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Recycling Advocates E-Newsletter

 

February 2015 | www.recyclingadvocates.org | info@recyclingadvocates.org

Engaging people in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle
Contents

Recycling Advocates Op-Ed in the Oregonian

A Party with a Purpose

Legislative Preview

Clackamas County Master Recyclers Class 

Recycling Advocates Op-Ed in the Oregonian
by Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates President

In January of this year, the Oregonian published an editorial from their board regarding the current relevance of our 44 year old bottle bill. The editorial board labeled our current bottle bill procedures as inefficient, redundant and expensive. They did not explore the full impact on material management, job creation and recycling efficiency of our container deposit legislation.

Recycling Advocates believes that Oregon’s bottle bill continues to give us many benefits and has advantages over other recycling collection programs. Our op-ed piece that defined the specifics of our stance was published in the January 30th edition of the Oregonian.

We encourage our members to read both pieces and to begin discussions with your state legislator about the environmental support that our bottle bill delivers.
 
A Party with a Purpose 
Katie Allen, Recycling Advocates At-Large Board Member
 
We would like to send a tremendous thank you out to all those who attended our volunteer gathering on January 29th.  It is widely known that Recycling Advocates has the greatest parties, but what you may just be finding out is that RA also has the greatest volunteers.  While this is no secret to the board, we are excited for all the new opportunities this meeting presented for us to showcase these amazing members. 

Conversations at the gathering ran the gambit from how to refocus our waste prevention efforts with area green teams, to redesigning the tabling display, to how to improve upon the state’s bottle bill. 
 
Volunteer Party

Our 2015 campaign is beginning to take shape and will include outreach with downtown Portland Green Teams to promote waste prevention during the lunch hour.  Not every office can offer durables or GoBox, but there are many other ways to keep from producing your weight in garbage during the day.  We are looking for members who are passionate about waste prevention and educating others to help us reach out to Green Teams and direct their attention to lunch.  We are currently building a list of Green Teams to be a part of our brown bag (reuseable of course) pilot program.  If you know of any downtown companies that have a Green Team we could engage with please contact me either by email or phone.  We are excited to spread the word that not every lunch needs to come in a disposable clamshell!

Other topics of conversation and volunteer opportunities included:
  • Composting for multi family units
  • Bottle Bill education
  • Tabling opportunities at local events
  • Newsletter and Editorial Submissions
  • Board member openings
  • Current legislature tracking
We are constantly amazed by the input our members provide at these events, but the conversation does not need to stop.  If you have any comments or questions regarding the future of our efforts please reach out to any one of our board members. 

We love to hear from you!
 
Katie Allen
kteallen @gmail.com
(
541) 350-7988
What’s happening in the 2015 Legislative Session?
by Rhett Lawrence, RA Vice-President
 
The 2015 session of Oregon Legislature got underway on February 2. From the looks of things so far, there probably won’t be a whole lot for Recycling Advocates to have to weigh in on. But there are a few interesting bills out there. Here’s a quick summary of what we see on the horizon:
 
Senate Bill 30, sponsored by the Senate Interim Committee on Rural Communities and Economic Development, makes some very minor changes to the contracting provisions of the successful paint stewardship program. We don’t anticipate needing to take a position on this bill or do any advocacy for it.
 
Two other bills of note are Senate Bill 245 and Senate Bill 263 – the materials management bills for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  See DEQ’s factsheet

SB 245 would increase DEQ’s solid waste disposal fees (“tipping fees”) to come more in line with the times and provide stable funding for DEQ’s materials management programs. Tipping fees have not increased in Oregon since 1994, so SB 245 would increase them from $0.81 a ton to $1.18 a ton. These changes are way overdue and RA is likely to be strongly supportive of this bill.
 
Similarly, SB 263 makes some important updates to DEQ’s recycling and waste prevention programs and goals. In addition to expanding options for cities and counties to recycle, it will also make some critical updates to local and statewide waste recovery goals.  Among the changes at the state level are:
 
  • Increasing waste recovery goal from 50% to 52% by 2020, and to 55% by 2025.
  • Setting new recovery goals for high-impact materials by 2020: 25% of food; 25% of plastics; and 12% of carpet.
  • Increasing waste generation goal to 15% below 2012 levels by 2025, and to 40% below 2012 levels by 2050.
 Like SB 245, SB 263 is also long overdue and is a vital step forward for Oregon in its waste recovery goals.  When Recycling Advocates’ Board of Directors meets later this month to decide our position on these bills, I expect that we will also strongly support this legislation.

Finally, there are at least two other bills of note. House Bill 2803 is a bill from grocers to define specific timelines and penalties for retailers that don’t comply with existing requirements under the Bottle Bill. And on a legacy issue for Recycling Advocates, House Bill 2762 would eliminate the use of polystyrene plates and trays in schools statewide. Since funding to implement such a rule might be an issue for some schools, the bill provides an option for a hardship waiver from the Department of Education.

Recycling Advocates plans to be supportive of the beneficial legislation coming out of Salem, while also keeping a wary eye out for bills that would roll back recycling and waste reduction efforts in our state.

Stay tuned for updates as the session progresses!
Clackamas County Master Recyclers Class
from Program Coordinator Lauren Norris

What does it take for our metro area to maintain one of the best recycling rates in the country? It takes an army! An army of more than 1,300 Master Recycler volunteers, that is.

The Master Recycler Program, which serves Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties, is seeking new volunteers for its spring boot camp. Take an eightweek course on the latest information on waste prevention and recycling. Then, commit 30 volunteer hours to share what you learned with neighbors, coworkers and your community at events and workshops.

Course details
  • Clackamas County 8-week spring course and 30-hour volunteer program.
  • Eight consecutive Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. starting on April 1, plus two Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 18 and May 9.
  • Classes are held at Clackamas County Bldg., 150 Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City.
  • $50 fee to cover course materials. Limited scholarships are available.
  • Application Deadline March 5, 2015 at noon.

Visit Master Recyclers online to apply.
 
It is February, the month of love. Will you please share some of that with Recycling Advocates? A donation this month will go right to the heart of our mission statement! We rely on our dedicated partners like you to keep us going through all of our efforts. Thank you!
 
Recycling Advocates: dedicated to creating a sustainable future
through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.

 
Ways to Contribute
  • By Mail: print and complete our Membership Form, mail it with your check to PO Box 6736, Portland, OR 97228-6736.
  • Visit our Website's Membership page
  • PayPal: use the button below to donate via PayPal using your credit card, bank account, or Paypal balance. 

Membership Levels 
Advocate $25 - Friend $50 - Supporter $100 - Sustainer $250
Gifts of any amount gratefully received.


We thank you for your passion, support and commitment to protecting Oregon’s environment! 
 
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