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City Manager's Office

Posted on: April 19, 2018

City Joins Partners to Unveil New Public Space Recycling Containers

public recycling containers

On Saturday, April 21, as part of the Green Neighbor Family Fest at Deering High School, City officials and representatives from Recycling Partnership, L.L. Bean, Sappi North America, and Catalyst will unveil new public space recycling containers. These units will be installed in highly visible locations around the city in order to allow residents and visitors to recycle bottles, cans, and paper packaging just like they do at home.

“Portland residents are remarkable recyclers,” said Jon Jennings, City Manager. “It only makes sense that we provide an opportunity to support their efforts in our public spaces as well as at home.”

The 18 new containers are funded by donations from L.L. Bean, Sappi North America, and Catalyst as part of their involvement with The Recycling Partnership, a non-profit organization focused on supporting municipal recycling programs around the country with financial grants and technical assistance. Deploying the public space recycling containers builds on the momentum gained from the deployment of curbside recycling carts to Portland residents last fall.

The City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Troy Moon, notes that, “The recycling carts the City rolled out last fall with help from The Recycling Partnership significantly improved Portland’s recycling program. The carts fully contain the material people set out for collection so there is far less wind blown litter on the street. The carts hold more material than the old, open top bins so people can recycle more. So far under the new collection approach, we’ve seen our monthly recycling rate increase 15%. People often ask for better opportunities to recycle when they’re away from home so we’re excited to provide these new containers to make it possible.” 

The new recycling containers have onboard sensors that will allow City staff to quantify the amount of material collected from each of them. The sensors will also alert collection personnel when the containers need service. These features will make collection efficient as staff will only need to visit them when they are full.

Jennings added, “The  Recycling Partnership has been an outstanding supporter of the City’s efforts to improve our recycling and solid waste program. They provided funding that helped to make cart based recycling a reality in Portland and now they’ve brought some leading Maine businesses to the table to support public recycling in Portland. I’d like to thank L.L. Bean, Sappi North America, and Catalyst for their generous support of our program. This is a great example showing how the public and private sectors can collaborate to benefit the community.”

Scott Reed who’s Catalyst’s Environmental Manager at the Rumford mill added “Catalyst and our team in Rumford are big supporters of taking responsibility for waste streams and we continue to believe there’s real opportunity to improve collection and recycle of paper wastes throughout the country and here in Maine.  These bins provide that recovery drop-off point but also serve as a visual reminder to everyone that recycling is important.”

“As an engaged member of the larger Portland community, Sappi North America is pleased to sponsor the new public space recycling containers,” said Mike Standel, Managing Director of Sappi North America’s Westbrook Mill.  “All our locations, including our Westbrook Mill and Technology Center as well as the South Portland Shared Service Center, share the mission of The Recycling Partnership to avoid waste through efficient operations and to reuse and recycle material wherever possible. We look forward to working with the City of Portland and The Recycling Partnership to extend our efforts into the community and make it easier for all of our neighbors to do their part.”

About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership ( is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in cities and towns all across America. As the only organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters; the Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. The Partnership is also leading the charge to fight contamination in the residential recycling stream, building, testing and sharing its quality-improvement model through on-the-ground programs and free online open source tools and resources.  By the end of 2018, The Recycling Partnership expects to have served 750 communities with tools, resources and technical support, provided 500,000 recycling carts, reached 40 million households, and helped companies and cities invest more than $33 million in recycling infrastructure.

About Sappi North America

Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers with our Ultracast, PolyEX, Classics and Neoterix lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at:

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