lids, coffee cup lids, milk bottles
* Before you do so, please empty and wipe containers with a napkin; also, pour ice or liquids into the bucket provided. Toss the container into the recycling bin. Toss the food waste and napkin into the trash.

NO! Please do NOT place these items in the recycling bins:

  • CARDBOARD/PAPER: Sandwich wrappers, bakery tissue, napkins, straw wrappers
  • PLASTIC: Utensils, straws, chip bags, bar wrappers, condiment packages
  • OTHER: Coffee stir sticks
Three students posing for UMaine Green Campus Initiative sustainability efforts