VERMI-what???

Origins of composting in Havana

A little hardship grew to big changes in Cuba in 1991.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Cuba lost 80% of their imports and were forced to become self-reliant in producing food. …

A (not so short) History of Compost

Prehistoric farmers discovered that manure from their domesticated animals – mixed with straw and other brush and crop residues – would gradually change into a fertile soil-like material that was good for crops.  The practice of…

Step-by-Step to Recycling Plastics

The NPR recently published a helpful infographic on the in’s and out’s of plastic recycling. If you were not already aware, plastic recycling can be a little different from location to location around the state, and…

Community Scaled Composting

Greetings All! This column is in support of ORS’s new endeavor into “Community Scaled” composting. To kick it off, three composting workshops were held around the island in September and October to introduce community attendees to…

Keeping Waste Local: Need a Garbage Can?

Lotioncrafter cans

ORS was recently approached by Lotioncrafter, one of our awesome local companies, about what to do with the excess 55 gallon steel drums they have as a by-product of their business. They are beautiful barrels, brand-new,…

Great Islands Clean Up Spring 2019

Great Islands Clean Up

The Great Islands Clean-Up Saturday, April 20 | Great Island Clean-up at the Village Green in Eastsound from 10a-2p Bags, grabbers, safety vests and latex gloves will be available at the San Juan County Public Works…

Awesome “Talking Trash” Community Forum!

On November 3rd more than 30 committed folks joined ORS/The Exchange in a community forum to visualize the future of the solid waste management here on Orcas, and for all of San Juan County. Conversations covered the…

WATCH: How The Orcas Exchange Became a Zero Waste Model

Watch the story of how a rag-tag island swap meet turned into a model non-profit, zero-waste reuse and recycling facility.

My Exchange Story: Mount Baker Farm

Mount Baker Farm on Orcas Island

When Ruth, Cheryl and Barb bought the Mount Baker Farm property on Orcas Island, they were determined to offer a unique experience for islanders and tourists, alike. They did this by creating 58 campsites that sit…

Creativity Shines at Trashion Fashion Show

This year’s “Trashion Fashion” show was so much fun! The creativity from all you local artists and designers was inspiring. Thanks to all who participated (humans and animals alike), and to Asifa Pasin for running the…