Composting and Food Waste Reduction

According to the EPA, Americans wasted almost 43 million tons of food in 2018. Most of this ended up in landfills or waste to energy plants instead of being eaten by hungry people or composted. The City of Portland is beginning a campaign to help Portland residents reduce the amount of food they waste and to manage food scraps from the kitchen by composting.  
compost sign

We've established five convenient locations for residents to drop off food scraps.

North Street Community Garden (195 North Street)

Boyd Street Community Garden (2 Boyd Street)

Clark Street Community Garden (Corner of Clark and Salem Streets)

Libbytown Community Garden (175 Douglass Street)

Riverside Recycling Facility (910 Riverside Street)

(Riverside Recycling Facility is open 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM Monday thru Saturday but it's busy during certain hours. To avoid a long wait time, consider using this drop-off location between 10 AM – 12 PM and 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Monday thru Friday.)

Each drop-off site will have two covered containers for residents to use. Residents are advised to collect food scraps at home in any airtight container; when full, bring it to one of the collection sites and empty it into one of the containers. The City recommends rinsing the container before using again. The collection program will be able to accept any food scraps from a household including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, and bones.

The City will be sharing data collected during the program with the University of Maine’s Mitchell Center, whose researchers will help evaluate the environmental benefits of food waste collection and studying ways composting can reduce municipal disposal costs. The Sustainability Office will also be collaborating with the Mitchell Institute and the Maine DEP to promote the Food Recovery Hierarchy, which prioritizes reducing the amount of wasted food through careful purchasing, then donating edible food to feed hungry people, feeding animals, composting, and finally disposing of unwanted food in a waste to energy plant or landfill.