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Field Trips
PLEASE NOTE: WITH THE DEPARTURE OF THE DAS SUSTAINABILITY COORDINATOR, ALL FIELD TRIPS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE KEEP WATCHING THE WEBSITE FOR RESCHEDULED DATES.
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The DAS Sustainability Program strongly supports the connection among the environment, economy and community. In order to ensure state employees stay connected to all attributes of sustainability, the program offers quarterly tours to local businesses and operations that support the essence of the program.
 
 
Field Trip Schedule for 2009-2011
Date
Location
Reason for Trip
Photo Albums
12/15/09Garten Services 
State & Federal Surplus
All state e-waste is sent to Surplus for recycling or reuse. Paper and e-waste from state buildings in Salem and Portland is recycled at Garten.
Yes
Salem-Keizer Transfer Station Marion County established a top-notch recycling depot and sorting system for home recycling and disposal. It also includes a composting demonstration and nature trail. 
Willow Creek Wastewater Treatment
Geren Island
Water and sewage from state buildings in Salem goes through Willow Creek.  Water for state buildings in Salem comes from Gerrin Island. 
Brooks Waste-to-Energy Facility
Agri-Plas 
Woodburn monofill 
Garbage from state buildings in Salem goes to the burner. Ash from the burner is land filled in Woodburn. State plastics go to Agri-Plas for recycling. 
Coffin Butte landfill Some garbage from Salem finds its way to Coffin Butte. They generate electricity from the excess methane and maintain a wildlife refuge on site. 
 
To join the tours:
  1. Obtain permission from supervisor and ensure work coverage.
  2. Contact DAS Sustainability Program at (503) 378-8131 to sign up.
  3. Join a carpool.
  4. Plan to draft a short summary (1-2 paragraphs or a bulleted list) of experiences and observations to share with coworkers and/or submit to DAS for the newsletter. 
 

Previous field trips
December 2009 - Tour of the Property Distribution Center and Garten Services
Photo album 
Members of the Network and several green teams participated in an interesting and informative tour of the Property Distribution Center and Garten Services (a QRF). While the focus of the tour centered around the state's e-waste recycling, the group also learned extensively about both programs. The Property Distribution Center combines state and federal surplus property, and it is interesting how the programs have such separate rules and policies. In addition, the facility opens its doors on some Fridays to the public for very good deals.
tour of Garten Services 
Garten Services shines as a model of community sustainability in how it employs people with disabilities. However, Garten not only provides them a job, but extensive coaching on life and job skills. Garten recycles huge amounts of paper from Salem and Portland, as well as confidential shred. It was reassuring to see how confidentially they handle the state's e-waste, both through the destruction and reuse processes. The group also learned that Garten now holds the statewide contract for e-waste and works with other QRFs in Oregon to meet the requirements for agencies located in all towns in Oregon.
 
April 2009 - SolarWorld in Hillsboro
 

 Members of the Interagency Sustainability Coordinators Network and state green teams joined the Oregon Sustainability Board for their meeting at SolarWorld in Hillsboro in April 2009. In addition to the informative meeting and lunch, the group heard from the CEO, watched a video, and took an amazing tour of the facility. They saw a new robot in action, crystals grow and cut into inguts, and the quality control laboratory.   
 
July 2008 - Solar Roof Tour

When HB2620 passed in the 2007 Legislature, suddenly public sector agencies all over the state began to look at solar in a new way. Beginning Jan 1, 2008, they now were required to apply 1.5 percent of the construction cost in new buildings or major renovations towards solar panels. While agencies had always thought solar was a nice addition to buildings, it didn’t have a good enough pay back to make sense. However, since the bill passed, there have been increases in incentives through the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy. Now solar has become more affordable, but what do we know about it?  Not much. State agencies realized that we all had a lot to learn.  
solar roof tour
 
In the past, some agencies would do projects, but wouldn’t think to share the successes or lessons learned so that other agencies could learn from them. Now, through the help of the Interagency Sustainability Coordinators Network, agencies are talking and sharing this kind of information. In fact, in early July, DAS sponsored a trip to seven different solar installations in Salem and Eugene for interested agency staff. Eleven staff from six agencies toured solar arrays on Kettle Foods in Salem; PepsiCo, Sequential Biofuels, and other carports in Eugene; and even toured some progressive solar installations on the University of Oregon campus. The group was able to see the solar arrays and talk with the maintenance staff about how they’ve been working, leaks in the roof, and other critical questions. It was an illuminating day of information-sharing and camaraderie. Not to mention lots of sun!