Master Recycler News | December 2016


Masthead Dec

Repair Fair
Just in time for your New Year's resolutions, we invite you to the

Repair Fair & Share
Saturday, January 14, 4pm — 7pm
The Northwest Hub
1230 Broadway St NE, Salem, OR 97301

Got something broken? Bring it (along with any needed parts) to the Repair Fair, and we’ll hook you up with a fixer!

-Small appliances (no microwaves or cd-players please)
-Tools or knives to sharpen
-Stringed Instruments

This is FREE and open to the public, however donations are appreciated.

These fine, local businesses will be on site as well!
Cherry City Sweet Spot (food truck)
Santiam Brewing Co.

For more details and to RSVP visit our facebook page or meetup group.


Green Awards
2017 Mid-Valley Green Award 

Goodie, goodie green drops, it's time to nominate your favorite environmentally-friendly individual, business, or organization. for the 2017 Mid-Valley Green Awards!
Categories include:
  • Recycler of the Year
  • Sustainable Business of the Year
  • EarthWISE Business of the Year
  • Green Products/Service of the Year
  • People's Choice Award which will be chosen from votes on Facebook.
To nominate a business or individual, visit
Deadline for nominations:

Mark your calendars for the Green Awards!
Spinning Room
Willamette Heritage Center | 1313 Mill Street SE | Salem, Oregon
 NEWS    News

Master Recycler Class 30
Master Recycler Spotlight

Bruce Wilson (Class #30 - 2015) completed his hours and is now an official Master Recycler! Bruce is the facilities manager for the D.J. Eppling Associates, Inc. which owns the large cluster of professional buildings on Hawthorn, near Costco. He did his volunteer hours by helping buildings that he manages to become EarthWISE certified. Good job Bruce!


Jon Yoder
Willamette Wakeup

Tune into Jon Yoder on KMUZ 88.5, 100.7 fm each Wednesday from 8:15-8:45 am. Jon is the president of Salem Environmental Education, and is committed to providing environmental education for the Salem community. Past programs and podcasts can be found online so you can listen to at your convenience. Visit:


Curbside Compost

From Cart to Compost

Residents living in the city limits of Stayton, Silverton, and Woodburn can now add food to their yard debris bin. Put in all food scraps including meat, dairy, tea bags and coffee filters. After the cart leaves your curb it will get taken to Pacific Region Compost where it gets a complete makeover and gets turned into compost. So keep your food waste out of the garbage and put it to good use! 



Leaf Haul
Leaf Haul

Too Many Leaves? Bring them to the Fall Leaf Haul! This is a free event for Salem, Stayton, Silverton, and Woodburn residents, thanks to the contributions of these cities, the Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association, Marion County Environmental Services, and numerous neighborhood volunteers. Grass clippings and leaves (no tree limbs accepted). 
Residential leaves only– no commercial landscapers. Please contact your city office for further details. View the Leaf Hauls events in your area! 


12 Days of ReuseReuse Gift Inspiration

The holidays don't need to be wasteful. Give a gift of experience, time or look around your home to see what you have on hand. Check out these daily videos to get you inspired to create thoughtful gifts that promotes reuse. For a list of all of the projects visit our webpage! 


December Green Calendar
Green Community Calendar

The holidays are here, and so is the Green Community Calendar. To add your event, email Jessica or give her a call at 503-365-3180. And be sure to add the Green Community Calendar to your google calendar as well!

Worm Farm Tour

Wriggling Livestock Produce Black Gold
by Julie Barnas

On the rainy afternoon of October 13, a few die-hard Compost Specialists traveled to Scio and joined people from Marion County Environmental Services, Valley Roots, and Master Recyclers to learn about Worm Wrangling on a larger scale. 

We gathered at the Scio worm farm of Ground Up Soil in an old barn which instead of housing dairy livestock is now home to multiple 4x4’ worm crates and to four 80’x8’ continuous flow digesters made by Dan Holcombe of OrAgGrow in Philomath. The current livestock were happily wriggling in their moist digesters or 4x4 crates.

Our tour was an informal question/answer session lead by the owner of Ground Up Soil, AJ, and Dan the builder of the machines. In the beginning, the “black gold” vermi-compost at Ground Up Soil was produced only in the 4x4 crates. The process in the crates continues by building the worm bedding at the bottom and feeding in layers from the bottom up; as the livestock consumes the “feed” more is added to the top until the bin is full. Harvesting of these crates consists of skimming the worms off the top, adding the worms to a new crate and then bagging the vermi-compost at the bottom to sell.

Eventually Ground Up Soil was able to purchase digesters from Dan Holcombe of OrAgGrow. (Their banker was there on the field trip, too!)

The feed for all of the bins is a mix of manure, straw and wood chips gleaned from the local fairgrounds. As Dan said, just like any other livestock, one has to tend to feeding the worms every day.

Unfortunately we were not able to see the digesters in operation as there was a mechanical issue. Fortunately, our hosts were able to explain the process:

  • Now that the digesters are full and the livestock is living at the top of the digesters, the bottom is ready for harvest.
  • The blades at the bottom of the digester scrape the vermi-compost as the bin shakes.
  • The blades are in a continuous motion of scraping and then lying flat as they reverse.
  • The vermi-compost is gradually moved under the bin to the opening in the barn where it is bagged and prepared for shipment.

Ground Up Soil sells their vermi-compost to businesses making potting soil. They have also begun to make special blends of potting mixes for customers. They have found that they are not always able to meet the local demand for vermi-compost and sometimes have to buy shipments from out of state.

The field trip left many of us thinking that there is gold to be harvested in them thar bins. And we are definitely curious about building a 4x4 crate and adding worms and feed from the bottom up! We are also on the lookout for a “happy worm” thermometer!!!

For more tours and to meet other green-minded folks, sign up for  Valley Roots notifications by emailing Jessica

Worm Tour 2