Ellsworth Green Action Team
Several subcommittees were formed under the Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee, including one focusing on Solid Waste and one focusing on Energy. In early 2018, those two subcommittees merged and are now known as the Ellsworth Green Action Team (EGAT).
To learn more or volunteer with EGAT, please contact EllsworthGAT@gmail.com
Our Mission: The Ellsworth Green Plan Solid Waste Subcommittee will assist the city government and its residents to reduce the solid waste stream in Ellsworth through increases in recycling, creative reuse, composting, and other means, including reduction of the use of plastics.
Our Vision: Ellsworth can save taxpayer dollars and protect our environment by establishing itself as a leader in waste management. Given the city's robust freshwater resources and location on the Union River Bay, it is our responsibility to ensure that waste – especially non-biodegradable plastic and foam – does not end up in the environment, where it causes harm to human and ecosystem health.
The Solid Waste Subcommittee can assist the city, its businesses, and residents by providing high-quality information and programs about waste reduction and diversion, at both small and large scales. Through its efforts, the committee seeks to help all community members effectively manage waste to save money and protect human health.
Update: Plastic Bags
The proposed ban on single use carryout plastic bags for Ellsworth is currently available on the City of Ellsworth website. EGAT proposed this ordinance on February 11, 2019. You can also watch the City Council Meeting at which we proposed the ban.
Roadside cleanup on the Bangor Road, near the Union River.
Actions to date
Roadside Cleanup, spring 2018: EGAT organized citizens to collect trash along roadways for a week in May. The City of Ellsworth provided bags and free pick-up.
Education about plastic pollution, ongoing: EGAT hosted a screening of the film Bag It, about the pervasiveness of plastic in our lives, and a talk by Madelyn Woods of the Shaw Institute about her research on plastic pollution in the Gulf of Maine and its effects on shellfish and human health. EGAT members educated and surveyed citizens at City Hall on election day and at the Chamber's Trade Show, and found strong support for a single-use carryout plastic bag ordinance.
Participation in public forums, ongoing: EGAT members participated in two forums to discuss a possible city ordinance for single-use carryout plastic bags. One was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ellsworth (see article). The other was hosted by EGAT and featured presentations by Veronica Young of the Shaw Institute and Anita King, organizer in the City of Belfast, which has a similar ordinance.
Continuing and future action areas
Public Information/Promotion and Marketing regarding:
- Benefits of buying less and purchasing recycled or reused products
- Recycling, including options beyond the City's facility
- Creative reuse (upcycling)
Ordinance changes related to:
- Single-use plastics, include carrying shopping bags
- Single-use styrofoam and polystyrene containers
Connecting with the Business Community:
- Commercial recycling and composting
- Using less packaging of products
- Reduce plastic products sold or used
- Upcycling business start-ups
Request the City of Ellsworth form a Solid Waste Committee to manage and support implementation of solid waste strategies, to include:
- Three at-large residents, two business owners
- Planning & Public Works department staff members
- City Councilor liaison