In Marion County, there are a variety of places where students of all ages can see first-hand how the recycling, composting & waste management programs operate. In addition to the tours below, classroom presentations can sometimes be arranged. We can also provide educators with lesson plans and background information on waste reduction and recycling.
Oregon Green Schools provides schools with information they need to set up and maintain successful waste reduction programs and to recognize schools for their waste reduction programs. Schools not participating in Oregon Green Schools are encouraged to contact
Bailey Payne (503-365-3191).
3250 Deer Park Dr. SE · Salem, OR
Bailey Payne (503) 365-3191
This transfer station is where many people bring their recyclables & garbage. There is a self-guided tour which includes a 1/3 mile nature trail that features signs & displays that focus on recycling & composting. Students can see the recycling collection facility and the garbage pit where waste is collected and transported to the Waste-to-Energy Facility in Brooks. While this is a self-guided trail, tours guides can sometimes be arranged with at least four weeks advanced notice.
Details: The tour lasts about an hour. The facility is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please note that this is an outdoor tour, so it is important that students are dressed appropriately.
4850 Brooklake Road, NE · Brooks, OR 97305
Jenna Bosco (503) 393-0890 x210
This is where the majority of the garbage from Marion County is burned and turned into electricity. Students will see how the garbage is managed and burned. They will learn how electricity is generated and the complex array of safety measures and machinery that is needed to operate the facility.
Details: The tour lasts 1 hour. Tour day is normally Tuesday anytime between 9 am to 2 pm. Tours can not be larger than 40 students. Tours are available for students in the 2nd grade or older. Tours are given rain or shine. Your group may want to drive over to the North Marion County Disposal Facility at 17827 Whitney Lane NE, Woodburn, OR to see the ash landfill after taking this tour. Please make prior arrangements to visit this site by calling (503) 365-3191.
Find out what happens to the recycling when it leaves the curb! This award winning 14 minute video is available for free by calling (503) 588-5169. It is available (along with numerous other videos) in English and Spanish.
3334 Industrial Way NE · Salem, OR 97303
Gaelen McAllister (503) 581-1984 x 3117
This organization works with adults that have disabilities. They operate a large recycling facility in Salem. Their tour is very informative and a lot of fun for students of all ages. Students will see adults with disabilities engaged in meaningful work, huge sorting equipment and enormous piles of paper.
Details: Our tours are the First Friday of each month on a reservation basis. Private tours for groups can be arranged by contacting
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (503) 581-1984 x3117
3680 Brooklake Road NE · Brooks, OR
Jamie Pedersen (503) 390-4000
This facility is where many of our recyclables in Marion County are initially sorted. Students will see the machinery and workers dividing up a wide range of materials.
Details: The tour lasts ½ hour. Tours can be given Monday – Friday from 9 am to 1:30 pm. There is no restriction on the number of students. The facility can be cold (especially in the winter), so dress appropriately. Tours given rain or shine.
29175 Coffin Butte Rd · Corvallis, OR 97330-9583
Rachel Snyder (541) 286-3331
The Coffin Butte Landfill is owned by Republic Services and is located just north of Adair Village and south of Monmouth on Highway 99W. This landfill receives waste primarily from Linn and Benton Counties, and surrounding areas. Students will learn about leachate and how methane gas from the decomposing material in the landfill is burned and turned into energy. Time permitting, students can also visit Pacific Region Compost, where yard debris and food scraps are collected and turned into compost.
Details: Tour length can range from 1 – 3 hours, depending on what the class' interests are. Groups are limited to 10 unless coming in a school bus. This is an outdoor tour, so dress appropriately. Rainy months will have limited access to these facilities.
Various locations throughout Marion County
The Marion County Public Works – Environmental Services works to maintain the diversity and environmental integrity of Marion County's flora and fauna.
Metro has an excellent guide to field trips and other educational opportunities in the Portland area.
5016 Waconda Rd. NE· Brooks, OR 97305
Allen Jongsma (503) 390-2381
Agri-Plas, Inc. is a family owned business that specializes in recycling Agricultural Plastic Waste.
8712 Aumsville Highway · Aumsville, OR
This is the facility where yard debris from some curbside collection programs is taken and composted into an excellent soil amendment.
2895 Faragate St. S, Salem
Bailey Payne (503) 365-3191
This is the facility where contractors and remodelers come to take their inert waste. Since this is the site of an old, unlined landfill, no materials are accepted that could potentially cause runoff that would affect the river. Most of the leaves from the Salem & Keizer fall leaf haul are taken here. Long rows of compost are turned over with a large tractor. Much of this compost is used to restore the riparian zone and support the native tree species that were planted by Marion County and community volunteers in 2001.
There are two compost demonstration sites, located at Deepwood in Salem near 12th St. and Cross St. SE in Bush Park and at the Oregon Garden just south of the City of Silverton. These sites contain working models of both homemade and purchased composters and worm bins.
Bailey Payne: (503) 365-3191
Marion County Public Works – Environmental Services offers a Master Recycler class for high school students and adults. There are eight evening classes and three Saturday fieldtrips. Topics include: Recycling and reusing; waste prevention; composting; vermicomposting; household hazardous waste reduction; sustainability & green building; products made from recycled content; water conservation. Upon completion you will be asked to contribute 30 hours of community outreach/education. 30 Professional Development Units are available for teachers. Registration is $25.
Deborah Topp 503.588.6211
Geren Island is an island located in the North Santiam River, near Stayton, where the City of Salem treats the river water before sending it to town. Students learn about how the water is treated and how the local natural resources are protected.
Details: Length of tour varies depending on number of stops, and ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Tours can be either by bus or on foot. Tours are available Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:30 am and 3 pm. Tours can accommodate one classroom per visit and are available for grades 4th and older. Additional chaperones are required. Tour details can be customized for the class.
1230 Broadway St, NE - Salem, Oregon
he Northwest Hub is a bicycle reclamation and distribution program serving Salem residents in need of transportation. They restore and recycle used bicycles and divert bicycles from area landfills in order to mobilize the community through creative reuse of an underutilized resource. Their social enterprise also serves the alternative transportation needs of residents who can purchase a refurbished bicycle or learn to repair and maintain their bike through the repair training courses and work stations they provide.
Details: For an informative tour or to help with our reclamation and recycling efforts, please email your request to our e-mail address. Tours and volunteer opportunities are available Wednesday-Friday from 10AM to 6PM.