Bioplastics: An Idea Not Even a Compost Heap Can Love

Throughout the winter and spring, BRING has been helping the Love Food Not Waste program roll out its residential composting pilot program. To help people understand what not to put in their compost bins, we are revisiting this story on bioplastics we published last year in the UsedNews, our quarterly print and online newsletter. 


By Shirley Perez West

As VP for Environmental Services at Rexius, part of Jack Hoeck’s job includes turning food waste into a contaminant-free, marketable soil product. For a city that throws away up to 30,000 tons of food each year, it’s also a valuable public service. And converting mountains of leftover table scraps into rich garden compost, it turns out, is no picnic. Continue reading “Bioplastics: An Idea Not Even a Compost Heap Can Love”

Introducing BRING’s Inaugural Product Design Challenge

Call for Entries

Blue Barrel Bench 2.JPGThis March and April, we challenge community members to create innovative and sustainable product designs made from materials available at BRING. The objective: transform salvaged materials into new and relevant products such as furniture, décor, accessories, tools, and more. All finished products will be judged and prizes will be awarded Saturday, April 22 at 6 p.m. during St. Vincent de Paul’s fourth annual Metamorphose fashion and art show!

Challenge participants will be separated into two sections: Community and Youth Student (Lane County, K-12). This year we will accept 25 entries per section. Designers must participate in a materials selection day, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., on March 4 at the Planet Improvement Center to choose from a curated selection of materials for their project that BRING will provide for free.

Participants will also receive $20 worth of BRING Bucks and $5 in MECCA Bucks to spend on other materials. New materials and used materials from other sources may also be used. Participants will have seven weeks to complete their product designs.

cable-table-1The majority of the environmental impact of our consumption comes from making and using products. Materials reuse helps conserve natural resources and energy by making better use of the stuff we’ve already extracted, manufactured, and transported.

When we reduce our consumption and reuse what we already have, we protect nature, preserve native ecosystems, and create jobs while reducing air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. For more information and to fill out a contest entry form, visit

Extended Producer Responsibility

Shifting the Burden of Waste Reduction and Recycling Upstream

waste-reduction-cover-photo-v2By Shirley Perez West

The benefits of recycling are well known: divert useful materials from landfills and incinerators and we save raw resources, energy, and water; reduce toxins in the environment, create jobs, and save money. It’s good for the planet and good for us.

Dealing with a product at the end of its lifecycle isn’t enough, however, nor is counting on consumer behavior. What’s more, the burden of managing and paying for recycling programs falls on municipal governments. Continue reading “Extended Producer Responsibility”

Support for Safe Drug Take-back

The Oregon State House of Representatives is currently considering a measure to create a safe and effective solution to prescription drug disposal. The House Committee on Health Care is currently accepting comments for H.B. 2386, which BRING supports. Please read BRING’s letter to the committee below and then add your name to the list of people supporting H.B. 2386 so we can demonstrate to the legislature how important this issue is to all Oregonians.

Continue reading “Support for Safe Drug Take-back”