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Portland Launches Community Composting Pilot Program

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public
New composting bins in Portland on April 22, 2021.

The city of Portland has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gases created by residents' food waste.

Sustainability Director Troy Moon says the pilot program collecting compostable material has been in the works for some time.

“We think that organic selection has an important long-term place in our waste management strategy, so this is just our first foray into getting people accustomed to it. And hopefully we’ll go on to bigger and better things in the future with it,” he says.

The city has established compost bins at four community gardens and at the Riverside Recycling Center in order to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills.

Residents are required to dump waste from their homes into the bins directly.
Moon says tackling food waste pollution is the missing piece in the city’s attempt to reach carbon neutrality.

“If we wanted to achieve our goals of being a zero waste community by 2050 and want to reach our climate goals, we realize dealing with organic waste is going to be essential,” he says.

Moon says the city’s next steps will be focusing on further electrifying public transportation and establishing more electric car charging stations.