USM Wins eco-Excellence Awards
University of Southern Maine Assistant Director for Sustainable Programs Tyler Kidder and Resource Recovery Supervisor Steve Sweeney were chosen to receive the 2013 Community eco-Excellence Award for Gorham and then went on to win the Grand Award as best from 22 communities. The awards are presented annually for contributions in preserving local ecology by ecomaine, a nonprofit municipally-owned single-sort recycling and waste-to-energy operation.
Kidder and Sweeney were recognized for their effective waste reduction program called “Tiny Trash” that reaches 1,300 USM staff members. By replacing standard four-gallon wastebaskets with quart-size Tiny Trash desktop trash cans, and by adding four-gallon recycling bins, they got everyone to think about what type of material they were throwing away. In addition, custodial staff emptied only the recycling bins and staff members now empty their own trash containers. As a result of these and other steps, USM is able to reallocate 45 hours of custodial time every day and saves $3,150 in plastic liner bags.
Kidder and Sweeney were each given framed awards and USM received a rocking chair made from recycled-plastic lumber with a plaque honoring their achievement.
A luncheon was held at the ecomaine offices in Portland to honor winners from 22 municipalities. Chairman of the ecomaine Board Michael McGovern and Recycling Committee Chair Susan McGinty presented each winner with a framed award.
Photo at right, from left to right: ecomaine Board Recycling Chair Susan McGinty, USM Executive Director of Facilities Management Bob Bertram, USM Assistant Director for Sustainable Programs Tyler Kidder, and ecomaine General Manager Kevin Roche.
Learn more about the Tiny Trash Waste Reduction Initiative at the University of Southern Maine here!