A sign in front of the entrance of the University of Maine requires visitors to wear masks while on campus to prevent spreading COVID-19. Credit: Nina Mahaleris / BDN

ORONO, Maine — A center at the University of Maine is launching a campaign to try to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills in the state.

The university said the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions will undertake a statewide “education and action campaign” to increase salvage and recycling of food. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is supporting the effort with a grant of more than $27,000.

The project is called Food Rescue MAINE. The university said the city of Portland will work with the Mitchell Center to measure food waste at five new food waste recycling sites. The sites opened to the public on April 22, which was Earth Day.

The university said several communities in central Maine are also working with the Mitchell Center on food recycling pilot initiatives.