Interested in becoming an environmental champion and moving towards a zero waste lifestyle? The first step is to adopt the practices of a Master Recycler!
So, what can you do to become a Master Recycler? Here are some tips from Kelly Bell, Lane County Master Recycler Program Coordinator.
3 Tips for Becoming a Recycling Pro:
- Learn about your community’s reuse/recycling programs. Every community has unique recycling opportunities and challenges. In order to be an effective recycler and not just a wishful recycler it's important to know what's possible in your own community. Earth911 is a good starting place. Many resources are available to help you along a simpler, lower waste lifestyle. One favorite is NewDream.
- Mentor another business, family member, or your children’s school. Master Recyclers are community educators. We stand ready to assist any individual or group who wants to do a better job reducing waste and recycling properly. In Eugene, we have the GreenLane Sustainable Business Network and our schools have access to the Oregon Green Schools Program. Our local Eugene businesses have access to free sustainability consulting through the RE:think Business program.
- Find out if your community has a Master Recycler Program and join us! If your community does not yet have a Master Recycler program you can start one yourself. Master Recycler programs are happy to share resources with start-up groups. Many of your own local experts from the government, commercial, and nonprofit sectors would be happy to share their knowledge with your volunteers.
Here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we regularly send staff through the Lane County Master Recycler training program that Kelly coordinates in order to ensure our established waste reduction practices are maintained at the highest level. "When Master Recycler classes include folks sent by their employer, it enhances the learning experience for everyone," Kelly said. "Our students get to learn about real world waste prevention and waste reduction issues that local businesses grapple with every day. It’s a win-win!”
We Recycle to Reach Our Zero Waste Goals!
Last year, Mountain Rose Herbs became the first company in Oregon to achieve a Zero Waste Facility Certification, at the highest level available--Platinum. We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated staff!
During orientation, staff members learn about our zero waste policy and how to properly recycle at work. After 30 days, they take part in another in-depth zero waste training. Our facilities crew sorts every piece of waste by hand--reusing, repurposing, and recycling whenever possible. Mountain Rose Herbs goes a step further and encourages staff to bring in hard-to-recycle items from home like electronics and batteries.
We are so proud of Jamie and Skyler in our Facilities Department for recently completing the Master Recyclers program, bringing our total number of Master Recyclers on staff to four! This is no small feat. Participants receive over 30 instructional hours accumulated during nine evening classes and three field trips to solid waste and recycling sites. This free service offered by the Lane County Waste Management Division, is a comprehensive training covering waste reduction tactics, how to compost at home, and how to motivate others to change their habits.
If you want your business to become Zero Waste Certified or if you personally want to become a Zero Waste Associate, check out the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council.