Master Recycler Newsletter—January 2017

Wishing You a Joyful 2017

I am reading the Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, and it is making me appreciate Master Recyclers' volunteerism more than ever.

In the book, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama explore together how they hold joy in their lives even in the face of racism, violence and exile. Their response is the practice of human connection.


Recruiting for Spring Course:
Let Your Friends in on the Fun!

Take an eight-week course on the latest information on consumption and recycling. Then, promise to volunteer 30 hours to share what you learned with neighbors, coworkers and community.

  • WHAT: Clackamas County course and volunteer program

  • WHEN: Eight consecutive Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. starting on March 29, and two Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm on April 8 and May 6

  • WHERE: Clackamas County Bldg., 150 Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City

  • COST: $50 fee

  • Partial and full scholarships are available without extra application requirements

Deadline for applications is Wednesday March 8, 2017 at Noon. Details and application:

Washington County staff changes

Master Recyclers who volunteer regularly with Washington County will see some changes.


A huge thank you and good luck to Brian Stafki, Senior Program Educator. Brian accepted a position with DEQ as their material recovery specialist, helping improve statewide materials recovery.

Brian has been the heart of activity for Master Recyclers in Washington County. He instituted regular volunteer gatherings, increased volunteer opportunities and designed and refined the popular Eat Smart, Waste Less Challenge. It will be a great thing for our state to have Brian helping improve materials recovery, but we Master Recyclers will miss him greatly on the ground. Those seeking work in the field will want to keep an eye out in the Job Seekers Board for a soon-to-come announcement for his replacement position.

While we are sad to see Brian go, we are thrilled to introduce you to Eva Aguilar (Class 63).  Eva was hired in November to a new position as the Washington County Bilingual Solid Waste and Recycling Program Educator. She will focus on equity and diversity work, residential and business sector outreach. Eva is a Master Recycler who moved to Hillsboro 11 years ago from Mexico. Her talent and experience working with nonprofits in the US and Mexico will help Washington County provide better access to the diverse community.

She will be working with bilingual Master Recyclers and other staff to deepen access to sustainability resources. Eva was a delightful member of Class 63 who contributed much in the conversation of equity. I am excited about the new volunteer opportunities that Eva will bring to bilingual Master Recyclers.

Volunteer Opportunities

Click on the calendar image to get more details.


Thank you to Centurion and Certified Master Recyclers!


Two Master Recyclers reported their 100th hour this last month. We thank them for their continued commitment.

Faith Wildermth (Class 53) and the Aldenwald Elementary Green Team kicked off the school year with new goals including collecting 200 lbs of plastic lids for recycling. Last year the Milwaukie ES won a contest with Gimme 5 and Marvel Universe heroes (pictured here) held an assembly as a celebration of their work. This kick off has put Faith in the new category of a Centurion Master Recycler. Most of her 100 hours were spent engaging kids at the school, but she also organized recycling for the Relay for Life. Meanwhile she joined the Milwaukie Area Green Team who is planning Milwaukie's first repair fair!

Kathy Peterman (Class 62) logged her 100th hour offering a presentation on decluttering at the Fix-It Fair. She also offered inspiration on her blog Simpleup and has now started a declutter group. Folks share their challenges and successes in decluttering and living more simply and she offers ongoing support to help you keep motivated. Learn more about her declutter group with this video.


Certified Master Recyclers

We are celebrating the certification of four Master Recyclers this month! See what amazing things they have done with their 30 hour commitment.

Alexis Gabriel (Class 58) organized a massive effort to conduct a waste audit and identify a plan for recycling and compost at Portland’s signature sustainability event: Sunday Parkways. Event recycling is always challenging, but this was a challenge with a capital C. There are 20,000 people who participate in these events. They are particularly complicated events because the five events take place one month apart from each other, at multiple parks around Portland, and include food vendors, so even if a few of Alexis’ recommendations are implemented, the recovery could be impressive.


Sovann Chin (Class 60) led several sustainability efforts at Epson where he works. This company is super green, so Sovann was able to add several refresher opportunities to bring them to a new level. He also focused on some less developed areas like hazardous materials in the work place and non-curbside plastics. Sovann also offered a presentation for Avenues of Autism on creative reuse. His picture here was on the invitation to a presentation he offered through ResourceFULL Use which is an organization that helps businesses exchange materials.

Kelly Moore (Class 61) spent her 30 hours offering residents ideas on simple living. She joined both the Portland CAN: Save your food campaign and the Gresham Eat Smart, Waste Less Challenge to talk about food waste prevention and the Resourceful PDX campaign to talk about repairing and sharing things.


Lori Kovacevic (Class 61) helped engage folks at the Native American Home Buyers Fair and an engineering firm (how's that for a diverse range?). She also worked on event recycling for the Run Like Hell Marathon. One of her more involved projects was offering a case study presentation at the Oregon Green Schools Summit about waste prevention and school supplies. Her presentation included having students learn about crayon recycling.


Job Opportunities

There are a number of relevant openings in the Job Seekers Board including:

  • DEQ Solid Waste Information Assistant and Materials Management Principal Executive Manager.
  • City of Beaverton Commercial Recycling and Composting Specialist. 

To see all the listings and keep up between newsletters visit the Master Recycler Job Seekers Board


Conservation news

Workshop on the Practice of Hope

Saturday, January 28, 2017, 9:00 a.m.–noon
Downtown Portland location (registrants will receive details )
Presented by Jeanne and Dick Roy, Center for Earth Leadership

In response to requests and concerns flowing from the presidential election, the Center for Earth Leadership will offer its Hope Workshop on January 28. Originally developed at the request of Port Townsend Earth Day organizers, with portions covered in the Roys’ TEDx talk, the workshop addresses the following question:  Living in a society where “bad news” seems so prevalent, is authentic hope possible? In this workshop, hope is explored as an intentional act or a practice. 

There is no charge for this workshop, but advance registration is required.  To reserve your space, or if you have questions, contact Jessmine at 503-227-2315 or