Recycling Advocates E-Newsletter


October 2014 | |

Involving people in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle
Recycling Advocates Annual Meeting Report

By Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates, President, and Kris Olson, Recycling Advocates, Secretary
Recycling Advocates was lucky to have Cindy Correll, the Oregon Chapter Coordinator of the Reuse Alliance, speak at our annual meeting earlier this month. Cindy and her cadre of volunteers have brought the Reuse Alliance and the Repair Cafe to Portland armed with ideas and events – and a mission that is perfectly aligned with what Recycling Advocates is all about.Cindy Correll
The Reuse Alliance has spawned chapters in a handful of other states and is holding annual conferences to help connect these chapters and encourage other like-minded individuals and groups to get involved. This year’s Reuse Conex conference is in Austin, Texas October 23rd through the 25th.
The Reuse Alliance has also created the very successful neighborhood Repair Café events. These gatherings are where residents can bring in a broken or under-utilized item and be matched with a handy volunteer who will either repair the item, or will train and encourage the item’s owner to complete the repair themselves. Often the interaction is simply explaining how to use and maintain the item:   Got a sewing machine, but don’t know how to use it? Need someone to help get you started on that plunge router in your basement? Have a toaster oven that needs fixing? The Repair Café will find someone to help and inspire you, with the goal of keeping another usable item out of the landfill.
Following Ms. Correll’s presentation, our audience shared waste prevention ideas that each attendee uses in their daily lives. How inspiring! These ideas will be posted on our Facebook page, where we encourage you and others to share your own ideas and add to the list!
Recycling Advocates’ board member, Katie Allen updated the group on the progress of the Hold the Bag campaign. Katie and several volunteers have been researching the type of waste that is being generated through the process of making a purchase at a food cart.  They’ve been talking with the food cart owners and customers to glean behaviors, attitudes and ideas. Encouraging food cart customers to bring their own bags or not to use one at all, as well as bring their own food container, is a challenging and a rewarding task. Katie could use more volunteers to help with designing and implementing outreach material and with further research and preparation work.
Annual MeetingRecycling Advocates also would like to thank Lucky Lab for the wonderful facility, good service and for offering the delicious pizza and beer.
The Annual Meeting is one of the rare opportunities for our members and friends to get together and share ideas. Please keep our mission statement in mind:  Recycling Advocates is a grassroots organization dedicated to involving citizens in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Thank you all for attending and being part of this on-going mission.
Thank you, Elizabeth

By Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates, President

Elizabeth Goodman has been a Recycling Advocates board of directors’ member since 2010 and continued excellent service until October 2014. Thank you, Elizabeth for the great years you gave this organization.

Elizabeth introduced us to the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, an excellent guidance resource for groups like us. She also introduced us to the bargain software acquisition opportunities through TechSoup, guiding us through the acquisition of up to date mainstream software to fit within our budget. She introduced us to and connected us with the Reuse Alliance, an excellent organization collaboration, fitting perfectly with RA’s mission and outreach interests. Throughout all of this, she also organized our finances, convened an excellent finance committee, and created a viable budget for RA for our current work and into our near future. Recycling Advocates has truly benefited from her knowledge and dedication. 

Elizabeth, the board thanks you,
and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.


Elizabeth’s departure leaves us with a treasurer vacancy. I encourage anyone who is interested in helping us build on the foundation that Elizabeth started, to contact RA at We appreciate any level of help that can be provided.


California Plastic Bag Ban Signed into Law

By Betty Patton, Recycling Advocates, President

You go, California! 


A statewide plastic bag ban was signed into law in California this fall and will be implemented in two phases. The larger grocery, pharmacy, convenience and liquor stores start in July of next year; all sizes of stores in those categories must comply in 2016Cities and counties across the state had implemented various plastic bag bans in the recent past. The statewide ban has created a single law for all jurisdictions. 


Those of you who are in Portland are aware of this city’s plastic bag ban, but we have not gone statewide yet. Here is a quick comparison of the two laws. 





Retailers impacted 

All retail, all sizes 

Phase 1: Large grocery, pharmacy, convenience and liquor stores  

Phase 2: smaller stores  

Implementation dates 

Final phase - October 1, 2013 

Phase 1 – July 2015;  

Phase 2 - 2016 

Fee charged for paper or compostable bags 


Yes, at least $0.10 

Bags allowed 

Produce and meat, reusable bags 

Produce and meat 

Retail shops exempt 

Dry cleaning 

Clothing and electronics shops 

Film plastic recycling available 



Estimated percentage of bags recycled prior to ban 




A coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, The American Progressive Bag Alliance, is pursuing the half a million signatures required for a ballot measure to take this to the voters in an attempt to overturn it prior to implementation.  


Recycling Advocates is analyzing the potential for re-introducing a statewide ban again. Feel free to send us comments. 

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