Rethink Waste Project Goes Full Time!

The Rethink Waste Guide was launched in 2011 as a one stop shop print resource, as a place for Deschutes County residents to go to find information on ways to prevent and reduce waste, as well as manage materials through the online Find a Recycler/Reuser database. Shortly after its launch, the guide became the Rethink Waste Project (RWP) and expanded to include education and community outreach. At that time, I (Denise Rowcroft) took over managing the RWP, in addition to our Kansas Avenue Learning Garden. Since then our community has grown, and along with it our programs here at The Environmental Center have grown as well. So it is with great excitement that I announce that we beginning this January, Ani Kasch, our Rethink Food Waste Campaign Coordinator (and LED program scheduler extraordinaire), will be taking over the Rethink Waste Project full time. This is exciting, because for the first time since its launch the RWP will have a staff dedicated just to that one project. This will also allow me to focus on our growing Garden for Every School initiative, of which our on-site learning garden is just one of 5 strategies.

For the next 6 months I will be working alongside Ani as she takes on this project and learns all its ins and outs, and contributing to special projects like focusing on what we can do as a community to reduce tourism related waste and educate our visitors on how we treat our community. (And if you play a role in our tourism industry, or have a perspective to lend, please get in touch with Denise to find out how to get involved.) We will also be co-presenting on waste prevention through the Deschutes Public Library Know Less (Waste) events this February at various branches, come say hi! We’ll be in East Bend, Sunriver, and Sisters.

I am excited to see the larger impact that a program can have when there is a single focus of its manager, both for Ani and myself in our new respective programs, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Ani and to continue to be a resource for her and you moving forward. On the horizon, you can look forward to seeing an updated Rethink Waste print Guide to include developments over the past 8 years and to be released later in the year, integrating the Rethink Food Waste campaign into the RWP existing program offerings, creating shorter single topic presentations to be made available to the community, and continuing to assist Deschutes County think through the future of our landfill and our waste stream. And of course, I plan to help out at our next Repair Cafe at The Gear Fix on April 2nd.

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