Archive for September, 2009

Recycling Depots Take Stuff That Doesn’t Belong Curbside

Miss Burrows reminds me about recycling depots. Most folks in the Portland metro area aren’t aware of “depots” – facilities where you can take recyclable refuse that has a market but isn’t suitable for curbside pickup (and, in many cases, will be rejected if placed at the curb). Metro has a “Find a Recycler” website that will help you locate the right taker for your material. You can also call Metro’s very helpful and useful Recycling Information Hotline at 503-234-3000.

recycleFar West Fibers has seven depots located throughout the metro area that accept a wide range of materials, from plastic lids (which don’t go in your curbside rollcarts or bins, only the body of the container) to plastic take-out clamshells (clean only, and apparently they’re a pain to deal with).

Eye-opening factoid: Portland metro residents throw away about 20 tons of material per day in curbside recycling that doesn’t belong there, and has to be removed and landfilled. Some of that material can be recycled at depots, though it never ends up in the right stream.

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The Story of Stuff

Yesterday I finally got around to watching “The Story of Stuff.” Even at its totally ADHD-digestible 20 minutes, I hadn’t made it a priority because some part of me kept thinking, “I already know that.” But Annie Leonard’s disarmingly simple presentation hits home the message that our linear, unsustainable relationship with Stuff is coming apart, for better and for worse, and that we have a fundamental opportunity right now to redefine that relationship, close loops, create sustainable cycles, and change the way we do business. If we don’t, the results will cause (and to some extent already are causing) cultural indigestion and crises of gargantuan proportions in the health of human society. Alarmist? It only sounds alarmist to anyone who’s addicted to the functioning of the linear model of Stuff and who, like an ostrich, pretends not to see what comes out the back end.

Click here to watch The Story of Stuff, and please leave a comment with your thoughts and impressions.

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“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”

So that this blog doesn’t fall off the end of the earth, I wanted to rekindle it with a long-time favorite quote from Marianne Williamson that came across my desk again today:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”    – Marianne Williamson

She’ll be speaking in San Francisco tonight, Tuesday, September 22nd, at EcoTuesday (http://www.ecotuesday.com), on the connection between sustainability and spirituality.

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