ORS Welcomes CARTM to Orcas!

Recently the board of directors of Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange spent the weekend with board members of CARTM, their counterparts from Manzanita, Oregon.

CARTM is a non-profit recycling center that operates a reuse store, “The Refindery”, and also operates the Manzanita Transfer Station for solid waste.

The town has a year-round population similar to Orcas, and similarly experiences a significant bump in tourist population in the summer.

“We encourage the creative re-use of materials; we actively divert materials from the waste stream; and we encourage people to re-think what is ‘waste’ each time an item is discarded,” says the CARTM website www.cartm.org

“The similarities of our two operations are fascinating,” says ORS Executive Director Pete Moe. “That’s why we invited them to come visit, and we are thrilled that they did.”

The main difference between the two non-profits is that Tillamook County pays for CARTM’s waste-hauling operations — and gets the revenue from the “dumping” fees — whereas ORS pays for trucking non-reusable/non-recyclable waste to an eastern Washington landfill. That is ORS’s single biggest expense, says Moe. However, ORS gets the revenue from waste disposal fees to offset its hauling costs.

In June the ORS board met with CARTM staff, board members, and the Tillamook County Solid Waste Management team. San Juan County Councilman Rick Hughes, and SJC Public Works staff also attended.

Board members from The Exchange, CARTM representatives, and County officials

The group met at the transfer site and toured the landfill and infrastructure. “The Tillamook County waste managers were particularly interested in how we moved garbage and our volumes,” Moe said.

The afternoon was spent at Random Howse in Eastsound where they reviewed slideshows of the CARTM operations (see below), the old Exchange, and new Exchange design plans. “We paused on each slide to discuss it for 10 or 15 minutes,” Moe said. “They shared information about budgets, staffing and economies of scale in their similar operations, among other resource center topics. It was incredibly helpful.”

“CARTM is where we want to be in two years,” says Moe, and he encourages everyone to visit the site in Manzanita just south of Cannon Beach in Oregon, as he did in September 2014 with his two kids.


Interior areas are separated into individual “shops” such as the library and art gallery


Additional area separated into home section


The reuse intake area is separate from the “Refindery” building


Signs painted with recycled paint identify outdoor sheds made from recycled pallets


More signs painted with recycled paint identify outdoor sheds made from recycled pallets

Article excerpted from Margie Doyle, Orcas Issues, June 21, 2015. Click here for the original.