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Library honored for commitment to sustainability

The Lake Oswego Public Library received an award this week for its longtime efforts to tread lightly on the environment.

Clackamas County Recycle at Work Specialist Susan Terry on Tuesday presented Fawn McGee, reference librarian, and library volunteers with a plaque made of recycled glass and continued membership in BRAG, short for Business Recycling Awards Group. Library Director Bill Baars was unable to attend because he was participating in activities related to Lake Oswego Reads, the annual community reading program.

The honor, from the Clackamas County Recycling Partnership, was essentially a recertification of the library’s ongoing commitment to recycling and waste reduction. Lake Oswego’s library was one of the original BRAG members a decade ago.

But the awards are about a lot more than recycling these days, extending to include conservation and innovation, said Terry, who lives in Lake Oswego.

“The library is so on top of it,” she said.

In 2012 the library recycled, reused and composted more than 3,000 pounds of material, avoiding disposal costs and putting resources back to use in the community.

The library recycles items such as toner cartridges, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, plastic film and rigid plastics.

It also donates Lake Oswego Reads materials to the North Plains Library each year, and it collects its food scraps for composting even though that requires carrying them over to the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center’s waste bins.

The Booktique, the library’s used bookstore, also keeps materials in the community after they’ve been culled from the library’s collection, Terry said.

The Clackamas County Recycling Partnership is a cooperative made up of local garbage and recycling companies, the county and the cities of Lake Oswego, West Linn, Barlow, Canby, Damascus, Estacada, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Sandy and Wilsonville.



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