“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Municipalities

Wasted materials cost time, energy, and money, and can negatively impact the environment.  These resources can help communities reduce waste and save money.

Tips to Make Less Waste

Simple ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate, and often save money, include:

  • How to start a repair clinic [pdf] - Community repair clinics can encourage residents to repair belongings instead of disposing of them.
  • Resources for repair [pdf] - These "how-to" resources detail every step needed to repair items from clothing to smartphones to vehicles.
  • Borrow or rent items such as tools and equipment instead of buying. Ask your vendors to provide you with leasing options before you buy.
  • Use durable, reusable items instead of disposable, such as washable cups, plates, and cutlery.
  • Buy upgradable computers. If you can upgrade with a single component, you may save money.
  • Go paperless – set up electronic filing systems and reclaim valuable space in your town office!
  • Set printers to automatically print double-sided.
  • Reduce or remove trash can liners where feasible.
  • Managing and Reducing Wastes: A Guide for Commercial Buildings – The U.S. EPA has created this step-by-step guide for reducing commercial building waste
  • Organics Management – organics can make up 40 percent of our waste stream, but separation and recovery puts these potential resources to good use

Reuse Building and Office Supplies

  • Alltech – (Portland and Bangor) donate or shop used assistive medical equipment. Check the website to see what items are available to purchase or accepted for donation.
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing – Maine’s guide to purchasing products without toxics, to be energy-efficient, and to be easily recycled. 
  • Everyone's Resource Depot - Located in Farmington, companies donate unwanted goods so they are available for reuse by the public.
  • Furniture Friends (Portland) – This furniture bank in Portland distributes usable furniture that would have gone to the landfill to people in need.
  • Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Threads of Hope – all operate resale stores in Maine and accept donations of used clothing and gently-used household items. Goodwill also recycles textiles that are no longer wearable such as torn clothing and single shoes and socks.  Donate unwanted items to support their socially-responsible missions.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore - ReStores sell new and lightly used building materials, fixtures, furniture, appliances, tools, and other surplus items donated by individuals, contractors, and businesses to help fund the construction of Habitat homes. The stores are in Bangor, Ellsworth, Kennebunk, Portland, Rockport and Topsham.
  • Maine State Surplus Property - Surplus materials from state departments made available to state, public, and non-profit organizations.
  • PC's for Maine – A non-profit program that accepts computer donations and provides computers and information to increase access to computers to individuals, families, schools and other non-profits.
  • Swap, sell or buy tools, equipment, and materials through Uncle Henry’s, Maine Craigslist, and Maine Freecycle

Recycling Program Assistance

Maine DEP is providing this information as a courtesy, and does not recommend or endorse any particular organization or product.

For more information, contact Carole Cifrino at 207-486-8160