Document Type


Publication Title

Maine Policy Review


Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, ME

First Page


Last Page


Issue Number


Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

As Maine residents look toward the future, it is increasingly clear that more sustainable waste and materials management solutions will be necessary. A recent stakeholder engagement process involving nearly 200 industry professionals, municipal representatives and citizen groups confirmed this point. As we move together toward a more sustainable waste management system, participants in the engagement process identified an outstanding need to learn more about policies options. This article responds to that need with a review of state level policies designed to reduce waste generation and increase material recovery rates. We find there are a wide variety of state-level policy tools available, each of which involves a series of complex tradeoffs to balance decision criteria ranging from diversion potential and cost to social acceptability and environmental protection. While there is no magic formula, it is clear that the most successful state-level programs are those that utilize a variety of tools, selected as part of a comprehensive and data-driven long term planning process.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Isenhour, Cindy, Travis Blackmer, Travis Wagner, Linda Silka, John Peckenham, David Hart, and Jean MacRae. "Moving up the Waste Hierarchy in Maine: Learning from “Best Practice” State-Level Policy for Waste Reduction and Recovery." Maine Policy Review 25.1 (2016) : 15 -29,

Publisher Statement


publisher's version of the published document



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.