The city of Lewiston currently has excellent provisions for the disposal of solid waste, making waste disposal for citizens a relatively cheap and efficient process. Solid waste is picked up from residences and then sent to Mid Maine Waste Action Corporation (MMWAC). From there, it is turned into ash and then dumped into the Lewiston landfill. Now over 25 years old, municipal officials are concerned about the long term viability of these current arrangements. After being introduced to the current situation by municipal officials and local politicians, the goals of our project were three-fold: 1. Understand the history of waste management in Lewiston and overall patterns of behavior when dealing with waste 2. Understand how other cities with similar characteristics to Lewiston have implemented successful education programs 3. Create a list of suggestions or programs that address the identified complexities within the municipal solid waste system By focusing on these goals, we conducted relevant research that looked at various points of intervention within the system that would have the potential impact of reducing the amount of overall waste being sent to MMWAC and into the landfill. We talked to relevant public officials and professionals to gather the necessary information about the Lewiston waste system. The combined perspectives and knowledge from each of these informants coincided with our own research has guided us towards a number of potential solutions for improving waste practices in Lewiston. We have concluded that creating an education program in schools is the best place to start in the short term in order to begin changing waste management practices at a basic level. To this extent, we selected two primary schools in Lewiston, Geiger and McMahon, to implement programs and curriculum additions that would foster greater environmental awareness and more sustainable waste management practices. In the long term, we feel that implementing a waste reduction program based on economic incentives, such as variable rate pricing, is the best way to increase recycling habits among Lewiston residents. By proposing one short term and long term program, we aim to not only attempt to change the education system as a short term goal, but then offer a broader program that addresses the city of Lewiston as a whole. The programs in schools begin to address recycling behaviors so that when a situation emerges that does call for the implementation of incentive based recycling, Lewiston city residents will be better informed about the program’s benefits.
Anderson, Jonathan; Feldman, Brent; and Sadlo, William, "Proposal for Strategic Planning for Solid Waste Management in Lewiston, ME" (2016). Community Engaged Research Reports. 38.