Friday, June 12, 2009

Association of Oregon Recycler's Conference, and 113 miles home

After a quick visit to my folks in New Jersey, Gene and I flew out to Redmond, Oregon. I had been invited to speak at the Association of Oregon Recyclers (AOR) 2009 Conference.

We landed at the tiny airport and rolled our bags over to an open space next to the ticket counter (see photo with bike parts sprawled on the floor). An hour-and-a-half later, bike and trailer assembled, we rolled out of the airport on our tandem. We pedaled fast so I could make it to Jerry Powell's talk on Recycling Markets. I felt a little funny showing up sweaty, in my cycling outfit, but the Oregon recycling community is very relaxed and friendly.

My talk on Saturday, June 11 -- the keynote -- went well. Lots of people came up to me and said, "I really liked your speech." I take that as a good sign. The presentation forced me to organize my photos is a meaningful way. Also, even though I get nervous, I do like public speaking because it forces me to synthesize my thoughts. Finally, I used this opportunity to put together a professional website: IKnowTrash.com.

Saturday night was jolly. At the banquet, the Port of Portland received an award for their stellar waste minimization program. That was a proud moment for me because even though I have not worked on that project for a year, I know I was been a key player in its success. This photo is of me, Michael Budds, Mitch Frister, and Shanna Eller, all members of the CES (Community Environmental Services) crew. Stan Jones, who heads up the Port waste minimization and recycling program, should be in the photo but was busy playing in his band. Talented fellow.

After the conference, Gene and I biked 175 miles home to Portland, OR. Our last day was the longest of this trip: 113 miles. Cycling in Oregon in June was such a treat: cool temperatures, moderate grades, beautiful scenery, and long daylight hours. It was still light when we rolled into Portland at 9pm.

Portland has a comprehensive recycling program. Better yet, the community is starting to target waste reduction efforts, as evidenced by this billboard we passed on the way into town. I am scoping out the scene and trying to figure out options that would allow me to work with inspiring individuals on meaningful projects. Send good job thoughts my way.

3 comments:

David Ross said...

Great talk Meredith, I really enjoyed it. And it's fun having you back in town, I look forward to seeing your continued professional accomplishments.

Caroline said...

Congratulations, Meredith, on everything. The trip, the KEYNOTE!, the liquid collection station, and everything else:) So sorry I wasn't at the conference this year. Felicitaciones!

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