Portland-area schools get grants from ecomaine

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PORTLAND — Nonprofit waste management company ecomaine has been awarded nearly $20,000 in educational grants to southern Maine schools to foster sustainability and recycling efforts.

Erik Street, a member of the ecomaine board of directors who chairs its recycling committee, said in a press release “This is a way for us to encourage schools to teach students about recycling and why it’s important.”

Street said the funding will help jump start a variety of projects, including composting with worms, waste audits to help identify materials that can be diverted from the trash, and student-led educational outreach efforts.

The funding nearly doubles the money awarded last year, Street said, noting that the total was increased in response to the success achieved last year.

This year’s recipients include, in Portland:

• Cheverus High School, $2,000 for partial funding of recycling containers.

• Hall Elementary School, $1,700 for classroom composting bins, materials for waste audits, greenhouse, collection bins for janitors, and signage.

• Levey Day School, $76, for recycling bins for classrooms and informational materials.

• Longfellow Elementary School, $457, for waste audit materials, student-designed T-shirts for cafeteria sorters, and recycling bins.

• Maine College of Art, $475 for cafeteria collection bins and signage materials.

• Portland High School, $884 for cafeteria collection bins.

In South Portland:

• Brown Elementary School, $832 for partial funding of compost hauling fees.

• Small Elementary School and South Portland High School received $2,685 for recycling and compost bins for the elementary and high schools, compost-hauling fees for the elementary school, and bottle storage shed for the high school.

Also:

• L’Ecole Francaise Du Maine in South Freeport, $76 for classroom recycling bins and informational materials.

• Yarmouth High School, $995 for reusable metal silverware, and collection materials.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.