Model City ProfileModel City Profile

Harpswell, Maine
Population: 5,239
Bottle Bill: Yes
Funding: General fund
Households Served: 2,340
Truck Type: Baler, Skid steer and Forklifts
Container Type: N/A
Materials Processing Facility: No separation, baling only
Harpswell, Maine

Harpswell is located on Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine, 18 miles north of Portland. Harpswell has 24 square miles of land, 60 square miles of water and approximately 216 miles of coastline (more than any other town in the US). The town’s population of roughly 5200 swells during the summer months as it is a popular tourist destination and the summer residence of many artists.

Harpswell has long been a leader in community recycling in Maine. In 2003, Harpswell posted the second highest recycling rate (76%) of more than three hundred Maine communities
reporting to the State Planning Office. But when Harpswell slipped to a 66% recycling rate in 2004, the Town appealed to residents, year round and summer, to recycle more.

Last year, Harpswell recycled 562 tons of separated steel cans, aluminum cans/foil, glass, newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, PET and HDPE plastics at the Town Recycling Center. In total, 1389 tons (or 47%) of the 2950 tons received was recycled including scrap metal and batteries.

Most Harpswell residents use the Recycling Center for both trash and recycling. There is no fee to residents to drop off recycling or trash but a resident sticker is required. The Center is funded from the Town’s General Fund and supported in part by the sale of materials. While the Center is primarily intended for residential use, contractors and businesses routinely deliver recycling, trash and construction waste. A separate area for C&D debris and bulky waste is designated. No waste from outside the Town may be brought to the Center under the Town ordinance.

Harpswell belongs to the Maine Resource Recovery Association (MRRA), a marketing cooperative that provides assistance to Maine towns to market their separated materials. MRRA receives weekly inventories from each member facility and schedules trucking and delivery to the various mills. Harpswell markets paper, cardboard, plastic #1 and #2 and tin cans with the MRRA. Mixed metals, aluminum and other precious metals are separated and sold to a local metal dealer at reasonable market value. Glass is processed at the facility, using a rotary glass grinder, and used locally as inert fill for construction.

The Center also accepts printer cartridges, florescent bulbs, TVs/Monitors, electronic components, rechargeable batteries, and waste motor oil for recycling. The waste oil is screened carefully as it is burned on-site in a waste oil furnace to heat the Transfer Station and Recycling Center.

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