PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Please. Cleaner recyclables!

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine, a nonprofit corporation, is losing tens of thousands of dollars a month as it struggles to pick out as much non-recyclable rubbish - called contamination- it can from the thousands of tons of materials it processes every year. Ecomaine is owned by 20 communities in southern Maine and is located in Portland.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine takes in 150 tons of mixed recycling a day. On average, about 15 percent is actually trash. Ecomaine CEO Kevin Roche picks through unsorted materials after it was delivered to the facility in Portland on May 3, 2018.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine asks residents to abide by Do and Don't guidelines in hopes of keeping contaminating materials out of their recycling waste, such as straws and plastic bags.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine has had to hire additional hand-sorters to try and reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling waste.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Bales of mixed-paper recycling outside the Ecomaine plant. Until the market for recycling turns around, the only way to bring costs down is to bring in less dirty recycling.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine CEO Kevin Roche picks through unsorted materials. "The only variable we can do something about is contamination," Roche said. "We need everyone's help to fix this problem. The next time you go to a recycling bin, ask yourself 'which bin should I put this in?' If you don't know, please find out."

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Ecomaine asks consumers to make sure styrofoam, clothing, lightbulbs,propane tanks, rope, string and old food aren't getting in with paper, glass, metal containers and cardboard.

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    Please. Cleaner recyclables! - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Recycling material is pushed into mounds before being sorted. A global collapse of recyclable prices has been brought on by a Chinese ban on waste imports. The Chinese will no longer accept "contaminated" rubbish.

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