ReHomed Art Show & Sale May 18-20

rehomedartshow-graphic-SMAre you in need of some great art?  Or, do you have art that doesn’t fit your decor any more? CARTM is here for you!

Instead of soliciting new artworks made from repurposed materials for our Trash Art Show, this year we are finding new homes for quality already-made-art.  Sales of donated art support our recycling and reuse programs.

There are three ways you can support CARTM and this event:

1. Donate your ‘pre-owned’ framed, ready to hang original paintings and collage, signed artist prints, ceramics and sculpture. No photographs, please! Volunteers will be on hand at CARTM on May 6 and 13 from 10 to 4, and at the Pine Grove Community House on May 17 from 2 to 5 to accept your donations. Commissions will be considered for high-value pieces.

2. Buy a ticket to the Opening Party on May 18 from 5 to 8 pm, at the Pine Grove.  In addition to delicious bites from Julie Barker at Buttercup, wine, beer and other beverages, you have first ‘dibs’ on the artwork!  Tickets are $30, available now at the CARTM cashier and from your friendly CARTM board members.

3. Come to the show Saturday, May 19 from 10 to 5, or Sunday, May 20 from 10 to 3, and choose from a wide variety of artworks in all price ranges. Proceeds from art sales will be shared with the Pine Grove Community House in support of its community-oriented mission!

Many thanks to Starfish Vacation Rentals and Dave Leach & Hans Tonjes, brokers at Living Room Realty, without whose support we could not produce this event.

Questions?? email

CARTM is hiring!

Two full-time, year-round staff positions are available now. See Employment for details.IMG_0084

Recycling News


Remember four years ago when the Chinese “Green Fence” was put up? It was a virtual wall constructed to prevent mixed and contaminated recyclable materials from entering China. For many years, China has been the world’s biggest buyer of recyclable materials – no other country comes close. This “fence” radically changed what we were able to recycle in our community. Without a place to send mixed ‘rigid’ #6 and #7 plastic for recycling, CARTM had to stop collecting it.

Fast forward to February 2017, when China announced “The National Sword.” The government no longer wants to import used packaging. Although CARTM customers rigorously sort their recycling to prevent contamination, we are affected again. After October 1, CARTM can no longer accept the following packaging: #1 clamshells, #4 and #5 plastic, and plastic caps and lids. Other materials may be affected in the future.

Traditionally conscious consumers have trained themselves to look for containers with the #4 or #5 labels on packaging of yogurt, sour cream, crumbled cheeses, salsas and prepackaged grab and go food items in. These buying decisions were often made knowing that the packaging could be recycled. Not anymore. Until a new market opens – and we are searching for one –  these items must be landfilled.

Tillamook County’s mobile recycling trailer, which travels around the county collecting recycling, will also stop accepting these items.

“Because we can’t guarantee that these materials have a way to be recycled, we can’t in good conscience continue to collect them,” said CARTM’s executive director Karen Reddick-Yurka. “We will stockpile the clamshells, #4s, #5s and caps we that come in September, hoping for another market to open up. Unfortunately, after October 1 they will have go to the landfill and that is the opposite of our mission. It breaks my heart.”

This latest blow to the recycling world means that consumers have an opportunity to make their voices heard by contacting the companies whose products they enjoy and regularly purchase.

“It is time to put pressure on the manufacturers to take responsibility for the packaging they create,” said Karen. “If we don’t, they will continue to use materials that are not recyclable. Government has a role to play in product stewardship as well. This could be a moment in time where we could affect change in a big way.”

“In addition, consumers can go back to buying whole produce rather than bagged or packaged produce to minimize waste. Of course we regret the inconvenience this may cause to CARTM users, and we look forward to the discussions the “National Sword” will stimulate.”

CARTM will continue to accept plastics that do have a recyclable value. Those are: #2 frosty milk jugs, #1 bottles, #2 colored bottles and 10¢ deposit soda and water bottles.

2016 Trashion Show


Hearty Trashionistas are already at work with hot glue, duct tape and thread, preparing wearable trash for the gala event of the year.

The Trashion fashion runway show takes place September 24 at 7 pm in the newly renovated NCRD Theater in Nehalem, followed by the Upcycle dance party upstairs. The party features music by DJ Yerstruly, delicious bites from The Bleu Eyed Baker, beer, wine and other beverages.

Tickets are just $25 in advance, available at CARTM Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 4, and at Creative Fabrics in Wheeler (thanks, Doris!) Tickets at the door are $30, if available. Be sure to get tickets early – this show always sells out!

This fundraiser for CARTM is possible because of the interest and support of our community partners, Recology Western Oregon, Oregon Coast Cannabis and Summit Funding, LLC.

Mary Belisle wears her 2015 creation made from newspaper, Solo cups and a holiday wreath. Photo by Stewart Martin.


CARTM is happily accepting Christmas trees, free of decoration and unflocked, for FREE through Sunday,  January 11. This year, these trees will help restore the watershed for salmon! Here’s a link to a news broadcast that describes the tree program: Coho Sanctuary Christmas Tree Donation Program in Seaside, Oregon with Byren Thompson – YouTube

CARTM is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 to 4. After January 11, the normal fee ($12/cu yd) will apply for tree disposal.

Thanks to Tillamook County Solid Waste for encouraging CARTM customers to participate in this FREE conservation project!

Christmas for Coho photo

Hot Stuff on Cool Nights ~ Holiday Style

Holiday Hot Stuff-Cool Stuff E-flyer

And We’re Off! CARTM Receives First Car Donation

Deb, Carl, Karen,Keys

Carl and Deb Vandervoort hand over the keys to their Volvo which they are donating to CARTM’s car donation program. Executive Director Karen Reddick-Yurka couldn’t be happier.

It was a big day for CARTM when Deb and Carl Vandervoort, signed over the title and handed the keys to their beloved Volvo station wagon to Executive Director Karen Reddick-Yurka.  “We loved this vehicle for a very long time and it has been a big part of our lives,” said Deb Vandervoort, “but we just couldn’t keep up with the repairs so we decided it was time to donate it to CARTM.  It was so easy!”

Karen and loaded volvo

Karen says “donate your car to CARTM. It’s reuse in action!”

When Deb and Carl made the decision to donate their car, they simply called The Center for Car Donations who took care of all the logistics.  They sent a tow truck to Scovell’s parking lot, loaded the car, Deb & Carl signed the title over to CARM and handed over the keys.  The Vandervoorts get a tax write-off and CARTM gets cash for the car when it sells.  For more information about how to donate your car or truck, running or not, visit:  Center for Car Donations

You can also donate your motorcycle, boat, jetski or RV, but they must be in running condition.

Ready to clear out your garage, driveway or storage unit?  Donate your vehicle to CARTM—just like Deb & Carl Vandervoort, you’ll be glad you did!

2014 Trashion Show/Upcycle Party Showcases Creativity, Fashion & Community

Trashionista Fig Yanko models her snakeskin-esque evening ensemble created from recycled garden hoses.

Trashionista Fig Yanko models her snakeskin-esque evening ensemble created from recycled garden hoses.   Photo by Glenna Gray.

Garden hoses, toilet paper rolls, apple packing material, sidewall shingles and plastic bags—lots of plastic bags—were  just some of the materials used for the creative couture featured on the runway at the 3rd Annual Trashion Show/Upcycle Party held last Saturday night at NCRD.  CARTM’s unique fundraiser played to a sold out crowd and helped to raise over $6,000 for the organization’s general fund.  Even Mayor Shirley Kalkohven made an appearance as guest star as the Riverbend Players opened the show with a WestSide Story spinoff of tourists and locals rumbling over trash.

The much anticipated trashion runway show featured over 20 models ranging in age from toddler to senior and came from as far as Bellevue, Washington, Oceanside and Tillamook as well as the perennial local favorites who work all year imagining, gathering materials, sewing, hot glueing (and in some cases nailing!) creations for this event.

One such local Julie “Fig” Yanko wowed the crowd with her evening dress fashioned from recycled garden hoses.  The dress, worthy of any New York fashion runway was just one of many outfits that brought a particular elegance to the 2014 show.  CARTM’s new executive director, Karen Reddick-Yurka’s ensemble made from cloth napkins and placemats had many women lining up to purchase the ensemble if she would be willing to mass produce as a new clothing line.  Phil “shameless promoter” Blanton was a hit in his shingled and black felt paper version of the utili-kilt, and the youngest model Coltrane Simnmons stole the show as a reindeer with antlers made from plastic hangers and recycled Christmas wrapping.

A nod to literary and the Paris scene came from fashions created from shredded pages of hard-back novels, catalog pages and bubble wrap. The roaring 20s themed outfit made by Trashion Show organizer Mary Beth Moran made from vertical window blinds shouted out for a closer look to see the genius behind taking an unlikely material and turning it into apparel.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turn out and the funds raised for CARTM,” said executive director Karen Reddick-Yurka.  “So many volunteers helped to bring this event together and we thank every one of them for pulling off another amazing evening.”

The after party, aptly coined The Upcycle Party, was an opportunity for attendees to be up close and personal with the models.  The Hollywood-style photo booth manned by Gene Dieken gave everyone the red carpet moment in the limelight and DJ Loud Glass (aka Jonathan Feder) put together special mixes of dance tunes for every taste.

The decor for the party was all sourced from CARTM’s resale store, The Redindery.   “We kept the price tags on all the couches, tables, lamps and rugs used to decorate the event, and guess what? almost everything sold during the evening!”  said Yurka.  “We were able to deliver the items to one of our happy attendees the next morning, and proving once again—like our new t-shirts say—’what goes around comes around and around and around….'”

Reddick-Yurka further shared, “an event like the Trashion Show/Upcycle Party is in perfect alignment with CARTM’s zero waste mission, the featured apparel is all made with reused and recycled materials, our party produces zero trash (almost!), the decor is all donated and recycled and even our pop-up raffle were recycled items.  We’re living the dream and helping the environment—what could be better?

TO SEE LOTS MORE PHOTOS GO TO: 2014 Trashion Show photos by Christina Wilson  or 2014 Upcycle Party photos by Gene Dieken

CARTM’s New Director…


Manzanita—There is a new diva at the dump.   On July 1, 2014, Manzanita resident Karen Reddick-Yurka began her new position as CARTM’s fourth Executive Director.   After an exhaustive national search which did not deliver a candidate, CARTM’s board of directors unanimously voted to offer the position to Karen and were delighted when she accepted.

“The Board is committed to taking a strong leadership role and believes CARTM is ready for the new challenges it will face as we move forward,” said Linda Kozlowski CARTM’s new board chair.  “We are all excited and very optimistic about Karen’s appointment and our next phase, and we couldn’t agree more with Manzanita mayor Garry Bullard when he says that sometimes the best choice for future leadership is right here at home.”

A life-long environmentalist, Karen served on the CARTM board for the last seven years and was the Chair of the board for the last four years.  Her tenure in this capacity has given Karen a deep understanding of the complexity of CARTM’s business model.   This along with her keen interest in reuse and zero waste, which she lives and breathes daily, has landed her squarely in the right place at the right time.

“It never occurred to me to consider taking the ED position, but when it was offered by the board it seemed like the right thing to do.  CARTM is at a point of stability and now is the time to look long-term for new opportunities to move the mission forward.”

“I am calling myself ‘evangelist in chief’ because of my enthusiasm for waste reduction. I already have a strong understanding of the finances so I can assist with the financial stability of the organization as well,” said Karen.  “Because of my upbringing, I’m wired to see the value in every little thing.   I feel the importance of reuse and recycling in my bones.  I look forward to finding ways to divert more and more from the landfille and seek new uses for discards.”

Upon receiving notice of Jan Hamilton’s retirement and in anticipation of hiring the next executive director, CARTM restructured its management team last fall by creating an operations team leader position.  Staff member Rolly Boggs was promoted to the new position.   The board’s strategy was to relieve the incoming executive director from daily operations tasks in order to spend more time in the community promoting waste reduction, forging new partnerships and maintaining strong relationships with the three cities and Tillamook county leadership.

Karen explained that her dream for CARTM is to continue to find new ways to innovate trash reduction.  She believes the time is right to incubate industries that reuse material locally.  One example of such an industry that CARTM currently provides material for is a Lincoln County company that turns asphalt roofing shingles into road patching material—a model of innovative environmental industry development. Tillamook County is ready to welcome other similar businesses and technologies.

CARTM is busy with entrepreneurial endeavors of its own.  “We’re currently underway with two really exciting new projects at CARTM, both begun under Jan Hamilton’s leadership. I’m happy to report that both going very well,” said Karen.  “Our new contractor services program is designed to give local builders better access to CARTM, making it easy and affordable to dispose of construction and demolition (C&D) debris, and to divert valuable materials from that debris for reuse and recycling.”

The C&D diversion program inspired the expansion of CARTM’s reuse facility with the creation of The Rebuilding Yard.  “The Yard” supplies used building materials of all kinds, garden and lawn equipment, bicycles and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. These items are well displayed and weather protected for year-round shopping, perfects for do-it-yourself home repair and remodeling.  The Yard has been getting great reviews and sales have been brisk in this new endeavor.

“We realized in the aftermath of the China’s “green fence” last year, when the markets for recycled materials disappeared almost overnight—and are still recovering—that staying proactive and nimble to opportunity is the name of the game,” said Karen.  “CARTM has a strong, dynamic board who is committed to the challenge of Leading Our Community To Zero Waste—they mean it, and I am ready to evangelize for it!”


CALL FOR ART: 16th Annual Trash Art Show

On your mark, get set GO start making Trash Ar

The show that started a local movement 16 years ago returns to CARTM and we want you and your art in this show!  This will be a magical year for our own local brand of art-proving that ideas are constantly shifting.  The 2014 Trash Art Show will be held in the Trash Art Gallery in our own Refindery.  Hmmmmm….you’re saying to yourself, how will they fit all that art into that tiny space?   Click here for details…

2nd Annual Trashion Show/Upcycle Party Raises over $6,000 for CARTM

Doris Bash at Trashion Show Rehearsal.

The lights dimmed, the curtains rose, the L.O.V.E. lights shown and 22 models walked the runway displaying their wearable creations all made with materials destined for the landfill.

CARTM’s second annual Trashion Show/Upcycle Party was the place to be on October 12, 2013 at NCRD is Nehalem.  The capacity crowd was treated to great music, fantastic creativity, humor and talent on the runway.
These links will take you to photos of the pre-show dressing rooms, the Trashion runway show and the Upcycle after party.
****All of these great photos are the work of LeeAnn Neal.
The event raised over $6,000 for CARTM.
And, oh yes, the raffle winners!  Two locals were the big winners:  Barbara Rippey won the Staycation and Jane Wannell won the VINO Private Party for 8.  Congratulations to all and thanks to everyone who took a chance to win.
When CARTM wins, we all win!   Thanks for doing your part to help lead our community to Zero Waste.

Free Trashion Workshops To Get You Ready For The Show

Trashionista Extraordinaire Kathleen Ryan will help you make a fabulous outfit for the show or to wear to the party!
If you have ever had dreams of making an outfit for CARTM’s annual Trashion Show but don’t know where to start—start here!
FREE WORKSHOP This Saturday with Trashionista Glamourista—Kathleen Ryan Saturday, September 21, 10 am – 4 pm
HOFFMAN HOUSE STUDIOS (next door to the Manzanita LIbrary)
Bring inspiring materials to work with and Kathleen will have some on hand, along with sewing machine, sewing know-how and great ideas to help create the trashion outfit of your dreams.
Can’t make it Saturday?  Two more dates are scheduled to get some help, ideas and finish your creation….
Doris Bash of Creative Fabrics and Trashionista Extraordinaire, will have her backroom open on two dates, September 28 and October 5, for those needing sewing machines, problem solving and inspiration.
Mary is looking for a few more models this year for the show on October 12, 2013.   And remember!  this is an equal opportunity show…come on Men! Strut your stuff!
For more information, contact Mary Moran,

2nd Annual Trashion Show/Upcycle Party

     We can’t wait to see what our effervescent narrator Aina Tonjes will be wearing this year!

Save The Date!

2nd Annual Trashion Show/Upcycle Party
October 12, 2013
NCRD Auditorium/Gymnasium
36155 9th Street in Nehalem
7:00 – 10:00 pm
Tickets On Sale NOW! At the Following Locations:
CARTM Refindery Cashier
T-Spot in Manzanita
Wisteria Chic in Manzanita
Manzanita News — guess where? — in Manzanita
The Beehive in Nehalem
Creative Fabrics in Wheeler
Only 180 tickets will be sold!!
Those trashionistas are getting out their sewing machines and making amazing new creations for this year’s beloved Trashion Show/Upcycle Party.   Come and see the live runway show.  Every seat in the auditorium is a good one, but plan to come early as seats are first come, first served.   These one-of-a-kind outfits may just inspire you to be in the show in 2014!
After the Trashion Show head upstairs to the Upcycle Party.  DJ Jeff James will be spinning a great dance mix and there will be plenty of yummies and drinkies to enjoy!
Winners of this year’s Re-think Raffle will be drawn at this event—always an exciting moment!
Ticket price includes admission to the Trashion Show and the Upcycle Party.

We’ve Just Launched Our 3rd Annual “Re-Think” Eco-Raffle

First prize and second prize just isn’t the right way to describe this year’s top two prizes for CARTM’s annual Re-think Raffle as they both hold top billing appeal.  Tickets are on sale now at CARTM for this year’s effort to support north county’s award-winning recycling facility.  Tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and offer the opportunity to win one of three prizes.
Holder of the first ticket drawn will have their choice of the top two prizes:  a Manzanita staycation ($600 value) or a private party for eight at VINO/Manzanita ($500 value).  The staycation offers two nights at the pet friendly Studio/Lighthouse on the oceanfront in Manzanita.  Along with two nights of lodging, the Staycation includes dinners for two at Terra Cotta and the Big Wave, breakfast or lunch at Bread and Ocean and a massage at Longevity.  The private party for eight at VINO is offered during the month of January 2014 and includes dinner, wine, live music, gratuity and the private ambiance of this local wine bar for the eight lucky winners.
The third prize, valued at $250 is a “Recycling PhD.”   This unique prize includes an in-home consultation by CARTM staff to design a recycling set-up to fit the space and lifestyle of the winner.  New recycling bins, a home composter and a $50 gift certificate to The Refindery round out the prize.
The winning tickets will be drawn at this year’s 2nd annual CARTM Trashion Show/Upcycle Party on Saturday, October 12 at NCRD.   To purchase raffle tickets visit CARTM during open hours:  Thursday – Monday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., 34995 Necarney City Road in Manzanita.  Or for more information call 503-368-7764 or

The Refindery

The Refindery at CARTM has a new entry!

CARTM’s Refindery re-inspires community to re-think and re-use

“When people ask me what The Refindery is like,” said Mark Beach, past chairman of the CARTM Board, “I’ll just have to tell them to go see it for themselves—words can not describe this colorful endeavor.”

The curious community shows up every wet, rainy, windy day to be the first through the new entrance of The Refindery. They are finding the bargains and treasures they come to CARTM for and stay much longer than they plan.

Ginger Salkowski of Re-evolution Gardens was one of the many people from the community at the grand opening in 2013. She arrived with dozens of her hearty one gallon tomato plant starts and donated them CARTM to sell at the opening.

“I brought my entire farming crew to the opening as a field trip,” said Salkowski. “The CARTM team did an amazing job—such a cool transformation!”

The positive comments about the displays, the lighting fixtures, the creativity and the details—the hundreds of details—could not be taken in with one sweep of the eye.

“We wanted to create a place where people could come and get inspired about creative re-use,” said Jan Hamilton, CARTM’s former executive director. “The comments I am overhearing from customers in the new store are exactly that—again and again. I think we have a hit on our hands.”

Hamilton could not say enough about the team effort of her staff and dozens of community volunteers who came together to build the vision that the design team of Barrentine Design put on paper.

“Building things from scrap and used materials is a whole different process than purchasing new hardware and dimensional lumber,” said Hamilton. “The people from our community who built The Refindery are flexible, creative, team players who saw the vision and made it real.”

“Our new entry sign is yet another example of creative re-use.” said Hamilton.

Along with the one-of-a-kind donor wall in the lobby of the new store, one of the features of The Refindery is a dedicated 240 square foot year-round Trash Art Gallery. About eleven local artists are represented regularly. 50% of the proceeds of work sold in the Trash Art Gallery are donated to CARTM.

CARTM and The Refindery are open Thursday – Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (summer hours) and Thursday to Sunday (winter hours). CARTM and The Refindery are located at 34995 Necarney City Road in Manzanita. CARTM offers a unique trio of services: recycling (over 40 items for free), transfer station (trash) and reuse store—The Refindery. CARTM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by donations from the community.


More details about The Refindery here.

CARTM accepting applications for employment!

April 27, 2013

CARTM is seeking a passionate, energetic, person with a positive attitude to join our team! Must have good organizational and communication skills and be prepared to work hard and get dirty. If this describes you, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get the job done, pick up an application at the cash register at CARTM. Download the detailed job description here. For more information contact Jan at 368-7764 or email

Job Title:  Recycling Attendant
Pay Range: starts at $10.79 per hour
Hire date:   May 8th  

Knowledge required: Basic knowledge of recycling and environmental issues; basic knowledge of volumes and general mathematics required, basic computer competence helpful; basic knowledge of tools, hardware, and construction materials helpful.

Skills: Good communication skills; excellence in customer service and good organizational skills required. Maintenance related skills a real plus. (May consider a “maintenance only” part time job for the right person)

Abilities: Must be able to lift 40lbs.; willing and able to learn and be certified to operate forklift; able to operate hand tools (shovels, rakes, etc.); have good command of English language; be willing and able to learn to operate baling machine and backhoe; willing and able to learn to operate cash register and perform basic accounting tasks; able to stay on task through distractions.

Experience:  Prefer direct customer service experience in any service related industry. Familiarity with re-use/ resale (including household goods, hardware, appliances, electronics, power tools, small engines and construction materials) is a real plus.

Responsibilities include: thrift store sales clerk, including operating a cash register; providing customer service and education; diverting recyclables from the waste stream; organizing and maintaining re-use sales areas; monitoring recycling reception; monitoring loads and estimating trash charges; evaluating and pricing incoming donations; baling recyclables and loading 1,000 lb. bales into trailers; processing and sorting recyclables; and keeping warehouse work area safe and clear of hazards.

Other: Prefer enthusiastic, high-energy person who is passionate about recycling. CARTM will happily train an inexperienced but passionate person with right “can do” attitude (including operation of large machinery, etc.). Safety consciousness is a must. Spanish language is a plus.

Estuary Cleanup March 2nd

CARTM Joins Nehalem Estuary Clean-up

Lower Nehalem Community Trust
Lower Nehalem Watershed Council

Saturday, March 2, 2013
Meet at Tsunami Grill (Upstairs), 7:30 a.m.
Evening chili feed follows for all participants at 6:00 p.m.

The 8th Biennial Nehalem Estuary Clean-up is Saturday March 2nd.  Get outside and volunteer to help keep the estuary beautiful, clean and healthy.  This family-friendly event takes place rain or shine and attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather and wear waterproof boots and work gloves.  Gather for orientation at 7:30 a.m. upstairs in Tsunami Grill.  Bring drinking water and a sack lunch and get ready to enjoy comraderie, getting the know the estuary from an “on-the-ground” perspective and meet new friends.  The day ends with the famous chili feed for all participants at 6:00 p.m.   Along with the chili feed, Estuary Clean-Up volunteers receive a t-shirt—choose the 2013 design or select from collectible vintage t-shirts of past clean-ups.  For more information call 503-368-3203 or

Download and share the flyer with friends!

Volunteer Appreciation Event Illuminates Inspiring Tale of Art from Trash & the Human Spirit

On November 27, 2012, over 40 of CARTM’s one hundred-plus 2012 volunteers, attended the complimentary screening of “Waste Land“—the award-winning film and fascinating story of recycling workers in Rio de Janeiro who intersect with artist Vik Muniz who travels from his home base of Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump to make art.

The CARTM Board of Directors hosted and chose the film to underscore the potential of recycling and the spirit of human beings everywhere to re-use, re-purpose and create from what was considered discards.

Our hats off to our volunteers who helped in operations, three new events and special projects for CARTM in 2012.

Zero Heroes

Zero Heroes pride themselves on the tiny amount of trash they generate.

CARTM Executive Deirctor, Jan Hamilton, and "Zero Hero" Abby Spotskey

Jan Hamilton, CARTM Executive Director, hands Abby Spotskey, Nehalem Zero Hero, a biodegradable bag which will hold $3 worth of trash. Photo by Lorraine Ortiz.

Manzanita—Many in the Nehalem Bay Community pride themselves on the tiny amount of household trash they generate each week—and most have been recycling for 25 years or more.

These people are called “Zero Heroes” by the staff at CARTM because they practice principles that help further their mission of leading the community to zero waste.

“Our Zero Heroes arrive at CARTM with tiny bags of trash,” said CARTM’s director Jan Hamilton.  “We love knowing those households are generating less and less trash.  We even created a special measuring device just for them that would assess trash fees down to twenty-five cents.”

CARTM’s effort has been to reward people for doing the right thing—that is by making recycling free and charging for trash. CARTM relies on revenue from trash to help offset the costs associated with recycling. This model is literally putting CARTM out of business.   By encouraging the community to do the right thing for the environment, people are bringing in less and less trash and more and more recycling resulting in overhead and expenses remaining steady to keep the service alive, as the income continues to decrease.

Historically, CARTM has prided itself on operating without imposing a minimum fee for trash, (the other two transfer stations in Tillamook County charge a $17 minimum) but driven by the steep downward trend in trash revenues, beginning June 1, CARTM instituted the first ever $3 minimum fee for dumping trash.

“We are so proud of our zero heros, and their tiny bags of trash,” said Hamilton.  “It is the norm for transfer stations to charge a minimum but the idea of a minimum at CARTM is taking some getting used to by our community,” said Hamilton.

Sharon Daye of Nehalem has been recycling for over 25 years and at age 76 appreciated being able to bring her small amounts of trash to CARTM each week, both for the economy and so she wouldn’t have to lift heavy loads.

“I recycle everything I possibly can,” said Daye.  “I’ve been coming to CARTM for 11 years and have seen it improve 100% over the years.  I’ve just returned from a trip back east and they have nothing like CARTM—we are way ahead of them.”

Daye says that even with the new minimum, she has no intention of going to curbside garbage because of the high monthly charge.

“I’m going to have to change the way I do things.  I’ll probably get a garbage can to put my smaller bags in to take to CARTM.  $3 per bag isn’t that much to pay.”

Other Zero Heroes, like Jim and Bonnie Johnson and Steve and Sherri Davis of Nehalem, also recycle or compost everything they can and also take small amounts of trash to CARTM.

The Davis’s, who relocated from Battleground, Washington, said that they have never found another organization to compare to CARTM’s services or having the convenience of the resale store so close by to purchase household items and fittings for projects.

The Johnsons said that although they would typically bring in twenty-five cent bags of trash they would always donate more than that on their periodic trips to CARTM and underscored that CARTM “is a great service.”

Other, more shy Zero Heroes who did not want their names used in the press, said that the $3 minimum is making them up the ante on their already strong recycling habits.

CARTM is offering a free biodegradable bag in exchange for one that when filled is worth $3 of trash. These bags, unlike regular plastic bags that take  hundreds or up to a 1000 years to decompose, will decompose in a landfill in 12 -24 months.  The bags are a trial study to see if they are sturdy enough to not rip or tear in transport.

CARTM’s staff is reporting that some people are already changing their habits and many are using the new $3 bags.

“We trust our community to come up with innovative household systems and strategies in response to recycling technology and industry changes,” said Hamilton. “We’re watching for innovative systems people have created, and passing along that information to our other customers. We are always looking to our community to help us learn, grow and change for the better.”

Larry Kizer of Neahkahnie doesn’t like to see a minimum as he feels it detracts from CARTM’s zero waste mission, but he understands the reason for it and the need for it.

“I like the idea of the $3 bag of trash—it’s a great idea,” said Kizer.  “I am a CARTM regular and recycle at least three times a month.”

Other shy Zero Heroes talked about the problem of having food waste attracting pests in residential areas and hope that CARTM begins a composting program to deal with this issue.

“CARTM is continuing to listen to our customers and to work with these issues,” said Hamilton.  “Having to create a $3 minimum was in direct response to our community being such great recyclers.  It seems counter intuitive to institute a minimum—but the fact is trash is one of our revenue streams and in order for CARTM to continue to grow and thrive as the great service our community counts on we have to watch that bottom line.”

“Our Zero Heroes are our inspiration—and Zero Waste is the ultimate bottom line.”

Over 809 Tons Recycled in 2011

Newspaper trailer at CARTM.

Newspaper trailer at CARTM.

CARTM collected over 809 tons of recyclable materials in 2011 — that’s a 15% increase over 2010!

CARTM shipped 290.3 tons of solid waste to the landfill in 2011—3% less than in 2010. North County citizens and visitors diverted 809.6 tons of material from the landfill in 2011 for recycling at CARTM—a 15% increase over 2010 (excluding wood and construction debris which CARTM subcontracted in 2010). Download the 2011 Annual Report for a complete breakdown of what we took in and what we spent last year.