Tour and Session Descriptions



  • Tours are open to AOR members ONLY.
  • Tours will pick-up and drop-off from the Oregon Convention Center unless otherwise specified.
  • Tour pricing includes transportation and lunch.
  • Tours are limited to 20 guests per tour. 
  • If a tour is sold out, and you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact Amy Roth.

Tour #1: Reuse in Action

Anticipated departure/return times: 9am/4pm

This tour starts at the Moda Center and explores their sustainability efforts, including their reusable cup partnership with Bold Reuse. The second stop takes us to Bold Reuse to see their wash facility in action. Our third stops takes us to Community Warehouse where we will learn how community donations not only support local families in need, but also puts reuse at the forefront of their business model. We'll stop at the Bye & Bye Cafe for lunch before heading to the PDX Airport to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the latest sustainability improvements.

Tour #2: The Hierarchy Tour

Anticipated departure/return times: 8:30am/4pm

This tour departs from the Oregon Convention Center and takes us out to North Plains to the Recology Organics facility. This tour will showcase the importance of composting and keeping our successful system "food only." Stop two takes us to Far West Recycling's Hillsboro MRF for a look at recycling sortation in action. Next, we'll head to New Seasons Market for a behind-the-scenes look at the local chain's sustainability efforts, including their packaging reuse and customer recycling programs. We'll grab lunch onsite from New Seasons' plethora of options, and then head back into Portland to the ReBuilding Center and learn more about their educational program offerings and how building materials reuse supports our region's climate and equity goals.

Tour #3: EPR Programs in Practice

Anticipated departure/return times: 7:00am/3:30pm

This tour departs from the Oregon Convention Center and takes us out to Universal Recycling Technologies' Clackamas recycling facility. We'll learn how electronics collected through the Oregon E-Cycles program are recycled, and how the upcoming changes to the EPR law will impact collections. Next, we will head to the PDX Airport to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the latest sustainability improvements. We will then go to Pioneer Wiping Cloth to learn more about textiles waste collections and recycling before heading to Metro Paint for lunch, where we'll take a look at paint recycling activities and hear more about PaintCare, Oregon's EPR program for old paint.

Tour #4: Equity in Waste, Equity in Practice

Anticipated departure/return times: 8:30am/4pm

This tour departs from the Oregon Convention Center and takes us over to Free Geek in SE Portland. We'll learn about their recycling and reuse efforts and how they are building digital equity in the community. We will then visit the People's Depot, a redemption center operated by canners, for canners — people who collect cans and bottles for income. The People’s Depot generates formal, benefited jobs for workers with a background in informal can and bottle collection, serves hundreds of canners a week in the Central Eastside, and prevents the emission of hundreds of tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year. The tour will then cross the river to visit Ground Score, an association of informal recyclers, waste pickers, canners, dumpster divers, and other environmental workers who create and fill low-barrier waste management jobs in Portland. We'll grab lunch at the Nob Hill Food Carts before heading over to Metro Central Transfer Station. The tour will make it's final stop at the PDX Airport to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the latest sustainability improvements.


OPENING PLENARY: What's in the Mix? The Role that Waste & Recycling Composition Data Play in the Rollout of the Recycling Modernization Act (RMA)

Tuesday, 6/18, 9:00am - 10:15am


Peter Spendelow from Oregon DEQ wrapped up work on three separate waste and recycling composition studies in late 2023/early 2024 - a waste disposal study, an inbound commingled recycling study, and an outbound commodity and residue study at MRFs. The results of these studies will provide us with keen insights into how our recycling system is working in Oregon, and will be vitally important to the development of many of the main features of the Recycling Modernization Act as it rolls out over the next couple of years.

CONCURRENT SESSION: Compostable Packaging: Impacts on Materials Management Systems

Tuesday, 6/18, 10:45am - 11:45am


California's SB 54 and the push for all packaging to be compostable, recyclable, or reusable presents potential risks for Oregon’s food-only composting efforts. This session will dive into SB54, why Oregon continues to favor a food-only approach, and the risks compostable packaging poses to the environment and soil health.

CONCURRENT SESSION: Human-Centered Approach to Illegal Dumping in the Portland and Eugene Communities

Tuesday, 6/18, 10:45am - 11:45am


This session will highlight government and nonprofit approaches to responding to and preventing illegal dumping in the Portland Metro and Eugene communities. Speakers will share examples of centering community and lived experiences when developing and implementing programs. Hear from front-line workers about their experiences, challenges, and successes working in illegal dumping. Learn about unique challenges and strategies to serve different settings including commercial areas, multi-family housing, student housing, and the unhoused community. 

PLENARY SESSION: Legislative Update

Tuesday, 6/18, 12:45pm - 1:45pm


Join AOR's Legislative Chair for a look back at the 2024 legislative short session, and what we may anticipate for the coming 2025 long session.

CONCURRENT SESSION: Abandoned Boats, RVs, and Asbestos – Oh My!: A Look Into Illegal Dumping of Particularly Challenging Materials Across Rural and Urban Oregon Communities

Tuesday, 6/18, 2:15pm - 3:15pm


This session will highlight government approaches and challenges when responding to abandoned boats, RVs, and other particularly challenging materials. We'll share examples from across Oregon to reveal similarities and differences in experience. Hear from front-line workers about their successes, challenges, and suggestions for the future of systems addressing cleanup of particularly hazardous, expensive, and logistically challenging materials.

CONCURRENT SESSION: What's Next for EPR in OR: Focus on Batteries and Electronics

Tuesday, 6/18, 2:15pm - 3:15pm


This session will examine Oregon's “new" Oregon E-Cycles program, which will launch Jan. 1, 2026, and explore the realities of processing the growing e-waste stream. We'll also hear how battery EPR can tie into Oregon's existing e-waste EPR program and support the state's recently passed right-to-repair legislation.

CLOSING PLENARY: Conversations with CAA

Tuesday, 6/18, 3:45pm - 5:00pm


Circular Action Alliance (CAA), the only Producer Responsibility Organization which submitted an RMA program plan, is implementing a shared responsibility model that is rooted in collaboration with system stakeholders and builds upon the existing system. What does that mean for the Oregon recycling industry and how can you be prepared?

Join a conversation with local CAA representatives about what's unfolding now and what to expect over the next few years. This session addresses the high level aspects of the RMA, then hones in on the who, what, where, when, why, and how details. What data CAA is collecting right now and why is that data so important? What is the System Optimization Project and when will CAA need your response? Who is eligible for system expansion funding and how will that play out? How does the data from DEQ's latest waste composition studies impact CAA's implementation strategy? What is CAA’s strategy for building public awareness of the RMA? How and when will local governments be able to access educational materials for use as part of their own public engagement? Get answers to these and more questions in this session.