OPPC Earth Care Congregation: Recycling & Composting

Recycling and Composting at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church.

Help OPPC continue our pledge as an Earth Care Congregation by helping us recycle and compost. In April of 2023, we announced that OPPC was given the honor of being an Earth Care Congregation by the PCUSA church for the 2023/2024 year. If you would like to read that article, please click here

With that pledge, we promised to educate, inspire, and to provide resources to help build a sustained change. If one was to look around OPPC, they would find multiple areas where one could find recycling and composting containers. For instance, in the back of the sanctuary before you exit, we have areas where you can recycle your bulletins. In the Lounge we have large rectangular canisters for recycling paper, cups, and cans. In the Lounge kitchen we have an area for compost and another inclusive recycling container, we also have recycling containers in offices, the copy room, the pavilion, and at the preschool. If you have any questions about where a recycling container is located, you can ask staff, elders, or deacons. 

Ways to Recycle at OPPC.

As an Earth Care Congregation, Orchard Park Presbyterian Church staff and members have pledged to be careful, humble stewards of the earth and protect and restore it for its own sake and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family.  This pledge includes a commitment to conserve resources and use energy efficiently.

One of the steps identified by Session to meet our commitment is to continue our collection of recycling paper, aluminium and plastics and encourage our congregation to participate in getting the recyclables to recycling centres.

As previously mentioned, at OPPC, we have a large container at the western most point of the parking lot to place paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic bottles. Within the OPPC building, we have numerous drop off points for these types of materials, including the small and large kitchens, copy room, lounge, pavilion, sanctuary, preschool hallway, and high school lounge. Church volunteers collect the recyclables from these recycle containers and place them in the large parking lot bin on a regular basis. 

Unfortunately, those amazing church volunteers must sort out the “trash” that is placed in these well-marked containers. Users of OPPC facilities regularly place “trash,” such as paper plates, plastic silverware, napkins, leaky half-filled empty bottles and food waste in the well-marked recycle containers. When this happens, the recycled materials can become contaminated and unable to be recycled. Our volunteers then must spend extra time sorting through the drop offs and picking out the clean empty containers to recycle.

What you can do to help OPPC Recycle.

When throwing something away, please read before you throw and place “trash” in the waste can and clean, dry and empty aluminium cans, plastic bottles, and paper in the designated recycling bins. 

As always, if you have any questions, please ask staff, Elders, or Deacons, any of us would be more than happy to help. 

Together, we can make a difference and demonstrate our commitment to being an Earth Care Congregation.

Ways to Compost.

Before Orchard Park Presbyterian Church started the process to become an Earth Care Congregation, OPPC committed to eliminating use of Styrofoam coffee cups on Sunday mornings and for OPPC sponsored meals and meetings.Instead of Styrofoam cups, we offered members and visitors the option of a reusable mug or a compostable coffee or juice cup. Church volunteers then wash and dry the reusable cups, so they can be used again.

What is composting?

Composting is a controlled aerobic process that converts organic material into nutrient-rich soil amendment or mulch through natural decomposition.  Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It is a way to manage our waste more sustainably and requires minimal effort.

Orchard Park Presbyterian Church offers compostable hot and cold cups that anyone can use. If the compostable cups are placed in the compostable bins in the lounge, choir room and preschool hallway, church volunteers collect them to compost. BUT to compost the compostable cups, they must be placed in the proper recycling bin.

What you can do to help OPPC Compost.

This is where you come in. Drink your coffee, lemonade, or juice in a reusable cup/mug. Or better yet, bring your favorite reusable beverage container from home.  

BUT if you do drink from a compostable cup, please place it in the proper recycling container so it can be composted.  The containers are clearly labeled, and the contents are regularly picked up.

If you have any questions, just ask staff, Elders, and Deacons. We wold be more than happy to help. 

In this together.

Reusing, recycling, and composting are just a few of the ways OPPC staff, members and visitors can demonstrate our commitment to being a congregation who heeds God’s call to cherish, protect and restore the earth.



  1. Reply
    Don Frazer says:

    I thought that “at OPPC, we have a large container at the western most point of the parking lot to place paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic bottles,” was really only for paper! No cardboard, no plastic grocery bags, no trash. Has the recycle bin been replaced and updated recently to accept other materials listed, like cardboard, aluminum cans & recyclable plastic bottles? I have been recycling paper there for years, but not in the last few weeks, so I might be behind current permissions for the acceptable recycle materials that can be place in the bin. I also usually see separate bins for each of those materials elsewhere – your description seems to indicate that all materials listed might be place in the same bin?

    Am I way behind in OPPC opportunities to save the planet?

    • Reply
      Brittany Glass says:

      Hi Don,

      Yes, the container can now accept all of those materials. Just not Trash, and no contaminated materials. Thank you so much for your question and reply to the post.
      Also, no, you are not way behind in OPPC opportunities to save the planet, every bit helps.


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