Volunteer with Recycling On the Go

Volunteer Sarah helps folks sort their waste at the New Belgium Urban Assault Ride

If you like getting your hands dirty, sharing your passion for recycling with others, and feeling satisfied that you made a real difference — then you’re in the right place! Volunteers have expressed that this is much better than handing out brochures at the festival entrance or other volunteer jobs they’ve done. You’ve just gotta try it!

How to Volunteer:

  1. Read the information below about volunteering with Recycling On the Go.
  2. Submit our volunteer form.
  3. Look for email with a link to our volunteer opportunity calendar.
  4. Sign up the the events and times you would like, and have fun!

 Upcoming FREE Volunteer Training Opportunities: Become a Zero Waste Ambassador!

  • April 16, 2016 Saturday 10am – 12p
  • May 5, 2016 Thursday 6p – 8p

Have you ever wondered if you could recycle that? Get trained to assist others with that question!

Staffed Zero Waste Stations are an effective strategy for reducing landfill waste at special events and festivals by sorting attendee-generated waste materials into recycling, compost and landfill. Through this process plus pre-event planning, events can reduce the amount of material that goes to a local landfill by 50-98%.

All volunteers wishing to assist at events should plan to attend a training session. This two-hour presentation and set of activities will provide knowledge and engagement practices for volunteers helping monitor Zero Waste Stations at special events at the Missouri Botanical Garden and with the Recycling On the Go Program.

Volunteers will gain information about national recycling rates, recycling myths and current best practices; learn where disposable products come from, what they are made of and where they can go (through recycling, composting or landfill).

Volunteers will also have an opportunity to develop and practice “elevator” pitches to engage with attendees as you assist them to sort their waste for the greatest possible collection of recycling and composting.

This training is co-presented by the Earthways Center and St. Louis Earth Day and will be held at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Commerce Bank Education Center at 4651 Shaw Blvd.

Register through the ROG Volunteer form on this webpage. Mention this training and date you wish to attend on the form.

ROG Equipment Volunteer Opportunities

updated 3.28.16

HELP! We need to get ready for the 2016 ROG season and we have more work than we can handle to get our equipment ready!

These tasks can be scheduled at your convenience to take place at our office.

  1. Table repair – estimated time to complete: 2 hours. The frame pulled its screws from the plastic table. Drill new holes through metal frame into plastic housing (needs electric drill) and reattach. Completion by April 1, 2016
  2. Wagon assembly – estimated time to complete: 2 hours. We purchased a new wagon this year that needs assembly and painted with our organization logo stencil. Completion by April 21, 2016
  3. Water Weight bags tested for leaks! the weight bags used for all of our feather banner signs have sprung leaks or need to be tested to see if they have leaks before our pant legs get all wet during transport! Can you help us? estimated time to complete: 1 hour.

THANK YOU! to Lucy, Molly, Jenny, Leslie and Lilly for all your help putting new labels on our recycling lids! That was a lot of lids!!

Upcoming Event Volunteer Opportunities:

updated 3.18.16

 Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities at some really great events include:
  1. Recycling Extravaganza April 3, 2016 – Volunteer shifts are FULL. Thank you, Boeing!
  2. St. Louis Earth Day Festival April 24, 2016
  3. Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Friday event series (every second Friday May-Sept plus October 7, 2016) May event Full! Thank you Paul Mitchell The School!
  4. Girls On the Run 5k and Fun Run May 7, 2016
  5. Humane Society of Missouri’s Bark in the Park May 21, 2016
  6. Schlafly’s Art Outside May 27-29, 2016
  7. Macklind Mile June 25, 2016
  8. Pride Fest June 24-26, 2016
  9. Trailnet’s Share the Street Party August 13, 2016
  10. International Institute of St. Louis’ Festival of Nations August 27-28, 2016
  11. Schlafly’s Hop in the City September 17, 2016
  12. Murmuration September 23-25, 2016 (tentative)
  13. Pedal the Cause September 24-25, 2016
  14. Schlafly’s Great Pumpkin Harvest Festival October 15, 2016


About Volunteering with Recycling On the Go:

“I just wanted to let you know that the recycling station job was a big hit. Having someone around who understood the recycling process made the whole thing a hands-on learning experience…Every time Bill was at my station, people asked a ton of questions. I never thought 2 hours sorting garbage could be fun! Thanks for giving me the opportunity!”
Barb Gist, An ROG volunteer with Chinese Culture Days at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 2013.

Volunteer Guide: events with recycling & composting

The program provides recycling bins which are composed of a wire frame, plastic lid and bag. The most labor-intensive parts of the program are the loading and unloading, but even just one extra set of hands makes an incredible difference! Supplies includes wire frames (approx. 5 lbs), plastic bin lids (approx. 2 lbs), bags, signs, and misc. items such as bags, clips, name tags, etc. Most events require a minimum of 20 bins and up to 120 bins for larger events like PrideFest.

You should be prepared for standing for a significant period of time (2-8 hours) and lifting up to 20-40 lbs comfortably, bending/leaning/twisting frequently. Some events employ a waste station model where volunteers are needed to help attendees sort their waste into compost, recycling, and landfill. In this case, heavy lifting and bending is not required. If you are concerned about the physical requirements of volunteering, please contact us – we will make sure you know what to expect and we will make accommodations as best we can.

Closed toed shoes are required. We have some utility gloves, but you are welcome to bring your own. We provide plastic gloves for changing out the recycling bin bags. Please be prepared for rain or shine. During the events, depending on the size of the crowd, monitoring the bins and changing out the recycling bags can be leisurely or high energy. We encourage all ROG team members to explore the events that we service and take breaks when needed.

Removing contamination from organic collection totes is a great way to socialize while ensuring totes are not rejected and sent to the landfill.