Following a legislative session in which issues of solid waste and recycling came squarely to the forefront, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Melanie Loyzim will address ecomaine’s annual meeting in Portland on Thursday, June 17.

The Maine State Legislature considered several bills over the past six months that relate directly to the recycling and solid waste industry, particularly proposals that would see Maine as the first state to enact extended producer responsibility for packaging that is used in Maine.  Also considered was a bill that would raise revenue for the DEP’s solid waste diversion grant program by implementing a fee on all material placed in Maine landfills.

Furthermore, challenges related to PFAS, or “forever chemicals” in wastewater, landfills, and in agriculture represent a growing concern across many of Maine’s industries.

ecomaine’s annual meeting will take place outdoors at Portland’s Thompson’s Point, the first in-person gathering of municipal leaders from ecomaine’s 71 member communities since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are exceptionally glad to have Commissioner Loyzim’s expertise at hand for our annual meeting of nearly 100 municipal leaders,” said ecomaine CEO Kevin Roche.  “Her steady guidance and long-term vision will serve Maine well through the challenges ahead; our guests are in for an informative, engaging, and insightful session.”

In addition to Commissioner Loyzim’s remarks, the ecomaine annual meeting will also feature recognition of the eight 2021 eco-Excellence Award winners:

  • Arnold Vickery, Hollis
  • David Love & Maine Beer Company, Freeport
  • Curtis Dimock & the staff from the Yarmouth Transfer Station
  • The Ecology School, Saco
  • Rev. Priscilla Dreyman, Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church
  • Mary Vertz & The Casco Bay Cleanup Project, Portland
  • Kelly Meslin, Town of Gorham
  • Scarborough Land Trust

“We weren’t able to gather as usual for our awards ceremony in March,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s Communications Manager.  “But we have some exciting new ways to honor our awardees in a really great setting at Thompson’s Point.”

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