Celebrating the World We Live In. 
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Bottle Drop Tour
• Green Award Winners
• Volunteers Needed
• Earth Day Contest Results
• Recycling 101
Featured April Events
Green Community Calendar
 Creative Reuse Display



"We need to embrace the simple fact that if we want green behaviors to be widespread, then we need to treat them as mass ideas with mass communications, not elite ideas with niche communications."
- Mainstreaming Green   

Bottle Drop Tour

Here are some photos from the Master Recycler Tour of the Northeast Bottle Drop in Salem. Many thanks to Cherilyn Bertges from the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative for giving us at tour.



Green Award Winners


We are excited to announce the 2015 Mid-Valley Green Awards nominees and winners. This year we had an overwhelming community response to nominate their friends and local businesses. We have over 42 nominations with pages upon pages of good deeds and earth-friendly behaviors to sift through. 

The 2015 Mid-Valley Green Awards wash a smashing success with proceeds supporting the Straub Environmental Center, a Trashion show by DIY Studio, and live music, and activities during the silent auction. 

Recycler of the Year: Dana Canning (Jeanne Collins accepting on her behalf)2015 Recycler of the Year Individual: Dana Canning

Dana Canning created the Salem Sleeping Bag Project, where volunteers crochets mats and sleeping bags for homeless people from recycled materials and plastic bags. One sleeping mat uses 600 to 900 plastic grocery bags. In addition to using plastic bags, she reuses old clothing, blankets, sheets and other fabric for the bags. To date, the project has finished 180 mats and 80 sleeping bags, and Dana has volunteered more than 100 hours teaching community members to make these items.

Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts and/or leadership in the area of recycling. 


  • Logan Blanco
  • Dana Canning
  • Millie Estrin
  • Derek Hayman
  • Ben McGowan
  • Kristi Reed

2015 Recycler of the Year Business: South Salem Cycleworks

South Salem Cycleworks. Michael WolfSouth Salem CycleWorks hasn’t had garbage service in 25 years of business, collects compost, refurbishes old bikes using as many used components as possible for those unable to invest in a new bike; scraps unusable bikes for parts, and recycles other parts—worn out chains, for example, are sent to Resource Revival. Fluorescent bulbs are saved for decontamination before discarding; batteries from cyclometers and lights are collected for recycling; all cardboard, paper and plastic is sorted and recycled; packing material is delivered to the Mail Depot or FEDEX for reuse; and Styrofoam is taken to the downtown collection site at the Farmers Market. The shop uses recycled product packaging where it can and promotes products made from recycled material.


  • Focal Point Photography
  • South Salem Cycleworks

Sustainable Small Biz of year: Rochelle Rafn with Rafns' 2015 Sustainable Small Business of the Year: Rafns'

Rafns’, a restaurant and specialty grocery store supplying local and responsibly raised products and ingredients, produces very little waste. Chef Nate Rafn uses every part of his food scraps—chicken bones for broth, vegetable pieces for stock, and pork fat for rendering. Every other item in the business—from menus, paper tickets and food containers to wash water, wood pallets and glass jars—are reused as many times as possible and then recycled. During construction, wood pallets were used for the rustic wall sign and two counters. Chefs cook in an open kitchen and talk openly about the use of local, organic and sustainable ingredients.

Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts and/or leadership to foster sustainability in their organization and/or the community.


  • CB|Two Architects
  • City of Salem Airport
  • Cooke's Stationery Company
  • Fresh n' Local Foods
  • Pence NW Construction
  • Pringle Creek Community
  • Rafns' Restaurant and Local Goods
  • South Salem Cycleworks
  • Steel Bridge Coffee

Large Sustainable Business; Keith Beckman with BrucePac2015 Sustainable Large Business of the Year: BrucePac

BrucePac, a local large-scale meat processor, recycled more than 60,000 pounds of metal and 1.3 million pounds of cardboard in 2014, worked to redesign a supplier’s cardboard box so that it could be recycled, has an entire department dedicated to reusing and repairing wooden pallets, and is designing custom equipment to clean dirty plastic enough for recycling, which would mean an extra 50,000 pounds of plastic would not be trashed each year. Since 2009, the company has reduced energy use by 22 percent, and a condensate return project saves more than 2 million gallons of water a year by recycling it back into the steam boiler system.


  • BrucePac Meat Product Designers
  • Kerr Concentrates
  • LifeSource Natural Foods
  • Marion-Polk Food Share
  • NORPAC Foods
  • Oregon Department of Corrections
  • Willamette University

EarthWISE business of year: Oscar Torres with Kerr Concentrates2015 EarthWISE Business of the Year: Kerr Concentrates

Kerr Concentrates, producer of fruit and vegetable concentrates, purees and specialty fruit and vegetable blends among other products, sent metal drums to a reconditioner for reuse, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 468 tons a year. The company also provides customers with credit when they return empty plastic poly drums. Its energy upgrades are expected to reduce the facility’s annual kilowatt hours by 287,000 units and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 382,000 pounds. But the company’s greatest reduction in waste comes from capturing the organic waste produced from processing lines and sending it to composting facilities, diverting more than 8 million pounds of material from the landfill just this year.

Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts in continually reducing their environmental bottom line and improving their progress on the continuum of qualifying EarthWISE criteria. EarthWISE certified businesses are committed to working toward sustainability and have documented efforts to refine their practices to protect the environment in their community. Only businesses that are EarthWISE certified prior to January 1, 2014, are eligible for nomination in this category.

  • CB|Two Architects
  • City of Salem Airport
  • Compex
  • Cooke’s Stationery Company
  • The Block- Salem Convention Center, the Grand Hotel in Salem, and 
    Bentley's Grill 
  • BrucePac Meat Product Designers
  • Kerr Concentrates
  • Life Source Natural Foods
  • Marion-Polk Food Share
  • NORPAC Foods
  • Oregon Department of Corrections
  • Pence NW Construction
  • Pringle Creek Community
  • South Salem Cycleworks

Green apple; Dan Hoynacki, presented by Dave Smedema2015 Green Apple Award: Dan Hoynacki

Dan Hoynacki is the founder and organizer of many Oregon State University K-12 after-school programs for Marion County’s at-risk and vulnerable youth. Over the past 13 years, he has engaged nearly 3,000 at-risk youth in more than 130,000 hours of service to the community. From his Youth Enviro Squad to Youth Farm to Wildlife, Watersheds, and Whatnot programs, students learn ecological principles, community gardening, natural resource management and career opportunities in environmental fields.

Nominees in this category may be classroom teachers or someone involved in general public education. This environmental educator not only imparts knowledge about the natural world, but provides meaningful and constructive ways for students or the public to interact with it.

  • Luckiamute Valley Charter School
  • Katie Dennis
  • Dan Hoynacki
  • Brenda Knobloch
  • Beth Myers-Shenai

2015 Green Product of the Year: Zena Forest

Zena Forest Products
, certified through the Forest Stewardship Council, provides 100-percent locally sourced and produced flooring and lumber, and almost all of it is sold and used in the Willamette Valley. The company works hard to maintain and expand the rare Oregon white oak ecosystem, which has only about 5 percent of the original pre-settlement area left intact in the valley, by providing an economic incentive for forest landowners to responsibly manage their oak ecosystems. The durable hardwood flooring that is produced from these forest lasts longer than any other flooring alternative, reducing the pressure on our valuable natural resources, and ensuring that these forests will be maintained.

  • Zoe Day Spa
  • Nuvo Glass
  • DIY Studio
  • Earth Essence
  • Nathan Good Architects
  • Northwest Hub
  • Zena Forest
  • Green Bike Cab


2015 Green Service of the Year: Nathan Good Architects

Nathan Good Architects, a Salem-based architecture firm that designs sustainable homes, wineries, restaurants, offices, places of worship, and parks from Arkansas to Hawaii and Alaska to Baja, has had more than fifteen homes certified through the LEED, Earth Advantage, Passive House, or Net-Zero Energy programs in the past decade. Most of the company’s projects are designed to be at least twenty percent more energy efficient than required by Oregon building codes; provide exemplary indoor air quality; use rainwater harvesting, on-site renewable energy, and salvaged material; and employ aggressive construction waste management techniques. Although the firm’s primary “products” are architectural designs, it’s dedicated to providing consulting, education and advocacy for the community’s adaptation of green building and sustainable design. The firm’s leadership in this area has led notable clients such as Nike, SeaTac Airport, Willamette University and a host of other local, regional and national organizations to seek their consulting services as these businesses strive to implement sustainable design.

This category was created to honor those companies or organizations that offer a product or service with significant social, environmental and economic benefits over traditional alternatives. The product or service should be sustainably produced. The winning company/organization also exhibits leadership in promoting sustainability to others and is committed to the advancement of those ideals.

  • DIY Studio
  • Earth Essence Spa
  • Green Bike Cab
  • Nathan Good Architects
  • Northwest Hub
  • Nuvo Glas
  • Zena Forest
  • Zoe Day Spa

2015 Sustainable Wine Producer or Brewery of the Year: Willamette Valley Vineyards

Willamette Valley Vineyards, certified sustainable through LIVE and Salmon Safe since 1997, offers a 10-cent refund for returned bottles, recycles corks so that they can be made into high-value products, offers 50 gallons of biodiesel a month to each employee at no cost, installed solar panels, and waters half the vineyard with water runoff stored in a tank under the production facility. In 2010, the company launched a sustainable wine-casking technology that saves 1,300 bottles for each bio-cask filled, which on average is refilled 15 times a year. The following year, the vineyard introduced rehabilitated raptors onto the property to control the rodent population that damages the vines.

Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts in continually reducing their environmental footprint and improving their progress on a continuum of qualifying sustainable criteria. Sustainable wine producers and breweries are committed to working toward sustainability and have documented efforts to refine their practices to protect the environment in their community.

  • Johan Vineyards
  • Salem Ale Works
  • Vagabond Brewing
  • Willamette Valley Vineyards


2015 Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike and Karen Weddle

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mike and Karen Weddle. Mike, a longtime teacher and founder of the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School, continues to volunteer at the school teaching French, leading hands-on stream restoration efforts, and serving on the Charter Board. Karen, a retired industrial chemist, has assisted at the school with many behind the scenes efforts such as tutoring students, field trips, and countless administrative details that helped get the school off the ground.


Volunteers Needed

Tour Guide 
North Marion Recycling & Transfer Station's Recycling Depot, Thursday, April 9 at 1:15 pm

If you would like to lead a tour for a group of children on this day, please contact Bailey (

Miller Elementary School Family Nature Night (Salem)
Tuesday April 14

Two volunteers needed: 
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
This annual event offers up a fabulous smorgasboard of scientific and nature-related displays and activities for entire families in this NE Salem community. We need two MR volunteers to help with our reuse/recycle craft efforts. Contact Alan (503-365-3188).

Earth Day Fair 
Saturday April 18,
Oregon Gardens, Sliverton

Six volunteers needed for each shift:
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Come join in on all the fun at THE environmental event of the year at one of Marion County’s most beautiful attractions. We are celebrating Green Footprints this year with presentations, demonstrations, music, food, and fun. MR volunteers will participate in a variety of ways: staffing the MC booth, helping with reuse/recycle crafts, compost demonstrations and what-not (how's THAT for a specific chore!) Contact Alan (503-365-3188).

The Head Start Program

Master Recycler Needed to do Short Presentations to Pre-school/Kindergarten Classes The Head Start program in Salem-Keizer is looking for a Master Recycler to come give a 20 minute presentation to children about recycling. There are several classes, some in English and some in Spanish and they'd like to have the lessons sometime in March or April but the dates are flexible. We have some activities already prepared. If you can help, please contact Bailey ( 503-365-3191).

Tour Guide 
Salem-Keizer Recycling & Transfer Station Trail 
Thursday, April 23rd 

If you would like to lead a tour for a group of children on this day, please contact Bailey (503-365-3191). 

Earth Day Fair Poster Contest Results

Congratulations Angelina Dominguez, the grand prize winner of the 16th Annual Oregon Garden Earth Day Fair poster contest. Angelina Dominguez, a 5th grade student at Aumsville Elementary, was the winner for both her age category and for the grand prize—the first student ever chosen for this honor in this category. 

The Marion County Board of Commissioners presented each of the winners certificates and gift cards during their regular board session meeting on April 1st.
Other winners include: Cami Martinka, a 1st grade student who also attends Aumsville Elementary School, and Sarah Sliger, an 11th grade student at Sprague High School.  Both of these students received a certificate and a $50 gift card from Fred Meyer.
The winning artwork and honorable mention entries will be on display at the Oregon Garden in the Grand Hall during the Earth Day Fair. The Honorable Mention artists include:
  • Autumn Dimick from Bud to Blossom Kindergarten
  • Amy Martinez from St. Mary Catholic School
  • Melissa Gonzales from St. Mary Catholic School
  • Aryah Hurst from Sprague High School
Sponsors for Earth Day include Marion County Public Works with generous additional sponsorships from the Oregon Garden Resort and Renewal by Andersen.  

Recycling 101 
This ONLINE certificate class is noncredit, self paced and low cost and gives a comprehensive in depth look at waste and recycling in Oregon.  For more information, visit Recycling 101 online. 
Featured April Events

Upcycle Oregon Business and Policy Panel
Oregon State Capitol
Free and Open to the Public

Join businesses from Portland, Salem, and Eugene to discuss how they are turning waste and excess into products, services, and markets ranging from apparel to biofuels, and how this is helping grow the state’s economy.

Participants include:
  • Bruce Wadleigh, Owner/President, Barnwood Naturals, Salem, OR
  • Scott Hamlin, Co-Founder & CEO, Looptworks, Portland, OR
  • Gavin Carpenter, Policy and Business Development, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel, Salem, OR
  • Julie Daniel, Executive Director, BRING Recycling, Eugene, OR
  • Mark Rumford, Vice President of Engineering, Agilyx
Organized by Willamette University's Sustainability Institute, the panel is a forum for industry leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, and is part of Upcycle Oregon, a new event in the Oregon State Capitol celebrating and exploring creative solutions for a sustainable Oregon.

For more information, contact Joe Abraham at 503-370-6482  or

Upcycle Oregon Artist Reception
Oregon State Capitol
4:00 pm- 5:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Join Oregon reuse artists for an artist reception and creative reuse art exhibit.

Upcycle Oregon
Oregon State Capitol
Noon - 4pm
Free and Open to the Public

Featuring hands on, green activities for all ages, waste reduction education, live music and entertainment, Capitol tours to the Gold Pioneer, innovative products and solutions, upcycled fashion show showcasing nationally acclaimed reuse artist Nancy Judd, and upcycled artwork exhibit. 

Upcycle Oregon is created in partnership by the Capitol History Gateway Project, DIY Studio, Willamette University, Marion County, and supported by a grant of Transient Occupancy Tax from the City of Salem and from the Oregon Community Foundation.

Earth 411
Riverfront Park, Salem
10am - 4pm
Cost: $3 suggested donation or 3 cans of food for Marion-Polk Food Share

Information & Solutions for a Better Tomorrow. Join 60+ exhibitors to celebrate earth day with environmental education, fun, music and more at this family friendly event! Earth411


Earth Day Fair at the Oregon Garden
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Oregon Garden, Silverton
Free Admission, Free Parking and Shuttle (Robert Frost Elementary and Roth's)
$5 On-site Parking

Join Marion County at the Earth Day Fair at the Oregon Gardens. This is the one day of the year when the Oregon Garden is free to the public. There will be fun for all ages including presentations & activities on Backyard Composting, Make your own Seed Pots, Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center’s Birds of Prey, Face painting, and The Mushroomery. Entertainment will be provided by the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band, Early College High School’s Emaa Da drumming band and Bush Elementary marimba band.

Earth Day Cleanup
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Silver Falls

Enjoy majestic waterfalls and be a steward of our Earth! Silver Falls State Park invites you and your friends & family to help take care of this special corner of our planet. Volunteers will help keep our watershed clean and enable our native plants to thrive by collecting litter and removing invasive plants in the South Falls Day-Use Area and Canyon Trail. Refreshments and raffle prizes will be available for volunteers. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup.

Earth Day Cleanup
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Champoeg State Heritage Area

Join us as we remove invasive non-native English ivy from trees at this amazing park! Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal.
Cleanup Project
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Mill Creek, Salem

Help restore the banks of Mill Creek by the Straub Center! We will be removing trash and taking out ivy and blackberries to make room for native plants.

Save the Food Kick Off
What if I told you that you can reduce the amount of food wasted and save on groceries and garbage? Sound pretty good, right? We have the power to make real changes in our community by simply implementing food waste prevention strategies in our kitchens. Start Earth Day 2015 by taking the Save the Food Pledge and encourage others to do the same!
English Ivy Removal
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Waldo Park

Come help work toward restoring native habitat by removing invasive species of plants. Families are welcome. Pre-registration helps planning. Please contact Tibby Larson, City of Salem Parks Volunteer Coordinator at or 503.589.2197. 
No experience necessary, tools and gloves are provided. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants.

One Fair World
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
One Fair World, Salem

One Fair World an EarthWISE business, will honor the fair trade principle of environmental sustainability by featuring products made with recycled items.

The Birds and the Trees
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Capitol Subaru, 3235 Cherry Ave. NE

Dr. Craig, Biologist at Willamette University, will share the natural history about many of the common and fascinating trees in Salem and how those trees attract very interesting and uncommon birds.

Waste Matters on the Air: Save the Food
1:00 pm

Join waste reduction coordinators Griselda Puga and Jessica Ramey on Waste Matters on the Air on KMUZ (88.5 fm, 100.7 fm Salem/Keizer) to learn more about the Save the Food campaign to reduce food waste county wide.

Free Community Shred & Electronics Take-Back
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lancaster Mall

Garten Services, Inc. and Lancaster Mall are co-hosting a Free Community Shred & Electronics Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Location for the event will be in the SW corner of the Lancaster Mall parking lot off Center Street, between Best Buy and Macy’s. 

The public is invited to bring up to two bankers size boxes of personal papers for confidential shredding by Garten Services at no cost, and to drop off small household electronics for recycling as well: TVs, telephones, computers, printers, scanners, AV/sound equipment, cables and peripherals. (Note: No appliances, please.) North Salem High School will provide volunteers to assist with collection of the public’s shred and recyclable items.

Salem No Ivy Coalition
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wallace Marine Park

We will be working toward restoring native habitat by removing invasive species of plants. Families are welcome! Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup.

Green Community Calendar
Wowza this calendar is filling up with green goodness!  Email Jessica or give her a call at 503.365.3180 to add your event to the calendar. And be sure to add the Green Community Calendar to your google calendar as well!

Creative Reuse
For the month of April, this Creative Reuse exhibit will be on display at the Chemeketa Community College Library. Many thanks to Stephania Fregosi the Sustainability Coordinator at Chemeketa Community College for promoting reuse! 
Copyright © 2015 Marion County Environmental Services, All rights reserved.

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