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New partnership creates job opportunities for village residents

Most people know BRING as the place that gives second chances to still-valuable stuff. A new effort with SquareOne Villages highlights the environmental nonprofit’s efforts to address the human needs of a sustainable community.

On Monday, February 15, BRING will conduct the first of multiple waste assessments for the City of Eugene. BRING staff and residents from Opportunity Village Eugene – a SquareOne project providing transitional micro-housing to otherwise homeless individuals and couples – will sort waste and recycling from the downtown Atrium Building to measure each waste stream and identify opportunities to improve overall waste management.

BRING’s waste assessment service partners with SquareOne Villages – a nonprofit that creates self-managed communities of low-cost tiny homes for people in need of housing – to provide job training and work experience to SquareOne residents with barriers to traditional employment. Waste assessment studies are a hands-on way to quantify waste generated by a home, school or office and determine how much of that waste can be reused or recovered for recycling.

“People know BRING as a sustainability organization,” says BRING Executive Director Carolyn Stein. “Social equity is a critical component of a truly sustainable community. To walk our talk, we have to take care of our most vulnerable citizens. Providing shelter and meaningful work for everyone is important to BRING.”

BRING has in-depth knowledge about waste prevention, materials handling, green building practices, and energy efficiency, which its staff uses to help municipal agencies and local businesses meet their sustainability goals. BRING’s waste assessments will demonstrate how city staff can increase efficiency through materials purchasing decisions. Such studies can identify whole categories of waste products, such as single use utensils and dishware, which an organization can eliminate.

“We are excited to partner with BRING in this venture,” says Dan Bryant, Executive Director for SquareOne Villages. “This is a win-win, providing meaningful employment for people in need of work while reducing waste and improving sustainability. We have said all along that we seek not just to help certain individuals. We want to improve our community, and this program is a step in that direction."

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