Recycling Advocates E-Newsletter


June 2016 | |

Engaging people in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Association of Oregon Recyclers – A great annual conference!
By Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates President

The 38th Annual AOR conference was held in Portland earlier this month. This one was the first ever that was held in Portland and AOR continued their track record of offering excellent sessions, tours and speakers.

AORThe keynote speaker kicked things off with a discussion called “Loving Ugly Food” presented by Jordan Figueiredo of @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign. I think I can speak for many of us in the audience by saying we were surprised at the sources and reasons for so much food waste. Markets all over the country reject fresh produce if it is misshapen or not the “standard” look and shape. Carrots that have funny legs on them? Tomatoes that look like they have noses? Those don’t stack uniformly in the grocery display so they are rejected or tossed. Mr. Figueiredo has implemented an international campaign to funnel this food into homes and restaurants where it is needed. The AOR audience was definitely inspired to love ugly food!

Pre-conference activities offered tours throughout the Metro region of material recovery facilities, paint recycling and household hazardous waste processes, both plastic and glass bottle recycling, and a building material reuse warehouse. This three day conference offered some targeted tracks for sessions. The Sustainable Business track as well as the Reuse track set up a series of sessions to focus the attendees’ interests.

The Repair Café held a two-hour event on one evening of the conference that attracted a variety of broken items. Successful repairs (but sometimes challenging!) were completed for paper shredders, bicycles, broken zippers, and a wide variety of household items. Thanks to the volunteers who were able to repair things so they can be used again.
Other highlights included the recycled fashion shows by 2 talented designers and a room full of exhibitors that represented services, equipment and programs that are part of the waste prevention and recycling needs.

This well-attended conference was informative and inspirational. Thank you, Association of Oregon Recyclers.

News for our friends in Southwestern Oregon: a new BottleDrop center just opened in Grants Pass. Operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), BottleDrop centers are:
  • Fast
  • Clean
  • Well-maintained
  • Fully-staffed
  • Indoors
  • Open seven days a week from 9am to 6pm.
They offer three ways to redeem your OR deposit containers: 
  1. Self-Serve - Automated machines will accept up to 350 containers per day.
  2. Hand Count - Staff will count up to 50 containers per person.
  3. BottleDrop Account - Pre-labeled bags can be filled with deposit containers at home and dropped off 24 hours a day. Redemption Center staff will count and sort the containers. Customers can access the cash value from their account within 48 hours at participating grocery store kiosks or any BottleDrop location.
OBRC is a member-owned, cooperative corporation that acts on behalf of beverage distributors to administer Oregon’s Bottle Bill; collecting and processing nearly all containers sold and redeemed in Oregon. OBRC counts, sorts, crushes, bales, and recycles 1.2 billion containers each year. The entire process is funded and managed by the beverage and grocery industries – at no cost to taxpayers.

For a list of locations visit their website. OBRC plans to open four additional BottleDrop facilities per year over the next 7 years.

Freddy’s shoppers, are you participating in the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program? It’s re-enrollment time, and Recycling Advocates would love to have your support!  

Just log in to, click on "Re-enroll or link your Rewards Card now" and select Recycling Advocates. Then use your Fred Meyer rewards card every time you shop. It costs you nothing and it doesn't impact the rewards you receive from Fred Meyer.
Re-enroll before July 1st to keep your community rewards participation current.

New to the program? Read about it here.

Thank you!
By Susan Meade Recycling Advocates Co-Secretary

Starting in June, Lake Oswego residents are joining Portland in putting kitchen scraps in their yard debris bins for weekly pickup.  Portland has been employing this method to keep methane-generating organic material out of our landfills since 2011. In the first year, Portland reduced garbage volume by 40%!

LO CompostsLO residents who currently have the smallest (20-gallon) trash container will not see any change in their bill with the introduction of this program. For those using larger garbage bins, there is a slight increase in cost. Since the compost program has been proven to reduce the amount of garbage, many residents may find a change to the smaller bin is acceptable and will be able to avoid the increase. Pizza boxes now go in the yard debris bin, as do produce, grain, meat and fish waste.

The only difference from the Portland program is that Lake Oswego is not allowing biodegradable plastic bags in the compost collection – they do more harm than good at the commercial compost facility. For more details on the Lake Oswego program go to

Beginning in later in the summer, Forest Grove will also be offering curbside composting to their residents (see  In time, we hope that many more cities offer this valuable service to their residents.
Video: Saving Little Pieces of Our Earth

This video is from 2011 but it's still relevant and informative. For example, did you know that making aluminum items from recycled materials saves 95% of the energy required to produce new aluminum from mineral ore? 
Do Just One Thing - Keeping Up With Technology
By Holly Hummel, Recycling Advocates Treasurer

With so many technological advances coming almost daily, we are encouraged to get the newest devices. Please consider the greenhouse gas emissions when you decide whether you must have the latest and greatest.

Most of the information is at our fingertips. Here’s one example: according to Apple, 71.2 kg of greenhouse gases were produced in the manufacture and transport of each iPhone 6. (source: This equates to 156.96 lbs of greenhouse gases. Please consider our mother Earth in your consumption choices.

Do you have feedback, or an idea to share? Send it to

Ways to Support Recycling Advocates

We know that not everyone is in a position to support our work with a financial contribution. Here are some alternative ways to contribute that won't cost you a penny.

Fred Meyer Community RewardsFred Meyer Community Rewards: shop with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card, continue to earn your rewards points, fuel points and rebates, and Fred Meyer will donate to Recycling Advocates! Sign up here, and select Recycling Advocates, nonprofit number 90398. 

Amazon Smile: Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to RA whenever you shop at You'll see all your usual account settings and exactly the same products and pricing as at Learn more and sign up here

Good Search and Good ShopGoodSearch & GoodShop: Support RA and save money at and Find store coupons, coupon codes, discounts, deals and promo codes. Join here and select Recycling Advocates. 

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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