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Rockland residents praised for recycling efforts

Jul 25, 2019

Rockland — Rockland's efforts to make single-stream recycling a success appear to have worked.

The city issued a news release Thursday, July 25, announcing that Rockland has diverted more than 48 tons of recyclable materials from landfills since single-stream began with ecomaine at the start of June.

Additionally, and notably, the city’s rate of contamination – materials that are placed in the recycling bins but are not recyclable – has been an impressive average of 3 percent, according to the news release.

The average rate of contamination in recycling across all of the more than 70 communities working with ecomaine is between 12 and 13 percent, according to ecomaine. This includes curbside trash pickups and drop-off locations such as transfer stations.

“We tried a few different ways to provide education to both city staff and residents alike,” said Matt Grondin, communications manager at ecomaine, in the news release. “Between our in-person education and print and online resources like our Recyclopedia, we are optimistic for a great kick-off to recycling in Rockland.”

“To have a new community pick up this information so quickly is impressive,” said Lissa Bitttermann, ecomaine’s business development manager. “It really tells us that Rockland is a receptive audience and enthusiastic about recycling right.”

Rockland’s director of Public Services, Dave St. Laurent, agreed.

“We knew there would be interest in recycling with ecomaine when we started the program and gave away more than 400 blue recycling bins. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we’ve kept most of the contamination out of our stream, which helps save the city greatly on contamination fees," St. Laurent stated in the news release.

The single-sort recycling program allows Rockland residents to collect paper, cardboard, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, and hard plastic containers no. 1-7 in one container for recycling. Residents who need more information about sorting recyclables from trash can look on ecomaine’s website at Additionally, ecomaine employs full-time education staff who can provide presentations and programs to residents and students in Rockland at no cost to help support proper waste management.

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jul 27, 2019 10:48

Sounds like more propaganda coming from city hall. Rockland has simply taken the lower road. For years we have taught our children the importance of recycling. Now we tell them forget all that just through everything in a pile and we will sort it out later. Mixed signals for a new generation.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Jul 26, 2019 13:37

We all need to recycle as best we can especially for our youth. Young people need to know that pollution will win out if their generation doesn't step up. If I don't know where something goes I ask the attendant.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jul 26, 2019 09:15

Congratulations, Rockland citizens. Another reason for being PROUD to live in mid-coast Maine.  We may not always get it right, yet there is a lot of teamwork that goes on behind the scenes. Behind the scenes because of wanting to use their energy being productive. ;)

Posted by: C B Bliss | Jul 26, 2019 07:09

The Ecomaine app is very helpful whenever there is a question about whether or not something is recyclable. It would be interesting to know what was in the 3% contamination.

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