Waste Management and Reduction
The Sustainability Committee studies and develops recommendations for the sustainable management of Brunswick's solid waste, the Town's facilities, and government operations.
Plastic Bag Ban
In 2017, the Town banned single-use plastic bags from being distributed, used, and sold in town. This came in addition to the existing ban on polystyrene foam containers that was passed a year earlier. In 2019, a statewide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags was passed and went into effect in July of 2021. Residents are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to stores and markets.
Brunswick utilizes the waste-to-energy services of ecomaine, a waste disposal service, through an innovative trash swap program. This program helps offset the regional environmental impact of Brunswick’s solid waste that is sent to the landfill by sending equivalent amounts of trash from other communities destined for landfill to ecomaine instead. Learn more about our trash and recycling programs here.
Food Waste Recycling
When organic matter decomposes in landfills, it produces methane and carbon dioxide, contributing to our greenhouse gas emissions. Landfills also encroach on natural environments, so it is important to reduce the amount of waste sent to them. This is why Brunswick encourages residents to recycle their household food waste. In 2021, the Town received a Waste Diversion Grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help Brunswick residents dispose of their food waste in a more sustainable way. Brunswick’s goal is to double the amount of residential food waste that is diverted away from the landfill by August 2023.
To reach this goal the town is educating the community about the three ways to recycle foodto a curbside subscription service, and visiting a food waste drop-off site.
You can compost you food scraps and yard waste at home in your backyard using a compost bin and shovel. You can learn more about how to compost here.
Garbage to Garden offers weekly residential curbside collection services. They will provide you with a compost bucket where you can dispose of your food waste and other organic matter such as pet hair, grass clippings, and debris that hasn't been treated with pesticides. Additionally, you can dispose of cooling oils, fat, and grease by placing it in a separate container and placing it next to your compost bucket, so Garbage to Garden can pick it up and recycle into fuel and soap.
Source: Garbage to Garden
The Town has two locations where you can drop off food waste to be composted. One drop-off site is at the Public Works facility located at 9 Industry Road and one is located at the parking lot of the Recreation Center at 220 Neptune Drive. Both sites are free and open 24/7. Simply drop off your food waste at one of the locations, and it will be brought to an anaerobic digestion facility operated by Exeter Agri-Energy in Exeter, Maine.
Food Waste Drop-Off at 9 Industry Rd Food Waste Drop-Off at 220 Neptune Dr
The only trash bags that are accepted in Brunswick are Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) bags. PAYT bags encourage Brunswick residents to recycle single-stream goods and recycle their food waste in order to save money on the price of trash bags. PAYT has proven to cut waste in half! Overall, this means that fewer resources are being extracted for the waste diversion process.