Maine Composts Week May 7th-13th, 2017

Maine Composts Week is a statewide event that looks to connect local communities, schools, businesses, residents, municipalities, and other institutions with the resources, service providers, and information to help facilitate improving resource management of organic materials in Maine. Visit Maine Composts Week on Facebook.

Mission and Vison

Purpose: To engage the state of Maine on the topics of composting, anaerobic digestion, food insecurity, solid waste/materials management to: 1) promote business and service providers who excel in organics management; 2) reduce wasted materials; 3) highlight best practices in organics management; 4) promote composting being integrated in K-12 education, businesses, and household behavior; 5) provide resources that enable schools, business, households, communities and institutions to compost effectively; 6) promote food diversion as a first option to manage organic materials before composting.

The Issue: Landfill capacity is limited and valuable. Presently Maine’s solid waste stream is 40% organic in nature. These materials, typically wet and dense, are a valuable resource that must be managed and processed properly in order to add value to society. Maine’s recycling (diversion) goal of 50% remains unmet and progress has plateaued in the past decade. By diverting 25% of all organic materials Maine could easily achieve its goal! Maine currently composts around 5% of its potentially compostable/digestible material.

In addition, Maine as well as much of the country, has a food security issue.  Highlighting composting and other organics management processes as well as food diversion and food waste reduction are key ways to make inroads into this larger societal issue.

Recommended Activities: We encourage all interested to make their own schedule for participating in Maine Composts Week given your interests and abilities.

Target Audience: All

  • Learn about composting. Short videos and digital materials about the nutrients cycle, various types of composting/organics management, social media blasts, sharing contest social media submissions, etc.
  • Food diversion. Information about local food banks, food diversion initiatives, and food security activities, food drives.
  • Start composting today. Big push for backyard composting and use of existing programs, towns purchasing in bulk composting supplies from the Maine Resource Recovery Association, supermarkets having displays, community level social media blasts, resources, and information
  • Contact Organics Companies. Take advantage of promotional rates to start managing your organic materials (primarily available south of Augusta). See Special Composting Promotions for more details (coming soon!).
  • Composting Documentary Day. Watch DIRT, Just Eat it, or other composting related movie/documentary ( streaming available for $2.99. Also “Just Eat It” and “Dive”
  • Speakers, Presentations, and Library Activities. Throughout the week and the time leading up there will be a list of events and activities posted. Many libraries will have Composting related book highlighted in the month leading up to Maine Composts Week.
  • Household Food Waste Challenge: Participate in a social media campaign to reduce your food waste through: meal planning and shopping habits; food preparation and storage; and composting leftover food scraps.
  • Community Suppers. Partner with a local farmer or greenhouse to incorporate “reclaimed food” into a community meal (More details to come!).

Target Audience: Schools

  • Visit a composting site. Tours across the state at compost facilities (private, public, 4H, etc.), target audience schools
  • Presentation by your local Materials Manager. Have your local materials manager (Transfer Station Attendant, Public Works Director, Recycling Manager, etc.) give a presentation about your community’s activities/outcomes.
  • Learn about your waste. Schools doing self-sorts. Provide a manual for what is needed for materials, sorting protocol, data sheets to submit to website!
  • School Cafeteria Sorting Program. Start separating your food scraps today. Integrate composting into curriculum or student group or partner with a local farmer or food scrap company. Make a Sharing Table!
  • Schools Teaching Schools. Sign up to be partnered with another school across the state who either is composting, or wants to compost. Learn from each other and share your results!
  • Community Nights. Host a community event highlighting your composting program (new or longstanding).
    For long-standing programs, have it early in the week. Invite parents, friends, businesses and let students teach!
    For a new program, have an event towards the end of the week, or the following week highlighting the outcomes of separating your food scraps on how much waste you generated!

Maine Compost Week student, teacher flyer

Maine Composts week coincides with International Compost Awareness Week.