The town of Readfield is to host a community food recycling kickoff event Saturday, July 24, with Food Rescue MAINE and Maine DEP.

More than 30% of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, according to a news release from Susanne Lee, University of Maine. This discarded food is the largest single component of Maine’s waste stream and increases disposal costs for Maine residents, contributes to community food insecurity, and wastes the water, energy and other resources used to produce that food.

But Maine towns and cities are moving to reduce costs, address hunger, and capture the resources contained in food waste through food recycling programs — while also helping the state reach its waste reduction goals.

Readfield will launch a new food recycling program with the towns of Fayette and Wayne on Saturday. Kickoff events will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Readfield Transfer Station on Recycle Road featuring state Sen. Craig Hickman and town officials, as well as representatives from Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine.

Free ice cream and compost container giveaways are to be held throughout the day.

Residents are encouraged to drop off their food waste at the new site, and to bring good quality, excess food for donation to the Maranacook Food Pantry, 1200 Millard Harrison Drive in Readfield.

In the afternoon, DEP organics specialist Mark King will host a food recycling and composting class at the Maranacook High School campus, 2250 Millard Harrison Drive in Readfield, with free home composting bins for registered attendees. People can sign up at the Transfer Station or contact the town at 207-685-3144 or [email protected].

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