Recycling rewarded: Judy Skinner honored for years of community work

January, 2017 Posted in Community


Judy Skinner, known for her recycling efforts, is the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce 2016 Distinguished Service Award winner.

Judy Skinner, known for her recycling efforts, is the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce 2016 Distinguished Service Award winner.

By Mary Owen

Judy Skinner has been recycling for as long as she can remember.

“I took the Marion County Master Recycler class in 2000,” Skinner said. “The Master Recycler program requires 30 hours of payback teaching others. I decided that I wanted to do my payback in the Stayton area.”

For her “payback” to her community, Skinner has been named the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award for 2016.

“I know first-hand how much Judy does for the community, often with little thanks, and certainly with no compensation,” said Susan Masse, who nominated Skinner for the award. “She contributes to her community an awareness of the importance of keeping as many things as possible out of the trash. She provides alternatives to just throwing things away. She also physically recycles at community events, including the Stayton Fire Department breakfast, the community Thanksgiving dinner and SummerFest.”

Skinner now teaches others, including local businesses, to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

“Over the years things changed,” she said of her recycling opportunities. “I adapted and continued to learn and teach.”

But that’s not all Skinner does for her community. She and a friend started the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the St. Boniface Parish Hall, which was highly successful. A few years later, a cafe owner took over the dinner at his restaurant on Third Avenue in downtown Stayton, and Skinner turned her talents to recycling for the event. Ten years ago, the Covered Bridge Café bought Charlie Mike’s and carried on the tradition. Skinner has helped to recycle and compost as much as possible at the event each year.

Skinner was also a member of the Stayton committee in the early 2000s that looked at expanding the city’s curbside recycling and composting opportunities.

“This committee recommended several changes, including co-mingled recycling – the big blue roll cart – instead of having to separate materials in the red basket,” she said. “We also recommended automated roll carts for garbage, yard debris and co-mingled recycling and a significant rate increase to pay for the increased services, and city council approved it.”

Skinner is a lay member of the Marion County Solid Waste Management Advisory Council where she said, “I bring the Stayton and small town perspective to current issues.”

“When the Stayton City Council considered a rate increase a few months ago, I testified that they should consider adding food waste to our yard debris roll carts,” Skinner said. “The hauler, Republic, said that this change could be made with no additional charge. The council agreed to make the change, and now Stayton residents have the opportunity to reduce their waste by composting food scraps.”

With permission to wash cups in the commercial dishwasher at the Covered Bridge Café, Skinner takes washable cups to most SSCOC Greeters gatherings to help reduce waste. And she has volunteered to recycle and compost some of the waste generated at several local SOLVE cleanup events.

“I am always trying to teach people about how to recycle and compost properly,” Skinner said. “If people put inappropriate items in their recycling or compost, it can contaminate other materials in the recycling or compost and cause all the contaminated materials to end up in the trash.”

Skinner was very surprised that her efforts to help her community earned her chamber’s Distinguished Service Award.

Panezanellie Breadstick Shoppe in Sublimity took the Chamber Award of Excellence for small businesses with less than 15 employees. Nominators Larry Etzel, Carmelle Bielenberg and Masse said the Cates family “built their small business into ‘the meeting place for local and out-of-towners,’ making everyone feel a part of the family.”

The Chamber Award of Excellence for large businesses with more than 15 employees goes to the North Santiam School District, called “a cornerstone of community” by nominator Elaina Turpin.

The chamber’s First Impressions Award for 2016 goes to Moxieberry, Inc. Nominators Masse, Turpin and Donna Dugan lauded owners Teri and Jon Mesa’s remodeling of the café and The Grove to match the historic aesthetic of Third Avenue.

Earning Rising Star honors is Ryan Hendricks, owner of Finishing Touch Auto Detailing. Nominators credited Hendricks as exemplifying “professionalism and dedication.”

The winners will be honored at the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Celebration and luncheon Feb. 16 at Foothills Church in Stayton. For tickets contact the chamber at 503-769-3464, or drop by the office at 175 E. High St., Stayton.

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