Master Recycler Newsletter—November 2015

Oregon Loves Recycling (and we can keep on loving it)!

Many Master Recyclers wrote and called this month wanting a response to the op-ed piece in the New York Times that claims that recycling is a waste of time. I shared a number of links that I also posted on Facebook. However, I wasn’t going to write a newsletter article myself. My inclination is to ignore these inflammatory stories, because I think we all know that there is value in recycling when it is done right. Ninety-five percent of people in the metro area consider themselves recyclers. We feel that it’s the right thing to do. Don’t give the guy who wrote the piece more attention than deserved.

But then I was thinking that this was an opportunity to talk about how great recycling is here in our state—and how we can make it even better. Read more...


You are cordially invited to two Master Recycler events this month!

Quarterly Westside Master Recycler Fall Potluck, Social and Meeting

Beaverton Building, 12725 Southwest Millikan Way, Beaverton
Wednesday, November 4
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

You're invited to the second of quarterly potlucks, socials and meetings for Master Recyclers living, working or volunteering on the west side. It'll be a fun evening including a guest speaker, shared potluck, fun activities and time for updates. Please send suggestions for speakers to Brian.

RSVP with this form or Brian Stafki, 503-846-3651,

Clackamas County Master Recycler Networking and Mixer

New Seasons Market Happy Valley Community Room, 15861 Southeast Happy Valley Town Center Drive, Happy Valley
Friday, November 13
Networking 5:30 – 6 p.m.
Discussion and refresher 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Join fellow Clackamas County Master Recyclers at an informal social gathering. Staff will be present to share updated kits and get your input on events and future outreach that you'd like to do in Clackamas County. Catch up with old and new friends, demo new kits and celebrate newly Certified Master Recyclers!

RSVP to Julie Gilbertson, 503-742-4463,


Congratulations and Welcome to Class 60!

The Washington County class ended on Wednesday October 28. This creative and enthusiastic crew will be joining the forces of the 59 classes before them in the tabling and presentation opportunities on the calendar, along with tons of great personal projects. I am sure several of them will be sighted at one or both of the social gatherings this month as well. Help me welcome this fantastic crew!

Class 60 Learned from Mary Healy (Class 58) about offering presentations to 3rd graders. Each of us wore a costume that represented all the work and resources it takes to bring ketchup to the table. 


Promote the January/February 2016 Multnomah County Course

Photo by JAC Conlu (Class 60)

  • WHAT: Multnomah County 8-week winter course and 30 hour volunteer program.
  • WHEN: Eight consecutive Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. starting on January 6, and two Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on January 16 and February 13.
  • WHERE: Hosted by the City of Portland, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Portland
  • COST: $50
  • Partial and full scholarships are available.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday, December 10, 2015 at 12 p.m. Visit the registration page to apply.



Thank you to Chatten Hayes for contributing over 500 hours!

Our ever-smiling Master Recycler Mentor Chatten Hayes (Class 44) just became a member of the Quincenturion Club, the group of Master Recyclers who have completed over 500 hours.

Chatten is such a valuable member of the Master Recycler Program! She has been a great mentor for others who want to master the challenge of public events. Chatten’s event wisdom includes this gem: “The hardest thing about a public event is the public.”

She has also been instrumental in encouraging the MAC Club to tackle some sustainability challenges and of course spends hours and hours every year managing everything from oil and grapes to gelato and pesto waste at the three-day Festa Italiana that averages 60,000 people.


Nancy Baker (Class 58) is a Certified Master Recycler. April was a busy month for Nancy. She participated in five different Earth Day celebrations that month. She also joined the Resourceful PDX campaign at events from East Portland to Sellwood. Nancy noticed all the new apartments on Division and took the initiative to work with the City of Portland multifamily program to distribute information to new apartment dwellers there.


Karen Levine (Class 59) completed her 30 hours this month, too. A retired school teacher, Karen joined Clackamas County recycling educator, Laurel Bates to offer classroom presentations to almost 200 elementary students. She also talked with folks about toxics reduction at Oregon City events such as the Homesteading Fair and the Health and Safety fair. 

Volunteer Opportunities


Fix-It Fair Season is Here!

These fun community events offer money-saving solutions and educational opportunities to low-income households while focusing on healthy, environmentally friendly homes and gardens. We need Master Recyclers for all three dates and for four different information tables. Shifts are 9 am to noon and noon to 3 pm. (You can sign up for multiple shifts).

  • Be Resourceful
  • Be Cart Smart
  • The ReBuilding Center
  • Climate Action Now (CAN): Food, Too Good to Waste

Saturday November 21, 2015
Parkrose High School
12003 NE Shaver St, Portland, OR 97220

Saturday January 23, 2016
Ron Russell Middle School
3955 SE 112th Ave, Portland, OR 97266

Saturday February 20, 2016
George Middle School
10000 N Burr Ave, Portland, OR 97203

Let us know your preferred the date, shift and topic.

Contact: Master Recycler Program, 503-545-8976, masterrecycler@portlandoregon.go


Conservation News

Let’s Talk Trash: What Our Trash Says When We’re Gone

November 4, 2015
6:30pm, Nibbles and Socializing
7-8:30pm, Discussion
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland

Our region sends one million tons of garbage each year to landfills outside our boundaries to places such as Arlington, Oregon. The landfill there also receives all of Seattle’s garbage and still has more than 100 years of capacity left. Our choice to send our garbage to far away places impacts our health and environment. Are we okay with continuing our current system? Do we have ideas for improvements?  You can also check out Metro's new video. Where does your trash go

Let’s Talk Trash is a series of events designed to present information, raise awareness, and generate ideas about how our region can best manage its garbage in the future. 

Lake Oswego Sustainability Event

November 4th, 5:30-8:00 PM
Holy Names Heritage Center @ Mary’s Woods, 17425 Holy Names Dr, Lake Oswego

Enjoy music, food, Browse exhibits, make your voice heard


Job Opportunities

Ongoing postings available at the Master Recycler Job Board. Including these three exciting opportunities!

DEQ has an exceptional opportunity for three candidates interested in serving as Natural Resource Specialist 4's in our Materials Management Section of the Environmental Solutions Division. The candidates will serve as senior technical experts in support of the Materials Management Section and Materials Management in Oregon: 2050 Vision and Framework for Action.  Each will focus on one of these specialty areas:

  • Leading and supporting voluntary initiatives by businesses to change production practices, materials and products to support sustainable materials management.

  • Preventing the wasting of food in all stages of its life cycle, and broader sustainable consumption initiatives.

  • Increasing and improving the recovery (recycling) of materials, and safely managing hazardous wastes from households.


Contributions to this month's newsletter include J Lauren Norris, Alicia Polacok and Wing Grabowski.