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Master Recycler program returns to Clackamas County posted on 01/31/2020

Lauren Norris, Program Manager for the Master Recycler Program administered by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, noted that more than 1,800 people have learned about recycling processes, composting, alternatives to hazardous household products, thoughtful consumption and green building.

“People come for different reasons, but also to bring resources and ideas and knowledge to projects they want to get done in their own communities,” Norris said.

This spring, the regional program will return to Clackamas County, with limited spots available for participants to enjoy a hands-on opportunity to learn about recycling and waste reduction. The spring session will start Wednesday, April 1, and run for eight consecutive Wednesdays, at Clackamas County’s Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City. There will also be two half-day field trips on Saturdays.

Norris noted in addition to recycling, the program also focuses on repairing and resource sharing, including how “repair fairs” and “libraries of things” are helping minimize the impact on what people buy.

“Most libraries in Clackamas County have a ‘library of things,’” she said.

Norris also noted the program, which started in 1991 with a nonprofit in Seattle and then spread to Oregon State University, is evolving, including a complete overhaul of the course handbook four years ago to include a look at materials management and the full life cycle of materials. That can help with decisions about where changes can be made to make bigger impacts.

“It really is an exciting, new document they receive on the first day,” Norris said.

The course is a blend of presentations by professionals in the field, peer group discussion and project development. Participants agree to attend all classes and field trips and, after completing the course, put their skills to work to help others conserve natural resources by volunteering 30 hours of public outreach.

Master Recyclers work at information booths at community events, provide presentations in the community, work on original projects and inspire their neighbors and co-workers.

A $50 fee covers course materials and limited scholarships are available.

Registration closes at noon, Wednesday, March 4. For more details and to apply, visit www.masterrecycler.org.

The regional Master Recycler Program is sponsored by Metro, the City of Portland, Clackamas County, Washington County, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Recycling Advocates.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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