In mid-July, Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) representatives travelled to Manzanita, on the Oregon coast, to visit CARTM (Community Action Recycling Team of Manzanita), a pioneering community recycling organization in Tillamook County.
Like ORS, CARTM operates a solid waste transfer station for the county and has developed innovative programs for recycling, reuse, and reduction of waste going into landfills. Especially of interest, they have run a successful community reuse store there for several years.
This was the third time that ORS and CARTM have gotten together. A year ago, several CARTM representatives visited Orcas and Lopez for tours and meetings.
CARTM’s reuse store and reusable materials processing facility—known as “The Refindery”—has been operating since the late 1990s. The CARTM building was funded by Tillamook County as well as by grants and donations.
ORS Executive Director Pete Moe and Board Members Tim Blanchard, Larry Coddington, Mike Greenberg and Mark Mayer took a tour and consulted with the Board and staff of CARTM about best practices for the operation of the soon-to-be-rebuilt Exchange.
“We appreciated the opportunity to spend time with CARTM, learning more about everything from their approaches to processing to community education and involvement,” said Tim Blanchard, board president of ORS.
“We were particularly interested in CARTM’s financials, policies and space management—all of which we expect to be challenging when the Exchange reopens in 2017,” said Moe.
The Orcas group was also given a tour of Tillamook County’s huge anaerobic digestion facility—a system that turns manure from the huge local dairy industry (think Tillamook Cheese) into electricity. ORS has been researching the possibility of bringing anaerobic digestion to Orcas Island. ORS also saw the County’s privately owned composting facility.
During the visit, Moe was also able to participate in a Tillamook County-sponsored Household Hazardous Waste Collection event. “The coolest thing is that Tillamook County is a leader in paint recycling, and I got to help out with that,” said Moe. In Oregon, throw-away latex paint is sorted by color, filtered, remixed and resold as a useable and affordable recycled product.
According to the ORS team, Washington State has some real catching up to do. “It was eye opening,” said board member Mark Mayer. “From recycling asphalt shingles to their progressive bottle deposit laws—Tillamook County and the State of Oregon are way ahead of us in several departments.”