The Rethink Waste Project is a core Environmental Center program providing waste prevention and reduction education for Deschutes County residents. We offer ideas for preventing waste in the first place and options for responsible material management. Services we provide to the community include:

  • Free presentations for community groups, businesses, and organizations.
    • Contact Rethink Waste Project Manager Udara Abeysekera at The Environmental Center by udara AT or call 541-385-6908 x 26 for details!
  • Community outreach at various events.
  • Providing event organizers with assistance and materials to organize zero-waste events.
  • Organizing seasonal repair cafes where volunteers fix broken items.
  • Assisting community members with various projects and initiatives related to waste reduction or management.

Why Rethink Waste?

Everything we touch on the planet comes from somewhere (upstream). And even after those things are out of our sight, they still exist in some form or another (downstream). Think about the energy, water, and materials that go into making, transporting, and packaging every product we consume and enjoy.

Rethink Waste is about changing our relationship with our stuff. It’s about taking time to recognize the upstream and downstream effects of our consumption and avoiding waste in both directions.

We need to keep recycling and composting, and we need to do it right. On our website, you can find tools to go beyond thinking about how you manage materials, to think about ways to rethink your lifestyle and have a bigger impact upstream by preventing waste in the first place.

Learn about how to close the loop: keep things in a cycle of use rather than waste and disposal.