Environmental Services

Learn what the Town of Orono is doing to reduce its impact on the environment and how you can help by exploring the events and topics below. 

Browntail Moth Mitigation and Educational Clipping Event
Thursday, February 8, 2024 from 3:00PM - 5:00PM

There will be a Browntail Moth (BTM) educational clipping event held at RSU 26 in Orono, Maine on February 8, 2024 from 3:00 to 5:00PM.  Please join local educators, including the Maine Forest Service and Orono Tree Board, to learn about the best way to mitigate browntail moth. We will host a brief educational presentation and then work on clipping webs on the RSU26 campus. This is a great time to learn how to mitigate BTM before temperatures warm enough to allow the immature caterpillars to begin their early spring movement.  Moths and caterpillars pose a significant human health risk (i.e. painful rash, respiratory reaction)  to people who come into contact with their toxic hairs. You will leave this event knowing more about how to manage this human health pest. You could even use this knowledge to create community clipping events and mitigate populations within your yard and neighborhood. 

Meet: Apple Tree Behind Orono Middle School Across from Tennis Courts. Please park in the parking lot behind Orono Middle School/Orono High School

**** Please Bring: gloves, pruners, pole pruners, buckets, eye protection****

What protective measures should I take when clipping webs?
  • Work with a partner, especially when working from a ladder or from a lift
  • Wear protective eyewear.
  • Wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants.
  • Trees and shrubs may have toxic hairs from caterpillar activity.
  • Individuals with known sensitivity to browntail moth hairs may want to leave web clipping to others.
  • Do not clip webs that are outside your skill set (i.e. too high or near hazards such as powerlines), hire a professional.
  • A list of contractors willing to do browntail work can be found at this link.



Past Events

WindowDressers Build - thank you to volunteers! 

WINDOW DRESSERS - Insulating Window Inserts

During October 21-26th, we filled the Keith Anderson Community House with volunteers and an assembly line of tools to make insulating window inserts. Orono Town Staff organized a build event with the non-profit WindowDressers.org and worked hard throughout the week with volunteers to provide insulating window inserts for 39 homes and two museums in the greater Bangor region. Not only will this effort help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing fossil fuel combustion, but it will lower heating bills for local residents and increase the warmth of their homes. 

Volunteers made nearly 300 inserts and research indicates that adds up to over $9,600 in combined energy savings within the first year. Many participants who received the insulating inserts have commented how much of a difference they are already making on the warmth of their home. Window inserts are custom built for your specific windows and are simply placed within the window each winter for added insulation. No more sticky window sills from one time use plastic coverings! 

We want to send out a large thank you to everyone who came to the event to volunteer and help build these inserts. You are greatly appreciated! It was amazing to see the community come together for this effort and watch volunteers leave their build shift having made new friends. Please contact the Town’s Environmental Services Coordinator at mhess@orono.org if you are interested in receiving window inserts for your home next year or to learn more on how you can volunteer for this event in the future. This project was funded in part by the State of Maine's Community Resilience Partnership Climate Action Grant and New England Grassroots Grow Grant.

All of the inserts were built by volunteers during October 21-26th in two 4 hour building sessions each day at Keith Anderson Community House (19 Bennoch Road, Orono).

people in well-lit auditorium space standing at able working on Windowdressers event

PESTICIDE COLLECTIONS

Each October, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control collects unwanted or obsolete pesticides from homeowners and farms for respondsible disposal. To learn more how you can discard of your unwanted pesticides please visit the website here. Pre-registration is required. 

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PENOBSCOT CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Penobscot Climate Action is a regional climate action planning collaborative for the communities of Bangor, Brewer, Penobscot Indian Island, Veazie, Bradley, Hampden, Hermon, Milford, Old Town, Orono, and Orrington. The work aims to understand our region's vulnerabilities to climate change and develop actionable plans and strategies to build a more climate resilient future for our communities' people, economy, and environment. 

The Penobscot Climate Action team is developing strategies to strengthen the region’s people, economy, and environment in a sustainable way. Strategies could be programs, policies, projects, etc. They are broken out into five categories, representing high priority issue areas in the region. 

To read more about the plan, visit the Penobscot Climate Action webpage

To get a quick glimpse of the project, download our flyer here

BROWNTAIL MOTH MITIGATION 

btmFebruary is Browntail Moth Awareness Month! The Town of Orono manages a citizen monitoring website for the invasive Browntail Moth (BTM) that is both a forest and human health concern. Click on the link above to learn more about BTM and help report BTM locations in Orono for BTM management. 

For information on the research being done to better understand, monitor, and control BTM please check out this summary report from the Forest Entomology Lab (UMaine's School of Biology and Ecology) led by Dr. Angela Mech. 

EMERALD ASH BORER

It has been documented that Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a destructive invasive insect to Ash trees, has spread from southern Maine to Newport and Corinna. That is only 30 miles away and contains Orono in the emergency order area. The Tree Board would like to make everyone aware of the possibility of EAB spreading to Orono in the future. If you have beloved Ash trees on your property please help us in the effort of monitoring them so we can stay as proactive as possible. Additionally, we ask that you be very diligent about not transporting infested firewood. Untreated out of State firewood is banned, but even moving firewood from within Maine can spread damaging pests. We are working on creating a strong EAB management plan so that the Town is proactively prepared to deal with an infestation. Please refer to the  for more information on EAB infestations in Maine. 

EAB Detections and Regulated Areas 3-31-2023

EUROPEAN FIRE ANTS MONITORING WEBSITE

European fire ant under a microscopeThe Town of Orono is starting to monitor for the invasive European fire ant that is a nuisance pest to lawns and gardens of residents. Click here to learn more about European fire ants and help report infestation locations in Orono for management purposes. 

DONATE CLOTHES INSTEAD OF PUTTING THEM IN THE LANDFILL

A bin of clothes that are being recycledNearly 10% of all trash in local landfills are textiles (i.e. clothes, shoes, purses, sheets, towels, hats, etc.). Apparel Impact provides towns and municipalities the opportunity to reduce their landfills of textiles and recover them; creating more local jobs, reducing landfill waste and reducing towns overall budgets spent on the disposal of textiles. 

There is a textile recycling bin that is on the side of the Birch St Senior Center (Thrift Store) in Orono. Please feel free to recycle spent/nonwearable condition textile items into this bin. Items must be dry, contain no odor or mold. Items DO NOT need to be in wearable condition. However, we encourage people to donate gently used clothing and other textiles to the Thrift Store to be worn by someone else.


ADDITIONAL CARDBOARD RECYCLING LOCATION

A pile of cardboard boxes

Additional cardboard recycling bins are located at ND Paper for Orono residents. This cardboard will be recycled to make new cardboard. Cardboard will still be accepted during single sort recycling pick up. 

2023 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

Saturday, June 10, 2023 from 8:00am to noon.

Residents of Orono and Old Town (proof of residency required) can drop off household hazardous waste materials to:

  • Recycling Center
  • 246 Gilman Falls Avenue
  • Old Town, ME

This event gives an opportunity for residents to discard of their household hazardous waste responsibly so it does not harmfully pollute our environment and landfills

hazardous.waste_.day_.SF_.courtesy

  1. Megan Hess

    Environmental Services Manager