Press Release: October 4, 2016
Media Contact: Rob Levin, 207-664-3702; rlevin@coa.edu
Photo: Courtesy of University of Maine

Talking-Trash: Finding Long-term Solutions to Maine’s Hidden Sustainability Problem

BAR HARBOR — Travis Blackmer from the University of Maine School of Economics will speak, via video, about the ways we approach waste at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The talk takes place at 4:10 p.m. in McCormick Lecture Hall, and is free and open to the public.

Blackmer’s presentation comes as part of COA’s third-annual discarded materials audit and outreach project, taking place on COA’s North Lawn throughout the week. Blackmer has done extensive work with the management of discarded materials and recycling. In 2011, he conducted an extensive study to learn what proportion of the contents of an average trash bag could be recycled or composted, presenting his findings to the Maine Resource Recovery Association. Today, he is working with UMaine’s George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.

The focus of Blackmer’s research is on finding long-term, practical ways to efficiently collect, sort, and sustainably utilize what we today call garbage, but which should really be considered viable materials fit for a new use. He strives to explain and document what we are throwing out so that recycling programs and waste municipalities can become increasingly sustainable. Additionally, Blackmer will explore the topic of how we as individuals can be more conscious of what resources we discard.

The Human Ecology Forum is a weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.


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