Publications and Policy Briefs

Solid Waste White Paper – 2015

This 2015 paper draws upon the Materials Management team’s collective expertise in order to 1) provide a brief overview of the history of solid waste in Maine; 2) outline contemporary challenges, and 3) identify opportunities for the future. The goal of this paper was to utilize stakeholder input to identify areas of strength and to create proposals to increase the sustainability of Maine’s materials management system. Click here to find out more.

Moving Up the Waste Hierarchy in Maine – 2016

Americans throw away huge amounts of trash each year, and despite efforts to recover materials from the waste stream, U.S. recycling rates have stagnated and total waste generation continues to grow. This article builds previous stakeholder engagement process that explored the waste-management challenges Maine faces. The authors review the policies enacted in other states and point out unfulfilled potential to take more significant steps toward Maine’s long-term materials-management goals. To find out more, click here

LD 1534 – 2018

LD 1534 “An Act to Address Hunger, Support Farmers, and Reduce Waste” was introduced in an effort to reduce the large amounts of organics in municipal waste streams. This report, compiled by the Materials Management Research Group and submitted at the request of the ENR committee, is intended to contribute to discussions about food waste and insecurity by drawing on stakeholder expertise to: estimate the food waste problem in Maine, outline food waste recovery and redistribution potential, and provide a preliminary, stakeholder-informed assessment of several state-level policies that might help to reduce and recover wasted food. To learn more, click here

Review of Chemical and Microbial Food Contamination – 2021

Composting and anaerobic digestion of food waste provide two means to recover and recycle some of the nutrients required to grow food. To ensure the recycled materials are safe and free from contaminants that could amplify within a circular food system, it is important to understand where and how contaminants are introduced into the system. This report aims to explore these issues by (1) screening for contamination of input organic wastes from different sources; (2) exploring different regulatory environments; and (3) surveying key stakeholders to explore risk perceptions associated with various feedstocks and practices. For more information Click here or here to read the article.