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Community Involvement

Part of being a good neighbor means giving back to the communities — and people — we serve. At Rogue Disposal & Recycling, we’re proud of our decades-long tradition of community involvement. Whether it’s supporting the arts, sponsoring community events, providing education and outreach programs or filling a specific need, we’re deeply committed to enriching the area we call home. Here are some of the ways you’ll find us helping throughout the valley.

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Local Arts

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Craterian Theatre

A passion for the performing arts.

One of the ways a community thrives is by having a vibrant, readily accessible performing arts scene. Since its beginning, Rogue Disposal & Recycling has been a proud sponsor of events at the Craterian Theatre — a state-of-the-art performance venue and gathering place for the community of southern Oregon. Past shows we have sponsored run the gamut from Shrek, Pippin and Stomp — all musicals — to The Ten Tenors, Recycled Percussion, and an evening with Jason Alexander and Drew Carey.

To learn more, visit the Craterian Theater website.

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Rogue Gallery & Art Center

Giving young artists the opportunity to shine.

At the Rogue Gallery & Art Center, Rogue Disposal & Recycling sponsors the Artist Teen Mentoring Project (ATMP). This innovative program gives local teens a taste of what it’s like to have a career as a professional artist. The application process begins in the fall, with the program running January through April. Each selected student spends 20 to 30 hours of studio time working with a professional artist in their chosen field. Students work with their artist mentors to develop skills ranging from drawing and painting to photography, mixed-media and sculpture. The project culminates with each student exhibiting the art they created. It’s a wonderful way to give young artists a chance to hone their skills, explore their creativity and build on their portfolios.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit the Rogue Gallery website.

Community Events

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Drug take-back and Rogue Shred event 2023 gave local local residents the chance to dispose of prescription drugs and safely destroy documents at no cost.

This year’s Medford Police Department Drug Take Back and Rogue Shred Event took place on Saturday, April 22 from 9 am to noon at the City Hall parking lot. Once again, this annual even was hosted by the Medford Police Department.

Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog.

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Rogue Disposal & Recycling celebrates the community with entry in this year’s Pear Blossom Parade

Curbside in downtown Medford was the place to be on Saturday, April 8, when the 70th
annual Pear Blossom Parade marched, walked, danced and drove through the heart of the city. Organizers estimate a crowd of roughly 30,000 was on hand as local businesses, community organizations and area schools filled the streets with floats, dance groups, marching bands equestrian units, clowns and more.

Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog

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Medford shred event gives residents an opportunity to safely destroy documents

On Saturday, April 30, 2022 a team from Rogue Shred was on hand for Medford’s annual Drug Take-Back and Rogue Shred, hosted by the Medford Police Department. During the event, 654 vehicles made their way through the City Hall parking lot site.

Along with papers for shredding, this yearly event also provides a safe, convenient and responsible way for folks to dispose of their unwanted, unused or outdated prescription medications for free.

Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog.

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Rogue celebrates “Growing Our Community” with entry in this year’s Pear Blossom Parade

This year’s much-anticipated Pear Blossom Parade was viewed by an estimated 30,000 people lining the streets of downtown Medford. With blue skies and warm temperatures, the first full-scale version of the parade since 2019 was a huge hit.

With a theme of “Growing Our Community,” a banner from Rogue Compost provided the decoration for the Rogue truck. For the sixth straight year, that truck was driven by Erik Vlaskamp, a 19-year veteran driver and commercial lead for the company. Having an entry in this yearly hometown parade is a long-running tradition for Rogue Disposal & Recycling. By the time the parade kicked off at 11 am on Saturday, April 9, sidewalks along some parts of the route were three- and four-people deep. Floats, classic cars, marching bands, horses, and big trucks were just part of the 400 parade entries this year. Unicorns were out in full force, as were clowns, jugglers and parade units with people throwing candy to kids along the route. Grand Marshal of this year’s Pear Blossom Parade was local nonprofit Sanctuary One at Double Oak Farm — established in 2007 as the nation’s first care farm. Sanctuary One provides a safe home to rescued farm animals and house pets, working with area shelters and rescue and law-enforcement agencies to give animals the personal attention and loving rehabilitation they need. A great cause and a great Grand Marshal.

A big thanks to everyone who turned out for this wonderful family tradition.

Cultivating green thumbs — and gratitude

Big things are happening in Mr. McGrath’s gardening module at St. Mary’s School. Throughout March, students worked to replenish and revive the soil in the school’s 15 raised beds. Looking to improve their soil, they reached out to Rogue Compost to see if they would be willing to share a few yards of their OMRI listed compost, certified for use in organic gardening.

The students were delighted to hear from Rogue Compost operations manager Allen Smith, who offered to donate and deliver a two-yard tote of the dark, rich soil amendment — a delivery so big it had to be offloaded by forklift.

Since then, the students have added the compost throughout the raised beds — compost created sustainably from the glass clippings, plant trimmings and other organic materials collected by Rogue Disposal & Recycling. As teacher Mark McGrath puts it, “We fully expect that the resulting soil will be more fertile, moisture-retentive, and microbially vital.” Translation: good for growing!

From the St. Mary’s School Weekly Review, a heartfelt thank you: “We salute and thank our community partners over at Rogue Waste, Inc., especially Allen Smith, as we await our recently seeded cool-season crops to peek out of the soil.”

And a lovely footnote from a follow-up thank you from Mr. McGrath, letting us know that the compost remaining from the donation will be given to the senior class, which is planning a butterfly garden later this spring as a gift to the school.

Good things are definitely growing at St. Mary’s School in Medford!

Good things are growing at the Jacksonville Community Center thanks to donated compost and funds.

he Jacksonville Community Center is the lively hub for family and community activities for residents of all ages. During the pandemic, that has means switching gears to provide socially distanced presentations, outdoor classes and Zoom events. From outdoor tai chi and yoga to basic furniture finishing, creative crafts (for kids and adults), community music jams and southern Oregon history programs, the center is alive with community spirit.

So we were happy to donate six yards of Rogue Grower’s Blend Potting Soil for the planter beds surrounding their newly constructed patio behind the center. Plus a cash gift of $500 to help fund their many outstanding programs.

The mission of the Jacksonville Community Center is to “…serve as a gathering place for all ages in Jacksonville and its environs,” promoting community involvement “through education, cultural activities, music, arts, recreation, and wellness…” We’re happy to do our part to such a worthwhile community -building and enriching organization.

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Growing community spirit from donated compost.

When the 109-year-old Talent Garden Club needed compost for their spring fundraiser, they knew who to ask. And Rogue Compost was happy to make a donation to this wonderful community organization. In a lovely note sent to Rogue Compost, Gerlinde Smith, Treasurer of the Talent Garden Club, said “Thank you so much for your generous donation of your superb compost. It not only helps our plants, but also our May plant sale. We are most grateful!”

It’s this type of community spirit we love to support. Keep on growing, Talent Garden Club! Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog.

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Community shred event helps residents securely shred personal documents.

On Saturday, April 24, 632 vehicles passed through the event site in the Medford City Hall parking lot, with 372 of those vehicles dropping off bags of personal documents for shredding at no cost.

Along with papers for shredding, this yearly event also provides a safe, convenient and responsible way for folks to dispose of their unwanted, unused or outdated prescription medications for free.

Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog.


Rogue celebrates “Through the Golden Years” with entry in this year’s Pear Blossom Parade

With the 2020 Pear Blossom Parade canceled due to COVID-19, last year’s theme — “Through the Golden Years” — was carried over to this year for the 68th annual community-wide Pear Blossom Parade. For the fifth straight year, the Rogue Disposal & Recycling entry was driven by Erik Vlaskamp, an 18-year veteran driver and commercial lead for the company, with his wife, Tania, along for the ride.

With social distancing and mask wearing reminders in place, this year’s parade was held on Saturday, April 10 beginning at 11 am. Since 1954, tens of thousands of parade lovers have turned out to watch this cherished Rogue Valley event. Over the years, the Pear Blossom Parade has grown from 20 wagons and youngsters in the first event to more than 150 entries with more than 4,000 participants and up to 30,000 enthusiasts lining the parade route through downtown Medford. While this year’s attendance was lower due to the pandemic, enthusiasm was a high as ever! Larry and Ann Horton, owners and residents of Horton Plaza retirement living, served as grand marshals.

A big thanks to everyone who turned out for this yearly celebration!

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Mayors United Virtual Event 2021

Joining forces to feed the hungry: 12th annual Mayors United event raises highest-ever amount.

This year’s Mayors United event and auction, held virtually on March 5, raised over $155,000 for ACCESS, allowing the organization to provide food, warmth and shelter to our most vulnerable neighbors. Rogue Disposal & Recycling is honored to come alongside the mayors of Jackson County for this critical cause.

Read the full story on the Rogue News Blog

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ACCESS Food Share Gardens

Good things are growing thanks to a unique partnership rooted in helping others

What do raised beds and root vegetables have to do with Rogue Disposal & Recycling? Simple. We believe in giving back to the people and communities we serve. One of the ways we do that is by providing space for ACCESS Food Share Gardens to grow food — root vegetables like carrots and beets that are distributed to people in need throughout the Rogue Valley.

Read the full story on the Rogue News blog

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Pear Blossom Parade

Rogue joins the fun in 2019 parade.

What do local farms, home-grown compost and a celebration of pears have in common with a giant truck that runs on compressed natural gas? The 2019 Pear Blossom Parade, of course! This year’s theme was “Farm Built in the Rogue Valley” and the Rogue Disposal & Recycling entry was driven by Erik Vlaskamp, a 16-year veteran driver and commercial lead man for the company. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people lined the two-mile-long Pear Blossom Parade route, on Saturday, April 13. Rogue Disposal is proud to support the “farm built” spirit of the Rogue Valley. One of the ways we do this is by turning all of the grass clippings, leaves and other yard debris we collect at the curb into nutrient-rich compost — local compost that’s used at farms, vineyards, orchards and homes across the region. From green-lid roll carts to Grower’s Gold compost, Rogue Disposal has you covered!

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ACCESS Food Share Gardens

Rogue Compost helps grow food for people in need.

Helping others in need throughout our community is a hallmark of Rogue Disposal & Recycling. One of the ways we do that is by providing Rogue Compost and garden space to the ACCESS Food Share Gardens. According to Garden Coordinator Kim Barnes, “The gardens make a real difference to the lives of many in our community, both as places of gathering and as sources of sustenance.”

Read the full story on the Rogue News blog

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Mayor’s United

Coming together to feed the hungry.

Despite an improving economy and rich agricultural diversity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that nearly one in six Oregon families struggles to put food on the table. Through Mayor’s United, mayors throughout Jackson County come together to raise money and collect food donations to be divided up among the food pantries in their cities. Support for this important program is a way for Rogue Disposal & Recycling to help seniors, struggling families, and those who find themselves in need of food. Emergency food pantries throughout our area provide an excellent stop-gap measure to help ensure that no one goes hungry. When the mayors of Jackson County showed their hearts in creating this event, we were honored to come alongside their efforts.

Read the full story on the Rogue News blog

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Pear Blossom Parade

Rogue shows its spirit in 2018 Parade.

Our entry in this year’s Pear Blossom Parade, held Saturday, April 14, was a Rogue Disposal & Recycling truck driven by Erik Vlaskamp, a 15-year veteran driver and commercial lead man for the company. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Timeless Treasure, People and Places, the truck he drove runs on clean-burning compressed natural gas – part of Rogue Disposal’s long-standing commitment to making a positive difference in our air quality here in the Rogue Valley – a timeless treasure that can’t be replaced. Thanks, Eric, and thanks too to everyone who showed their hometown spirit!

Education and Outreach

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Rogue Facility Field Trips

On-site field trips bring recycling and other waste-related topics to life.

Through class tours of our Transfer Station and Recycling Center in White City, local students can learn about all aspects of the recycling stream and how they can do their part to help reduce waste. Field trips can be scheduled at no cost and are suitable for any grade level. Groups should be around 30 students at a time. The tour is mostly outdoors and lasts about an hour, so dress appropriately. Tours of Dry Creek Landfill, Rogue Compost and our Gas-to-Energy facility can also be arranged and are recommended for grades four and up.

To learn more and schedule a tour, contact us.

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Master Recycler’s Training Program

Become a waste prevention ambassador.

Are you passionate about waste prevention and recycling? The Master Recycler’s Training program, through the Jackson County Recycling Partnership, can teach you how to become a waste prevention ambassador. Classes are taught by Denise Barnes, Recycling and Community Outreach Coordinator at Rogue Disposal & Recycling. Topics include recycling, waste prevention, composting, solid waste infrastructure, e-waste, hazardous waste and more. It’s a six-week course – one night each week – offered once a year. Field trips and volunteer training are included. By the end of the program, participants will be able to work within their communities to cultivate public awareness by supporting a wide variety of projects and programs throughout the area. There is a minimal cost for Master Recycler’s Training, with need-based scholarships available.

To learn more, visit the Program's website.

Other Sponsorships

Southern Oregon Sparrow Club

Empowering kids to help other kids in medical need.

The Southern Oregon Sparrow Club program teaches life lessons in compassion and selflessness through building relationships between a Sparrow family, a school student body and the community. Sick kids get help, healthy kids become heroes and communities experience positive change. It’s truly a win-win-win!

Helping others by helping the community

Sparrow Clubs provide financial and emotional support for children and their families in need. “Sparrows” are children with a serious, life-threatening medical condition. The club also empowers kids to help others through charitable service throughout the community.

In the past, an individual school would sponsor one Sparrow with the help of a single corporate sponsor. Rogue Disposal & Recycling has been a proud sponsor of the Southern Oregon Sparrow Club for well over a decade, sponsoring our first Sparrow in 2007.

This year, for the 2021-2022 school year, a group of local sponsors, including Rogue Disposal & Recycling, have joined together to provide financial support for all of the Sparrows in the southern Oregon area. To “earn” that financial support, students at each school with a Sparrow perform community service hours. This can be anything from putting on a bake sale to raking their neighbor’s yard. In order for their hours to count, students need to complete a service voucher, saying how helping their Sparrow impacted them.

As a result, kids learn to focus on the needs of others — not only their Sparrow family, but members of their community. Students learn life lessons of compassion, character, courage and conscience for others.

New school year, new Sparrows

A group of sparrows is known as a quarrel. This year’s quarrel of Sparrows includes:

  • Alayna, adopted by Cascade Christian Middle and High School
  • Averi, adopted by Logos Public Charter School
  • Chevelle, adopted by Lone Pine Elementary School
  • Everest, adopted by Hidden Valley High School
  • Forrest, adopted by Lost River Junior and Senior High School
  • Parker, adopted by Grants Pass High School
  • Ricky, adopted by Phoenix High School
  • Tito, adopted by Eagle Point High School in partnership with Crater Lake Academy

To learn more about each of our new Sparrows for the 2021-2022 school year, click here.

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Meet Anna, our Sparrow for the 2018-2019 school year

Anna lives with a condition called Rett Syndrome — a rare, non-inherited genetic neurological disorder that primarily affects girls. Children with Rett Syndrome typically don’t show any signs of the disorder until they’re toddlers, around the age of two.

That’s about the time that Anna’s symptoms started to show. This condition affects nearly every aspect of her life — including her ability to speak, walk, eat and even breathe easily. A frustrating aspect with Rett’s Syndrome is that kids who suffer with this condition are able to understand far more than they can communicate to others.

Read the full story on the Rogue News blog

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Meet Elianna, our Sparrow for the 2017-2018 school year

Sweet Elianna was a happy and healthy baby girl. Around her first birthday, her parents started noticing that she wasn’t hitting her key milestones. At 26 months, she actually started regressing in major areas, such as speech, sitting up, and walking. When Elianna was three her family received the heartbreaking diagnosis that she had Rett Syndrome.

Read the full story on the Rogue News blog

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SMART Reading Program

Helping local students become life-long readers

For a young student, there are few things better than diving into the pages of a book and exploring new places, new worlds and new characters. Where else can you have a tea party with Miss Spider? Or spend a day with the Cat In the Hat? SMART – Start Making A Reader Today – is celebrating its 25th year in the Rogue Valley and Rogue Disposal & Recycling is proud to be a sponsor of this important program. During the past school year alone, SMART served more than 1300 students at 38 sites, giving out nearly 17,000 books to local students. Since 1992, the numbers are even more impressive – over 199,000 students served with 2,571,790 books handed out. In the words of famous children’s book author Tomie dePaola, “Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.”

To learn more, become a volunteer or donate, visit the Get SMART Oregon website.

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