Master Recycler Newsletter—September 2016

Fall to-do list: Protect your home and our climate

Practicing a little maintenance and fixing problems, before the rainy season sets in, can lengthen the life of the materials that make up your home.

More natural resources are contained in buildings than in the products that we use day-to-day. Wood, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, plastic, cement and lime and glass are the building blocks of our homes. And it burns a lot of natural gas, oil and coal to manufacture these materials.

Maximize these last few weeks of great weather to do a little good around your home. 


Master Recycler Training Handbook Goes Live!

The new Master Recycler Training Handbook is now officially available for all of you to read online! You can peruse the handbook by chapter or download the whole thing. You can even download it on your e-Readers as well!



1000 hours!

The Master Recycler program just had our second person in the history of the program report over 1000 hours! Thank you to the amazing and creative Colleen Johnston (Class 36) for her continued commitment and leadership for the program. She has been a mentor, joined collection events and organized recycling at her kids' preschool and her office. She has spent 56 days staffing a booth at the Milwaukie Farmers' Market and staffed booths on climate, food waste, recycling and resourceful living at 15 Fix-it Fairs! Her latest creative idea is to offer a bag exchange at the Milwaukie FM. She collected gently used durable bags and will trade them with anyone who brings in their plastic bags for her to recycle.

We sent Colleen her very own license frame that shows that she is one of the ultimate cool because she is a Master Recycler volunteer! 



500 hours!

At the Washington County Fair, Betty Benson (Class 47) joined the elite Quincenturion club. Quincenturions are dedicated Master Recyclers who have volunteered more than 500 hours!

Betty Benson on the left

Betty Benson on the left

Betty spent 414 of those hours with her fellow classmate, Cecelia Warner at the Forest Grove Farmers' Market Waste Center. She also spent 45 hours organizing a national Reuse Alliance Conference that took place in Portland in 2012. Along with these big projects Betty did a whole bunch of fun presentations around the county and even mentored a group of girls learning about engineering by helping them with a project that solved a problem with trash through Lego Robotics. Thank you Betty for your long time commitment and enthusiasm!



Master Recycler Certifications

Thank you to the four people who became Certified Master Recyclers this month! Your outreach and projects inspire change on so many fronts!

Monica on the left

Monica on the left

Monica Liska (Class 54) acted as a Recycling Captain for the We love the Clackamas River cleanup and offered a presentation to a condo home owners association about how to set up composting. She staffed booths at several Fix-it Fairs to talk with folks there about greener cleaners, recycling, sharing, fixing and reuse. She wrapped up all of those outgoing activities with a focused project where she helped a major corporation that runs events develop sustainability guidelines. (You know that is going to have long-lasting impacts!)



Janine on the right

Janine on the right

Janine Wikoff (Class 55) promoted recycling at the Celebrate Hillsboro in 2014 and 2016 and also at the Washington County Fair in 2014 and 2015. She recently joined the repair movement by helping at Repair Fairs in Beaverton and Hillsboro. These events are great ways to revive the life our materials by fixing broken small appliances and sewing garments.






Bethany O'Hagan (Class 61) is stellar in the areas of multifamily recycling and event recovery -which are two settings where you can make a big difference with a little technical know-how (and Bethany has a lot). She offered recycling presentations and staffed recycling booths all over Portland. She also took on a project for the City to take pictures of good (and not so good) recycling setups so that community events can see real live shots of how to set up their recycling containers and signs.



Kathy Peterman (Class 62) talked with folks about food waste and resourceful living at events like Strawberry Shortcake Festival and Sunday Parkways as part of her 30 hour volunteer commitment. But she spent much of your Master Recycler time inspiring folks with her blog. If you haven't found her blog yet, you are encouraged to check it out. Kathy dives into her garbage, shares ideas about non-toxic body care; and she challenges us to think about how to rethink our wardrobe and focus on what is important to us. This blog is so fun with videos, articles, events and all sorts of tips and resources. 

Volunteer Opportunities




Conservation News

Recycling Advocates Annual Meeting: Wednesday September 14th

What: Recycling Advocates Annual Meeting 2016
When: Wednesday September 14th, doors open at 6:30pm, program begins at 7:00pm
Where: Sierra Club, 1821 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214
Who: YOU!  

  • "Bring Your Own Cup" Campaign Overview: Help usput a dent in the huge number of non-recyclable disposable cups used and tossed in the garbage every day. Starbucks alone estimates that it serves over 8 MILLION disposable cups every MINUTE!  Customer focus: how can we persuade people to carry their own cup? Coffee shop focus: how do we encourage coffee shops to promote reusable cups?
  • We'll share ideas and brainstorm strategies for changing behavior. 
  • Meet our board members. 
  • Meet and mingle with other Recycling Advocates members, Master Recyclers and friends.
  • Beer, wine and snacks provided. 

How Much? FREE! Just RSVP! Email us at or call 503-777-0909. We'd love to see you there!  

Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour- September, 2016

September 17 & 18

A tour for people interested in learning more about ADUs and meeting the homeowners, builders, and designers who built them. 

Less is More: Getting to One Can of Garbage a Year.

Reducing your waste is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your climate change impacts. Master Recycler and waste reduction advocate, Betty Shelley, offers the class Less is More: Getting to One Can of Garbage a Year. It is now time to sign up for the September series. Please check the website

Dessert Meetups hosted by Eco-school network

Want to start a sustainability project at your child’s school? The Eco-School Network  aims to introduce or upgrade sustainable practices and to increase eco-awareness as a means to enrich the daily experience of K-5 children at school. 

Six dessert meetups will be held in homes of Portland-area Eco-School Network parents. If you cannot attend one in your area, you may attend another.
•    N Portland – September 26, 7:00 p.m.
•    NE Portland – September 27, 7:00 p.m.
•    SE Portland – September 28, 7:00 p.m.
•    SW & NW Portland – September 29, 7:00 p.m.
•    Beaverton – October 5, 7:00 p.m.
•    West Linn – October 6, 7:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to or 503-244-0026

GoGreen Conference

GoGreen Portland is Wednesday, October 5 at the World Trade Center. Now in its ninth year, GoGreen Portland has established itself as the largest regional conference for business and government decision-makers to come together for one day to learn from recognized community leaders to advance sustainability best practices in their own organizations. GoGreen empowers attendees with the strategies, tools and connections through networking opportunities to advance the triple bottom line. Find out more online.

What: GoGreen Portland
When: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Where: 2 World Trade Center - 3rd Floor, 25 SW Salmon Street, Portland, OR 97205
Registration & Cost: Tickets range from $45-$175, check out the Registration page for full details
Who Attends: Business and public sector decision-makers in sustainability

Master Recyclers get a 20% discount! Just enter the code MASTERRECYCLER on the REGISTRATION form.

EcoChallenge Registration Now Open

We believe the solution to the planet’s biggest challenges lies in the power of collective action. The EcoChallenge engages participants from communities far and wide in taking on a sustainable-living challenge every October. Join thousands of other participants as we prove that small actions add up to real change this October 14-28. Visit to get started!

Job Opportunities

More at the Master Recycler Jobs Board.

  • Washington County Bilingual Materials Management Program Educator (Closes 8/28)
  • Metro Admin Specialist (Closes 9/2)
  • Center for Earth Leadership (Closes 9/9)