Recycle Right

The Environmental Center is excited to announce our latest efforts to raise awareness regarding resource use in Deschutes County, through the Rethink Waste Project.

The Rethink Waste Project engages Deschutes County residents in learning more about local recycling options as well as supporting other local families to Rethink Waste.  People visiting will be able to answer a series of interactive questions on local recycling.  As people answer each one question quiz they’ll get clear on some common misconceptions about what is and isn’t recyclable locally, and why.

“It’s important to do your best to recycle only the items that are listed as acceptable in your commingle recycling cart” said Susan Baker, Marketing Director for Deschutes Recycling  “Non-acceptable material will contaminate the clean material and this becomes a detriment to the success of the program.  If the item has a recycle symbol on it, it doesn’t mean it is recyclable in our local program.”  Common recycling misunderstanding is a focus of the new campaign.  “People often have the best intentions when it comes to recycling, but are often over-zealous by putting in items that we don’t recycle locally” said Denise Rowcroft, Sustainability Educator for The Environmental Center.  “We’ve tried to identify some common misunderstandings and explain them on the website, either through the one question quizzes or the Recycle FAQ page”.

Each question answered by the community not only provides information, but it’s also tallied up to support a community cause.  Every time a milestone of questions is answered, a new Habitat for Humanity homeowner who elects to participate will receive a Rethink Waste Toolkit and the education to put it in place in their new home.

Bend Area Habitat for Humanity has been focusing on green building technology since 2007 and incorporates this into all of our homes, and now we’re excited to bring that green living aspect to another level inside the home through partnering on the Rethink Waste Project” said Robin Cooper, Community Outreach Manager for Habitat. “These toolkits will provide our Habitat homeowners with an easy way to incorporate daily green living actions like composting, recycling and everyday reuse.”

The Rethink Waste Home Toolkit will include household recycling bins; reusable grocery bags, bottles and mugs; bulk non-toxic DIY household cleaners and recipes; CFL light bulbs; $100 gift certificate to the Habitat restore, and kitchen compost bin with accompanying outdoor compost bin and education on how to use it.

Rethink Waste is a program of The Environmental Center in partnership with Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste, Bend Garbage & Recycling, Deschutes Recycling, High County Disposal and Cascade Disposal.

About the Rethink Waste Project:

The Rethink Waste Project is an initiative to raise awareness about the impact of waste in our community and to engage individuals, families, and businesses in reducing, reusing and recycling waste.  Our educational-based programs provide the tools and resources you need to reduce waste – and rethink the way you think about waste.  To learn more visit


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