We have a couple of exciting new developments to report on the organics recycling front in Brunswick this week.

The first is the addition of a new pair of collection totes for organic composting located at the leaf drop next to Public Works on Industry Road and being serviced by Agri-Cycle. I expect that site to grow, and to also see additional totes in several new drop-off locations around town in the next few months, as funding becomes available. For now, the additional totes represent a real step forward for the folks who lost their curbside service when We Compost It stopped serving Brunswick, but who want to participate in best practices for solid waste management. Word of mouth and the loss of We Compost It has resulted in a large increase in the use of these totes, so the second pair is a very welcome addition.

To utilize the totes on Industry Road, or any of the future drop-off sites, you just bring your bucket, dump it in the totes, and you’re done. There is no fee for doing so. Remember only that these totes cannot accept paper, plastic in any form, pet waste, or anything else beyond household food scraps. There is signage above the totes that reviews the specifics of what you can leave there, and what you can’t.

The maybe even more exciting new event is that the town was recently awarded a grant, through an EPA program, to fund a new Intern position dedicated to organics recycling. The grant has been received, and a new graduate of Bates College has accepted the position. Her name is Eliza Blood, and she has already started her work for the town. She can be reached at [email protected] Organics represent an important component of our recycling program, and through a series of community workshops and presentations this spring and summer, Eliza will educate residents on how to take advantage of the organics recycling options that are available to us.

As the press release notes, “This new initiative is focused on raising awareness and educating residents about the three ways that they can recycle their food waste in Brunswick:  composting at home, signing up for curbside collection service provided by Garbage to Garden, or bringing food waste to a drop-off site in town. Diverting food waste from the traditional disposal methods of landfilling and incineration will help the town in two important ways. Brunswick will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions associated with solid waste disposal and the town anticipates saving an additional $17,000 in annual disposal fees by increasing its food waste recycling to 400 tons per year.”

Brunswick residents currently recycle approximately 200 tons of food waste annually through home composting and curbside collection service. The town estimates that it can increase this figure to 400 tons per year through an emphasis on education and strengthening of the “three-pronged” approach to Organics adopted last year.

Keep an eye on this column and the town website to see when some new initiatives for backyard composting, and other educational opportunities will be happening throughout the summer.

The Recycle Bin is a weekly column on what to recycle, what not to recycle, and why, in Brunswick. The public is encouraged to submit questions by email to [email protected] Harry Hopcroft is a member of the Brunswick Recycling and Sustainability Committee. This column is a product of his own research.

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