Autumn 2017 Master Recycler Bulletin......New to you!

Autumn 2017


Big changes coming to Oregon recycling? 

A complex series of international events has led to upheavals in the recycling world for both Oregon and the rest of the world.  These matters came to head recently when a local crisis arose when markets for recycled plastics suddenly shrunk.  As Bailey Payne wrote:

"In late September, the transfer stations had to stop accepting plastic film (grocery bags, bread bags, toilet paper/water bottle wrap, tarps, etc.) because there is simply nowhere to take it. Unfortunately some of the rigid plastic containers (#'s 3, 4, 6 & 7) may also be dropped from programs, but that hasn't yet happened in Marion County. Much of the plastic that has traditionally gone to China to be recycled into new products is no longer being accepted because they are developing their own domestic recycling programs, their economy (and therefore need for feedstock) has declined and over the years the quality of the recycling being sent to them from other countries (including the US) has been poor.

As I write this, the recycling industry in Oregon, nationally and internationally is working to address this issue. For now, there is no change in the curbside recycling program and many of the large grocery stores still have outlets for recycling the plastic bags that they collect in front of their stores. To find a location near you, please .  There remains a recycling option for businesses that want to recycle stretch wrap and certain other types of clean film plastic.

While this is a set-back, the recycling industry has been around for many decades and in the long-term, we hope and expect that the market for these materials will rebound. For a more detailed overview of what has led to this situation, I suggest looking at the Department of Environmental Quality's website which has a page that is specifically focused on this topic. The link"

Another good read on the matter that was sent out to Portland Master Recyclers can be found at: .

Meanwhile, here in Marion County, we will do our best to keep all of you up to date and as informed as possible.  You will, undoubtedly, be getting a lot of questions and be hearing rumors and confused opinions on the matter.  Please, when in doubt...find out!  Keep a close eye on the DEQ web site mentioned above and keep tabs on the on-line Marion County Recycling Guide. 

Just tap RECYCLE GUIDE for those who need to find it!

                                                   Master Recycler Spotlight : Rand Schroeder                     


Taking the Master Recycler class was one of the most valuable decisions I've made.  My training was such an eye-opening experience! The waste management problems that face our planet are gigantically larger than most of us can imagine, growing at nearly an exponential rate. Yet they are challenges that we can overcome, given that we educate ourselves and empower business and our society to change our production/consumption paradigm.

The class exposed my ignorance and fired up a passion to start at my home first, then reach out to change the world, one apartment complex, one church, one business and one city at a time. The initial class tuition is low, but it requires a volunteer commitment of 30 hours educating our community using the training we have received. My time was spent between several outreaches. I was asked to spend two Saturdays caring for the children of parents attending the “Seed to Supper”

program (through OSU) with several Master Gardeners at Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer, Oregon I used that opportunity to teach a condensed class that focused on educating the children about the problem in general, then what they, their families, neighborhoods and schools can do about it. They now know what cannot be placed in the blue mixed recycle bins and why. For the adults I lead a segment on pesticide decisions, use and disposal.

I also helped staff the Marion County Public Works booths at the Marion County Fair and the Salem Art Fair. We challenged the public to self-assess their own knowledge. Often I snagged casual onlookers with a recycling question that has nagged them in the past. Even more interest was spawned as we showed them just snippets of the problem that directly affects them. The personal connection drew listening ears, heightened awareness and answered questions about the disposal of such things as plastic containers, harmful chemicals, used clothing, flares, brake fluid, and the scourge of plastic bags in mixed recycling. Most walked away more aware and thankful for the information. Many received a wallet card and a demonstration of the county’s free “app” on their smart phone or computer, providing access to what and where to recycle nearly anything in Marion County. That gives them power to be an agent of improvement. My reinvestment into our community does not stop at a mere 30 hours. For me, this is only the beginning. We will make a difference.

Rand Schroeder, Oct. 2017

Save the date!!!
Tuesday,  Nov. 21
7 PM

Salem Progressive Film Series presents:

Death by Design
the story of the life cycle of electronics


It ain’t until November but I want you to get this one on your calendar. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7 pm (1900), the Salem Progressive film series will be showing Death by Design, a documentary about the the hidden environmental costs of the in-our-lifetime electronics explosion. Here’s some #’s for ya:

By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. And the kicker in all this, is the constant need to upgrade these devices as they break or—more likely—become outdated almost within months of purchase. How do we deal with this onslaught of these devices? The challenges of managing the environmental impacts from their manufacture, disposal, and repair are all covered in the film. Afterwards, local electronics folk will discuss options to trashing one’s electronics and special guest repair and reuse guru, Kyle Wiens, a Bend Oregon native and CEO of, will be skyping in from California.

To see a brief trailer about the film visit: Death by Design  .  See ya there!