Does it belong in the trash or recycling bin?
The City of Saco offers curbside collection of household waste and recyclables.
Household trash belongs in the GREEN cart. To learn more about trash collection, click here.
The City of Saco supports Single-Sort Recycling. What does this mean for the residents? Single-Sort means ALL acceptable recycling material can be placed (loosely) inside your City issued BROWN cart. We do not require any special separation of materials. The BROWN cart can accept paper, cardboard, metals, plastics (#1-#7), glass jars and tin cans. All of your materials can be mixed within the one cart and will be sorted later on at Ecomaine. Both your garbage and your recycling are collected on the same day, but not necessarily at the same time.
If you find a BLUE cart at your property, this cart can still be used for excess recycling, however the City no longer issues them or replaces them. Please do not use this cart for trash. The drivers expect these carts to be recycling. If there is trash in it and they do not notice, this cart just contaminated the full truck load of recycling. If you do not wish to keep the blue cart, we do accept them back. You can drop them off at our facility, 351 North St.
Is This Recyclable?? Check the RECYCLOPEDIA:
You can actually ask Eco-Maine directly if you are confused what can be recycled and what can't! There's even an App for that! By following this link you can also find information on how to download their latest version of the App for answersing questions even quicker! Itunes App
Did you know placing non-recyclable items in your cart can really cause a problem for Eco-Maine? When placing something in your cart, ask yourself "what will this become?" If your item can not be broken down, melted, or burned into something else, it probably isn't recyclable. Placing these items in your cart can slow down and interfere with machines that do the sorting. As many items can be "composted" it's not the same as "recyclable"
We also created an easy to follow guide on what can be recycled, what should go in your trash, and what should be brought to the Transfer Station. Download Flyer
- Although collection is weekly, please wait until your cart is full or almost full, before placing them out for collection
- To avoid being missed, carts should be placed out for collection by 6:00. They do not guarantee same time service every week.
- Garbage and recycling are collected on the same day, however may be at different times.
- For the automated arm to work properly, allow 2 feet of clearance between carts
- Collection rarely will cancel due to inclement weather. Despite weather, unless you receive an email notification (by signing up for our distribution list) please have carts out as normal.
- ONLY the holidays highlighted will change your collections times. Collection schedule. Have carts out normally except for the holiday's specified.
- If NON - recyclable items are found to be in your recycling cart, this will result in your cart not being collected. (yard waste, construction debris or items not accepted curbside)
- All materials must be placed IN the cart. We can not pick up anything on top, or next to the cart. Additional recycling should be brought to theTransfer Station, the City's drop off location.
WE DO NOT ACCEPT
- Plastic Chairs, pools, or toys
- Tissue paper
- Paper towels
- Waxed paper or waxed cardboard (wax cardboard consists of food or frozen boxes coated with a material that prevents them from being soggy. This does not include milk or juice containers which are classified as paperboard and are recyclable)
- **Styrofoam of any type (even though some Styrofoam may say that is #6 with the recycling logo, it is still unacceptable for the recycling.)
- Any container that held a hazardous substance
- Porcelain, ceramics or mirrors
- Windows, ovenware, light bulbs
- Plastic Bags
- Yard Waste
- Rechargeable batteries (tools, cellphones, etc.) may be recycled at boxes at the Public Works Department, 351 North Street and at the Transfer Station on Foss Road. For more information about rechargeable batteries, follow this link.
- NiCad and button cell batteries can be brought to a Household Hazardous Waste Day for safe disposal
- Alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9v) can be placed in your usual household trash. Want to know why?
- Lead-acid batteries (auto, garden equipment) can be brought to any auto parts store for recycling.
Many leftover or discarded building materials that are still in good working order, such as doors, windows and lumber can be donated to Habitat for Humanity for resale in their Portland or Kennebunk ReStores. The ReStores also accept used appliances that are less than 7 years old. This is a great way to keep useful materials out of the landfill or incinerator, also.. it's FREE to drop off! For more information, visit the Portland ReStore's web site or the Kennebunk ReStore's website
RECYCLING DROP OFF:
Excess recyclables that do not fit in the cart can be brought to the city's transfer station on Foss Road during normal hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.), This includes Businesses wishing to participate in recycling but do not qualify for the City's curbside collection. The City always allows FREE recycling disposal to everyone. Recycling does not need to be sorted, just needs to be on the list of allowable items. Please do not place plastic bags in our recycling containers. Allowable Items
Here are options for recycling bulk cardboard from commercial operations.
SCHOOL VISITS! Did you know Eco-Maine LOVES to do school visits, or have classrooms visit their facility? By contacting them directly, they can set up free classroom information sessions, along with the possibility of visiting their site. (very interesting to see how it all works!) We encourage all teachers to reach out to them for this offer. The more we educate our cititizens on the correct process the better! Contact information here.
How does recycling save us money?
Every pound we recycle is one less pound we bury or burn. Recycling means less mining, smelting, milling, less energy used in production. It means cleaner water and cleaner air because less pollution is created during manufacture.
Recycling pickup and garbage collection both cost money. The City pays a high price to dispose of waste. In contrast, the City does not have to pay to dispose of its recycling. By increasing the amount we recycle and reducing the waste we send to burn, we can save even more.
How to Recycle Your Paint
To use any Paintcare site, prepare your unwanted paint, stains, and other acceptable products by making sure the lids are secured tightly, no containers are leaking, and they have original labels and in their original containers. Please do not mix paints together.
Please do not bring empty paint cans; they can be disposed of in your regular trash. Pack your paint cans in a sturdy cardboard box in your vehicle and take them to a PaintCare drop-off site during their advertised regular hours. PaintCare sites have limits on how much paint they can accept, but they all take at least 5 gallons of paint per visit; some sites take more. It’s always best to call the site before bringing in your paint.
Products Accepted- PaintCare sites accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g. shellac and varnish), but do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we can accept are referred to as "Program Products" or "architectural paint," and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. There are no fees associated with drop off of acceptable items.
How to Recycle a usable Mattress: The average mattress has a lifespan of seven to eight years. Unless an old mattress is in complete disrepair, then you may be able to donate it to an organization that accepts used household goods. Some national charities that may receive old or used mattresses and mattress parts, see this website to find out some additional options www.tuck.com
Where does the recycling go?
The City sends its recycling to Eco-Maine in Portland. Below are some links to specific information that you may find helpful as you recycle:
- Recycling for Small Businesses (PDF file)
You may also find the following videos helpful:
Ecomaine: Recycling, Waste-to-energy and Landfill/Ashfill
How the Ecomaine single-sort process works
Single-sort recycling video by Roger McCord
Also, instead of having the two different carts for recycling, there will only be one, which will allow the recycling collection truck to spend less time in front of each household.
The City started taking its garbage to Ecomaine in July of 2007. Because we were under contract for our recyclables, we could not switch the recycling program until January, 2008. Ecomaine has spent 3.5 million dollars on the equipment that they use to sort the recyclable materials that they receive. This equipment actually sorts all of the materials by machinery except the # 2-7 plastics. The #2-7 plastics are sorted by hand.
If you have any questions about single-sort recycling please feel free to contact me at the Public Works Office at 284-6641 or by email at email@example.com.