Is This Garbage or Not?

By Dave DeLuca

recyclingphotocreativecommons2Do you ever get the feeling that you’re throwing away items that could be recycled? Have you ever gotten a dirty look for putting plastic bags into a co-mingled bin? Do you secretly drop off Styrofoam at the co-op in the middle of the night because you don’t know what else to do with it? Do the numbers on the bottom of plastic containers seem more like an elaborate riddle than a recycling guideline to you? If you answered yes to most of these questions, the 2015 Master Recycler Class could be just what you need.

Oregon State University Campus Recycling and Republic Services of Corvallis sponsor this eight-week program covering all aspects of local waste reduction. Students will learn about local recycling resources and organizations, and share their own experiences and strategies to reduce the size of Corvallis’ waste stream. Composting, repurposing, and reducing waste will all be thoroughly covered by guest speakers. Among the class field trips are a tour of the Coffin Butte Landfill, the Pacific Region Compost facility, the Republic Services Depot, and a material recovery facility in Portland. These locations provide a unique view of the life of “stuff“ after it’s placed into curbside bins. 

Rachel Snyder from Republic Services and Andrea Norris from OSU will share the job of class facilitation. Norris is especially excited about the way this program brings together people with common goals.

“I love being able to share information, and share the energy of all the people who come together who care about the same things.”

Classes will be held on the OSU campus Tuesday nights from Jan. 13 through March 3, with three additional field trips. For more information or to sign up, go to Classes are free, but graduates will be expected to “pay forward” 30 hours of recycling education-related community service.