Recycling Advocates E-Newsletter


January 2016 | |

Engaging people in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Volunteer Meeting & Party
Invitation from RA President Betty Patton

It’s time for another Recycling Advocates gathering….we hope you will join us!

Volunteer EventThis year our campaign project will be working to reduce single use disposable coffee cups. RA estimates that every year there are 148 million (MILLION !!) of those ubiquitous “hot collar” clad paper cups used in the Metro area alone. Let’s get together and brainstorm ways we can put this new campaign into the universe. Everyone can connect on the subject of coffee, and if we can make single-use cups more of a rarity in Portland Oregon, then we will have really made a difference.

Please mark your calendar for this gathering: Master Recyclers, volunteers and supporters, we need all your ideas. And did I mention there will be wine, beer and snacks? It is always fun to get together with friends, meet other like-minded folks, share ideas and have a party at the same time. I really hope you will be there.

Here are the details:
  • Date: Thursday, January 28, 2016
  • Time: 7:00 PM â€“ 8:30 PM
  • Location: my house in NE Portland. Address provided when I receive your RSVP.
  • RSVP by email to or text or call 503-358-0496.
We hope to see you on the 28th!
The Disposable Cup Problem

So we run into our favorite coffee shop and grab a latte in a disposable cup, no big deal, right? But multiply that by millions of us doing it every day, and in just one year in the US we arrive at these astonishing numbers:

  • 58 BILLION paper cups thrown out – that’s over 4 BILLION pounds of waste.
  • 20 MILLION trees cut down to make them.
  • 15 BILLION pounds of CO2 emissions during manufacture.
  • 53,000 homes could be powered by the energy used to make them*.
Recycling Advocates aims to put a dent in these numbers by working with Metro area coffee shops and their customers to promote the use of reusable cups. You can help! Start carrying your cup (if you don't already) and get involved with Recycling Advocates' campaign!

InfographicCome to our party on January 28th and share your ideas, or drop us a line at to let us know that you're interested in helping out, we'll have a variety of volunteering opportunities.

* For more facts and figures check out this awesome infographic.
TwitterRecycling Advocates is now on Twitter - please follow us! 
Join the conversation:  @RAOregon 
Betty Patton to Represent RA on Two Taskforces 
By Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates President

Recycling Advocates gets a seat at the table; two tables, actually.
We have been asked to participate in two task forces to discuss and design some solid waste handling methods. These two processes will last for the first half of the year, approximately.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) product stewardship is the subject matter of one of these taskforces. A concept bill, HB3251-1, was created last legislative session that would require manufacturers selling products like pesticides, solvents, and flammable liquids into the state to be responsible for providing stewardship programs for the collection and proper management of waste from these products. This taskforce of diverse members will learn about current HHW services, evaluate the bill and its intended consequences, and discuss interests and key issues concerning product stewardship for HHW. Recycling Advocates has been engaged in product stewardship for many years and we look forward to this opportunity to work on the taskforce to expand this approach.
The second taskforce is a subcommittee of the Metro Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Committee. Currently facilities that process source-separated recyclable materials and facilities that convert waste to energy or fuel are not subject to licensing and inspections, but other sold waste facilities are. This subcommittee made up of a wide range of stakeholders is tasked with the responsibility of deciding if this level of oversight is necessary for these facilities and if so, then why and how. RA has always been proud of Oregon’s recycling rate and quality of material. This is an excellent opportunity to evaluate procedures that may strengthen these goals and outcomes.
On both of these taskforces Recycling Advocates is represented by Betty Patton. 
Do Just One Thing

Each month we feature a tip from a board member or other contributor, perhaps a simple to execute idea for waste reduction, or a resource that can help towards that end. This month's tip comes from RA Treasurer Holly Hummel who says:

"Consider storing clean produce bags in your cloth shopping bag. That way you have them to use over and over again when you are shopping. You can do the same with your bulk coffee bags. If they live in your grocery bag, you won’t forget them!" 

Do you have an idea to share? Send it to

Ask Metro

We often get questions from people wondering about recycling best practices, if we aren't sure of of the answers (it can be a moving target!) we call the Metro Hotline at 503-234-3000

Give them a try next time you're wondering if something belongs in the blue bin! 
  • Q: How clean should my recyclables be when they go into the blue bin? 
    • A: Metro says "lightly rinse" cans and other food containers. Brush and/or rinse dirt out of garden pots. Too much organic material will contaminate the recycled material. 
  • Q: Should I remove paper labels from food cans?
    • A: Paper labels burn off in the recycling process so they're not a contaminant, but if you remove them and add them to the bin they will be recycled separately.   
Metro Recycling Information Hotline

Reach them on the web at, or by phone at 503-234-3000 . 

Become a member of Recycling Advocates and help us continue to spread waste prevention ideas and the value of waste prevention tactics.

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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