McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival

We all enjoy a good fair, one with a lot of interesting and well made products for sale. Some may be art, some may be usable things to wear or use. I love going to those kinds of markets because the ideas are amazing, the artists work enviable, and there’s always a sense of fun and theater……it’s a place to have a good time.

Time to mark your calendar: Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27 will be the dates of the inaugural event. A star studded event with amazing things to brighten your life.

And all from trash.

I am fortunate that my life has artists in it. Creative people who have skills with paint or fabric or beads or you name it, skills that are beyond my ken but boy oh boy can I appreciate the time and effort. Now, you can too. Over forty artists and creative people will be inside the Linfield Nicholson Library from 10-4 both days.nicholson library

Fabric artists who use worn out discarded cloth. Metal artists who grab up the discarded bolts and screws and other small pieces of hardware. Jewelers who use a variety of materials including stones, shells, metal, cloth, and more to provide bling in our lives. You will find some people who work with wood-pieces found in the woods or on the scrap pile in a wood using industry.

Could you personally make some of these things? Possibly….but you know your ability and you know your life demands……will you? Probably not……so enjoy this event and take something special home!

I’m excited because I’m been on the planning committee for the past four months and I can see where all our effort is leading: to a new annual McMinnville event that will become a regional favorite.

We tried to tie the arts festival to Earth Day, but it falls on Easter Sunday this year and no matter how much you may or may not be a church goer, we postponed it one week so there are no conflicts for anyone. Earth Day really is not just one day of the year. The celebration reminds you to be a good steward all the time. Coming to the Recycled Arts Festival will be an excellent way to show your recognition of how to keep the earth healthy.

The committee made an early effort to review posts on Facebook, Etsy, Instagram and other social media platforms to identify artists and artisans who carefully use discards from other people to fashion their products.

Now it is time to invite them as well as an open call to others who missed. Please continue reading to understand the requirements and get those applications sent in!!

For the rest of you, see you on the 26th and 27th of April!!!

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We are happy you decided to apply to join our festival. This is the inaugural event and we have put a lot of effort into planning it as carefully as possible because we want to see this succeed and become as appreciated as other similar events in the region.  We ask that you read this thoroughly, ask us any questions, but above all, understand that the success of this event also depends on you. We need your cooperation, so read on and let us know if you are willing to fully participate.

 How to Qualify as a Vendor:

  1. While the name of the event is the Recycled Arts Festival, in reality the items that comprise at least 65% of your items must be used items or cast-off trash, typically on its eventual way to the landfill. We call what you do upcycling or repurposing. If your art uses natural items, without your use, those items would have naturally decayed. 
  2. All items must be handmade. There will be no MLM marketing nor resales of other makers’ work.
  3. You may share a table or booth space but each vendor must apply and be juried in. Both applications must have a note with the request to share and the name of the other vendor.
  4. Send at last 5 electronic photos that clearly show your work and its quality. Not only will these photos be used to jury you into the festival, but they will be used in festival marketing. You already agreed to permit use of these materials for marketing purposes when you submitted them with your jury application.
  5. Once you have been contacted that your work is acceptable to the jury, send your fee via Paypal to reserve a table. No table space is reserved without payment. If funds are not received by March 21, it will be assumed that you are no longer available to attend the event and another vendor will be offered your space.

 Prior to the Event:

  1. Both of our main sponsors, Zero Waste McMinnville and the Linfield College Sustainability Office, rely on education to teach people about the world of recycling and how upcycling, sustainable use and re-use relates to it. We need your help with educating the people who come to the festival. To this regard we ask that you:  
  2. Use only sustainable items to package your sales.
  3. Provide your story to the public – why do you use the materials you use? You can use a poster or brochure or be ready to talk a lot. Your application should have some indication of your philosophy which we will use in marketing materials for the event.
  4. You must must must help with marketing. We ask that you not only add to the Festival webpage and Facebook pages but also on your own Facebook page and website. We ask that you email out the poster we will share with you to your friends and family. We would like you to be personally responsible for at least 10 people through that door. And if anyone has a connection to a news outlet, let us know.
  1. Your ability to request a certain space will depend on the timeliness of your application. We are offering a 10% discount in the booth fee for the first ten vendors who complete their registration. We are closing the application process on March 1st with notification to all vendors about acceptance by March 15th
    1. If you apply after all spaces have been reserved, do you want to be put on a waiting list in case we get cancellations?
    2. We have 22 spots that are 10×10. Since the event is inside the library we ask you do not use a canopy unless it is mandatory for your display. We request the awning be removed or white in color to help keep the ambiance of open and airy in the space. SOME of these booth spaces will have electricity available. Let us know if it is needed.
    3. We have 12 spots that are 5×6 tables set up for studying. There are several lights in place on those tables that cannot be moved so you will need to position your things around them, but you also benefit with the added lighting. There are electrical outlets on these tables.
    4. We have 6 spots that are 5×8 tables set up for studying, Also, there are lights in place that cannot be moved, and electrical outlets available.
    5. There are 4 spaces that are on top of the newspaper racks. They are 48 inches high. These are 5×6 and have no power and no seating. You will need to bring a stool or stand.
  2. We know life happens and sometimes the best plans don’t work out. Cancellations before April 1st will be refunded minus the initial $10 jury fee. If you cancel after April 1st you will not get a refund (minus the initial $10 jury fee) unless we are able to fill your space with another vendor. Your refund will be made after the festival dates.
  3. Adult vendors are age 18 and up. We are offering a small amount of display space for youths under 18. In addition, we will make a few tables available on Saturday only as there are minors with growing art skills. It is also mandatory that all minors are accompanied by a parent and attend the entire time the festival is open. That includes set up prior to the 10am start and clean up after the 4pm public close.
  4. The jury fee is not refundable.

During the Event:

  1. Set up begins at 8am on Friday. All vendors must be ready when the public can enter at 10am. We are hoping to have some volunteers to help with your set-up if needed, but please have all the wheeled carts you typically use to haul your items from the parking lot, which is adjacent to the library. We will require you to move to the rear of the lot away from the front door after you off-load in order to allow easy access for the shoppers.
  2. Artist is responsible to supply all 10×10 booth equipment; displays, additional lighting, special tables, cloths, chairs, etc. Booths must be self-contained. We cannot use existing walls for display or support of exhibition. Artists who opt for table space should not bring any other table. Chairs are available.  No flashing flights are permitted.
  3. We urge everyone to be respectful of the library space and want to minimize our potential impact on the setting, including the floor, the furniture and of course the books. Please be very careful when eating in your booth space. Make sure all drinking containers have lids to minimize splash or spills.
  4. We will contact you a week before the festival to see if you want to pre-order lunch. Third Street Pizza will deliver food. We will limit the menu to one or two kinds of pizza and a salad. You may bring your own lunch if you want. There is some food close by off-campus but that will require you to lose at least 30 minutes.
  5. If you bring items to the event for sale that do not quality as at least 65% repurposed/upcycled/recycled you will be asked to remove those items from the sale.
  6. If you have any issues or concerns during the event come to the Festival Information Table which will be in the center of the room near the newspaper stacks.
  7. You can leave your display as is when the festival ends at 4pm Friday. The building will be closing and will not reopen until Saturday morning.
  8. Please be in place at your booth by 8:30 on Saturday. Remember to park your cars at the back of the parking lot.
  9. No packing up before Saturday 4pm. We must be out of the library by 5pm but there should be no problem with that. Again, we hope to have some volunteers to help you.
  10. After the festival we will email you the evaluation form. This will include areas where we need to improve for the next year, things we did right, and an indication of your income so next year we can inform potential vendors how we did this year. This will be unidentified and typically in a range (i.e. vendors earned between $250-$1200, with an average of $500.) People who do not submit a completed evaluation form will not be permitted in subsequent events.

To apply to the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival, click on this link

Join us!!  qr code recycled_arts_festival



RE-USE: Plastic bags

The City of McMinnville has recently passed an ordinance that will phase in a restriction of plastic shopping bags at the checkout. Starting September 1, remember to bring your reusable totes to load your groceries from the major supermarkets. Small shops will continue to have plastic bags for a while longer.

If you are anything like me, you have a stash, perhaps under your sink like I do. 

Some people argued against banning these thin plastic bags because they use them for picking up the piles their dogs make while out walking. Thanks to them for keeping our streets and sidewalk clear, but chances are the supply will not dry up completely.  Since there is a definite problem with plastic in our landfills and oceans, each of us needs to make an effort to alter our ways.

The other bags that get heavy use in my life are the various sizes of zipper-close heavier plastic bags. Now, unless the bags gets super yucky, I wash it and re-use it. 

The idea of RE-USE is one of the main concepts to reduce garbage going to the landfill, and that is where plastic bags end up, so to delay that time is preferable.

Here are some concepts for using those bags in other ways:

  • Cut one corner off a plastic bag to create a makeshift funnel. This trick also works to make a DIY piping bag!  I use sandwich baggies to drizzle melted chocolate on cookies or pipe a blob of frosting on a cake in an effort to be decorative.
  • Peel vegetables into a plastic bag to easily transport peels to your compost bin. (A better use for those veggie peels would be to keep a gallon ziplock bag in the freezer, fill it as you prep veggies. When you have a full bag you can make a delicious vegetable broth which can be used for a base for a soup or other cooking. Let me know if you want more specific directions.)
  • Put packages of meat on a plastic bag in the refrigerator when defrosting to keep juices from going all over the place.
  • Put your tablet or phone in a zipper top plastic bag when you want to read in the bath room. You know you don’t want to spend good money replacing that phone! 
  • You can also cover small pots with plastic bags to create a mini greenhouse and help plants sprout. My mom used to do this over 50 years ago when we would leave for a 2-4 week camping trip. When we got home, the plants looked great!
  • Carry a grocery sack with you as you weed your garden to corral weeds before throwing them away or in your compost bin.
  • Tie a grocery sack to your lawn mower to store litter, dog toys, pine cones etc. as you mow the lawn.
  • When mailing packages, save money on bubble wrap by using plastic bags as padding. Old paper grocery sacks are also great padding! Use this trick when packing away breakable Christmas ornaments as well.
  • Save grocery sacks to use at your next yard sale. (We’ll talk about reuse of other items in another blog, but “one man’s trash is another man’s  treasure” is a good motto.)
  • Create a scented sachet by putting a few cotton balls in a plastic bag and adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Poke some holes in the bag and put it in your dresser drawer
  • Keep a plastic baggie in your car’s glove compartment in order to stash important receipts or other items during a trip. Having another one for tissues and other trash helps keep the car tidy also.  Maybe several more if you have a traveler who is prone to motion sickness.
  • On vacation, bring along an extra plastic bag to store dirty clothes. Bring a second bag for wet bathing suits when you have to pack before they are dry. Packing shoes in bags keeps the clothes cleaner.
  • Bring a plastic sack to an outdoor show or festival or when you go to the coast or a hike. Sometimes the organizers don’t plan enough trash receptacles or removal during the event and the landscape tends to get disgusting with garbage people leave behind. Be responsible and  come with a plastic grocery bag to take your recyclables, compostibles and trash home at the end of the event.  And collect some trash others have left too!
  • During winter, if you park outside, cover your mirrors and windshield with plastic bags to eliminate any scraping of ice in the morning.

If you are not in the habit of alternative reusing, then bring your bags back to the grocery store to pack your groceries again. Also, some of the supermarkets have containers accepting the single-use bags for recycling.  Currently, McMinnville’s recycling program does NOT take these bags, but there is a collection container at the transfer station as well. 

And finally, if you are artistic, there are ways you can use these plastic bags in projects.

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Woven into trash cans Image result for reuse for plastic bags

Woven into a reusable tote! Now that is a win win! Image result for reuse for plastic bags

The list goes on….and on, limited only by creativity. The point is STOP PUTTING THESE BAGS IN YOUR TRASH!!!

Put it on Your Calendar!

The song goes….Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…..

Hazardous Waste…….we all have some. Chemicals that are not allowed in the regular trash because of the hazards they present to the landfill and yes, the garbage truck itself,

How do you know if a  product is hazardous?

Always read the product labels. Signal words to look for on the label are DANGER, POISON, WARNING, or CAUTION. Products are considered hazardous if they have one or more of the following properties:

  • Flammable / combustible – can be easily set on fire
  • Explosive / reactive – can detonate or explode through exposure to heat, sudden shock, pressure, or incompatible substances
  • Corrosive – chemical action can burn or destroy living tissues or other materials when brought in contact
  • Toxic – capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption

Collections of hazardous waste are usually twice a year.  The collections alternate between Newberg and McMinnville so people can use the opportunity to clean out their household of these items.   The next household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9am to 1pm at the Newberg Transfer Station (2904 S. Wynooski Street).  [Well, if you did not read this when it was first posted, you’re okay! Good News!  The next household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 9am to 1pm at Recology Western Oregon (1850 Lafayette Ave) in McMinnville.  For more info call 503-434-7445.]

The Yamhill County Commission, recognizing that the collections have not been widely used, are thinking of discontinuing the service.

This is the time to make sure you get your garage or basement or storage building cleared out.  And if the activity is good, then the service may remain. It’s really up to you.

Image result for household hazardous waste list

So, what is eligible?

  • Paint thinners, mineral spirits, solvents
  • Aerosol paints (spray cans)
  • Auto and marine paints
  • Art and craft paints
  • Caulk, epoxies, glues, adhesives
  • Paint additives, colorants, tints, resins
  • Wood preservatives, (containing pesticides)
  • Roof patch & repair
  • Tar and bitumen-based products
  • 2-component coatings
  • Deck cleaners
  • Traffic and road marking paints
  • Industrial maintenance coatings
  • Original equipment manufacturer paints and finishesImage result for household hazardous waste list


Many people think to bring regular indoor or outdoor paint but here we are fortunate that both The Restore in McMinnville,  Parr Lumber in Newberg and the Sherwin Williams stores in both towns accept cans of used paint all year long for recycling.  By dropping your indoor paint at one of these locations you will also avoid waiting in a line!  These sites will accept:
  • Interior and exterior architectural paints: latex, acrylic, water-based, alkyd, oil-based, enamel (including textured coatings)
  • Deck coatings, floor paints (including elastomeric)
  • Primers, sealers, under coaters
  • Stains
  • Shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, urethanes, (single component)
  • Waterproofing concrete/masonry/wood sealers and repellents (not tar or bitumen-based)
  • Metal coatings, rust preventatives
  • Field and lawn paints

The regularly scheduled household hazardous waste collection for McMinnville is usually held in the Fall.  If the County decides to eliminate the collection or if you have something you want to get rid of at another time of the year there are two Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection locations:

Salem: 3250 Deer Park Drive – open Every Thursday and
the First Saturday each month from 9am to 3pm
FREE to Yamhill County RESIDENTS
Oregon City: 2001 Washington Street – open Monday thru Saturday from
9am to 4pm – $5.00 charge for up to 32 gal

With the Right Attitude and a Plan

Located in the middle of some of the most productive and respected wine country in the world, McMinnville celebrates often if not continuously the amazing depth and breadth of its Pinot Noir production.  Each year at the end of July the International Pinot Noir Celebration invades the Linfield College campus.GrandSeminar_graphicsm ipnc

This event draws over 1200 visitors from around the world. This year they paid $125 or $250 for two a la carte events or $1295 for the entire weekend.  The Celebration is sold out; this is a prestigious event beloved by oenophiles and many people return year after year.

Not only do the celebrants return, but so do most volunteers. To keep an major event like the IPNC running smoothly, a great deal of planning takes place and volunteers are encouraged and appreciated. The activities start early with a pre Thank You dinner just for volunteers. With free wine of course.  Meals are also offered to volunteers throughout the event so no one goes hungry…and yes, there is plenty of wine if you want.

A successful event planner knows that waste management has to be carefully arranged in order for the grounds and buildings to stay clean and the celebrants not aware of any “dirtiness”.  We’ve all been to indoor and outdoor programs where garbage cans overfilled and messes were unattractive.  You can use how trash is handled as a measuring tool to rate management of an event.

A few years ago Zero Waste  McMinnville started working with the planners at IPNC and the experience has just gotten better and better.  In 2015, the total amount of trash that was collected was  1192  pounds. Of that over 943 pounds, or  79 percent of all trash, were diverted from the landfill. Mostly bottles. Obviously, if there is wine to be served, there will be empty bottles to recycle.

Last year  over 1267 pounds of trash was generated with  74 percent diverted from the landfill. This year was even bigger and better and I don’t know the numbers yet but I’ll explain why I can feel sure of that.

The people planning IPNC understand there is a wonderful conservative concept in aiming for zero waste. Conservation of our environment is a goal they hold dearly as they encourage the enjoyment of the wines that are produced right here in our beautiful Willamette Valley. Conservation of healthy farmland which not only produces wine grapes, but also hazelnuts, grass seed, landscaping plants, and so much more. Conservation of our visual landscape that might, in other places, not be protected from suburban development.

Tuna appetizer

One of the volunteer positions is to assist during the lunches. The 3-course lunches serve local foods as much as possible with chefs from restaurants in the Northwest.  The setting under the towering oak trees with large umbrellas scattered around keeps the grove cool for the midday meal.  Tables were covered with linen and set with cloth napkins. China and various sizes of crystal complete the place settings.IMG_2473

IMG_2485For each course, servers quickly provided plates of food and later, removed the place setting.  They brought the dirty plates to a sorting station where all food waste was scraped into bins, the dishes and silverware and glassware loaded in trays to go to one of the campus building’s kitchens to wash. The food waste was removed by Zero Waste volunteers and then taken to a large collection area, out of sight of the festival attendees.  Zero Waste volunteers also collected paper products and other recyclables.  Trucks pulled up, also out of sight, to load and carry the dishes to the kitchen.  Linens were collected as the guests left for their afternoon activities, and those were sorted for proper washing. Zero Waste complete clean-up planning included scheduling removal of the food waste by Recology for Greenlands composting.

To one of the planners, there may have been glitches. But to me, as a Zero Waste McMinnville volunteer, it appeared like a well rehearsed dance.  Issues that arose were taken care of almost instantaneously. IMG_2483.JPGFor example, it was apparent the dish scraping area did not have enough containers for the glassware. Quickly reported and within 10 minutes, long before they were needed, many more trays arrived. As I mentioned above, volunteers repeat their offer of help over many tears, so they KNOW what is needed and yes, I really now believe when the director stated her appreciation at the pre-event dinner for the volunteers, that she understands;  she never could do it without all of us.

For each of us helping out, we had a pretty small and easy task. But when each of us did our task with an attitude of involvement and enjoyment, the major event  became a success.  So it is with our mission to help McMinnville become the first city in Oregon to achieve such a wonderful goal as less than 10% of our trash ends up at the landfill. If each person in Mac would get excited to be working on such an important factor in our environment while recognizing the effort is easy, then TOGETHER we can achieve Zero Waste.