We are community-based
Trash for Peace is made up of an incredibly diverse team of driven and passionate community members.
“I am so grateful to this program for getting me out of my apartment and more involved in my community.”
Who We Are
Trash for Peace was established in Portland, Oregon, in 2012 with a vision of a world without waste. We believe it is possible to live in communities that are resilient and sustainable not just because they are good at reducing, reusing, and recycling, but because everyone in the community has a voice at the table.
Environmental Justice is the cornerstone of the work we do — we strive to build innovative waste reduction and recycling systems that are created by and for communities, and in so doing, are guaranteed to work better and last longer. We are collaborative and determined.
Our programs are dynamic and community-led. Throughout the year, with support from Metro, local governments, Home Forward, and nonprofit organizations, we serve over 450 unique youth and 80 families throughout Multnomah and Clackamas County. We focus on providing hands-on learning, low-barrier job opportunities, and education about sustainability in environments that are peer-led, welcoming, safe, and collaborative.
We divert thousands of pounds of trash from the landfill by utilizing reused and donated materials in all of our after-school activities. We have collected over 50 tons of trash just this year through our peer-led litter collection programs and provided over 500 unique jobs to members of the community facing job and housing insecurity.
This is the core of what we do. To us, sustainability is community; our programs are community-based and led by community members.
We believe in active listening first, and then co-creating programs that are flexible and unique to each community. We believe in popular education methodology and in processes that are iterative and holistic.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We value each person’s background, experience, presence and especially involve those who are traditionally marginalized, contributing to the creation of more effective and equitable systems.
Meet our uniquely diverse and passionate team!
Alondra Flores Aviña
Environmental Promoter Program Manager
Alondra Flores Avina was born in San Quintin, Baja California; At the age of five, she came to the United States with her family and now resides in Southeast Portland. She earned her Associate of General Studies from Portland Community College and her Bachelors in Community Development with a focus in Civic Leadership from Portland State University.
Her passion grew in sustainability, environmental justice, and youth development through her work with Trash for Peace, the Beekeeping and Garden task force, and Community Environmental Services at Portland State University. Alondra believes in the importance of active listening, building connections, and engagement to support communities on their strengths and needs, as they are experts in their communities.
Philip (Mo) Heisner
Ground Score Coordinator
Aloha, my birth name is Philip Andrew Heisner. I am originally from Missouri and I go by Mo. This is one reason I go by MO, being from Missouri and all. I am considered disabled being a partial parapelegic and all, although I like to call myself Mo Abled, something other than disabled. I fell off a roof in 1999 on the Island of Hawaii where my L-1 burst onto 80% of my spinal cord on a 30 foot seat drop, everything is mo better now after that no matter what.:)
Currently I am a social media coordinator and a coordinator at large with Ground Score, filling in where I can when needed. I am also a worker who works shifts on Ground Score’s GLITTER team and administer the Ground Score Workers Facebook page.
Ground Score People’s Depot Manager
Molly has worked and volunteered in Portland among marginalized communities for years with an emphasis on trauma informed care before coming to find a home with Ground Score and Trash for Peace. They have a background in chemistry and carpentry but truly found their passion when they started working as a Coordinator.
Their relationship with Ground Score started as a response to the global pandemic with the creation of The People’s Depot. They lost their job in March 2020 and by April they formed a connection with Trash for Peace and thus launched a mobile site for Canners to deposit their cans alongside other necessary services. Holding space and showing up for people where they are and listening to what they need without judgment has been their focus and has been represented in the foundation of The People’s Depot.
It has been such a pleasure for them to work with some of the most amazing people and continue to grow and show up for a community they love.
Taylor Cass Talbott
Ground Score Advisor
Taylor is an organizer, educator and coordinator for Ground Score Association. Taylor also works as a project officer for the global organization WIEGO, coordinating their Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities through Inclusive Recycling project. She has worked at the confluence of waste reduction, job creation, and social inclusion for more than a decade, as both a project manager and an artist.
Taylor spent four years developing a zero waste program for the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative, in SE Bhutan. She also worked for the SWaCH waste picker cooperative in Pune, India, developing their “Red Dot Campaign” to improve sanitary waste management. Taylor began working with waste pickers in 2008 as part of Live Debris, a series of international workshops and art exhibits that she designed to draw attention to social inclusion in the waste sector. She has a background in environmental studies and a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Resolution. In her free time, she dumpster dives and ground scores materials for arts and crafts projects.
Multifamily Programs Manager
My name is Anallely Rodriguez, and I am originally from Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 16 years old and I realized that this country would offer me many opportunities to grow professionally and personally, and so on. Since 2019 I have been working with the Portland, OR community and I discovered that this is what I am most passionate about; being surrounded by people and helping them with all or some of their needs, as it fills my heart with great joy. Working at Trash for Peace has been a great blessing, since I have the opportunity to continue working with the community and especially with young people and children, doing very fun activities and at the same time teaching them to reuse recyclable materials.
Environmental Promoter Program Coordinator
Isaiah has been working with Trash for Peace and helping with programming almost since the organization started. Now, as the Lead Environmental Promoter, he has been working to identify many ways to improve recycling where he lives, and share those ideas with other Promoters! He also loves to hike and go on adventures, and we cannot wait to see all the cool things he will accomplish next.
Ground Score Operations Manager
Nic Boehm has deep roots in Portland, Oregon. He has over 25 years experience in the world of custodial arts, Low-barrier jobs programs and Union Organizing. He takes pride in making the city a better place and working with the community.
Ground Score Advisor
Michael was born in Detroit, MI and grew up in nearby Ann Arbor the youngest of three sons of Lee, a college administrator and Rita, a librarian.
Growing up as the child of educators gave Michael a deep appreciation for knowledge, reading is a favorite pastime.
Michael joined Ground Score Association shortly after it was founded and has been honored to be able to contribute to such a worthy organization.
The work that Michael does for Ground Score appeals to his deep sense of justice.
Alice Rotsztain has worked as a festival producer, an arts educator, a communications manager for a social-justice education center and as a UX designer for a public university. She is passionate about our shared commons--digital, social, and ecological. A graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, working with new technology taught her how to embrace not knowing. When not working on projects with teams, she volunteers as a Master Recycler. Her personal creative work focuses on design related to waste and sustainability. She's thrilled to be learning with communities as we all seek ways to live gentler on the earth while being kinder to one-another.
Ground Score Co-founder and GLITTER Program Manager
Barbra (Barbie) Weber is a committed advocate on issues regarding hygiene access for all, environmental justice and housing rights. Co-founder and Coordinator for Ground Score Association (a Peer-lead initiative of Trash for Peace).
Gather Make Shelter academy member, Oregon Poor People's Campaign Coordinating Committee member, Central Eastside Together board member and Hazelnut Grove villager. In February 2021 piloted the GLITTER program (Ground Score Association Leading Inclusively Together Through Environmental Recovery), a sustainable tent side trash service for people living outside. She has been highly involved in many organizations and advocacy groups including Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, Right 2 Survive, Western Regional Advocacy Project, etc.
Youth Program Coordinator
Nissa was born and raised in North Portland and has a B.A. double major from Linfield University in Psychology and Studio Art. During her four years in McMinnville, Nissa’s involvement in sustainability clubs ignited her passion for protecting the environment on a small scale within our own communities. Her interest in art as a healing modality has translated into her work at Trash for Peace as a youth program coordinator. Nissa works with youth at three multi-family housing sites within Multnomah and East County. Whether it’s bringing in a fellow non-profit partner to garden or do yoga with youth or make abstract art with recycled materials, she has fun learning from the youth and local communities. In her free time, Nissa loves to sing, go on long walks to pet neighborhood cats, hike, and create art about body acceptance and rejecting diet culture.
Ground Score Administrative & Data Coordinator
Phoenix Oaks has lived experience with houselessness in Portland and has been involved with Ground Score Association since 2019. His interests include art and LGBTQIA+ issues.
Sustainability Programs Administrative Coordinator
My name is Veverly Campbell and developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything I do, both professionally...personally and spiritually. I have an associate degree in Early Childhood Education (PCC) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies (PSU)
Working with children and families was a long time dream for me. I have a large family of seven children and several grandchildren. I enjoy reading, writing poetry, dancing...exercising and making blankets. I love getting together with family and friends watching movies, cooking and eating healthy foods by trying out new recipes. My relationship with the Lord is very important to me growing in love with him and all people. I love working with children creating activities with and for them and helping to make the planet better in anyway possible.
Rafael (Toma) Solano
Ground Score Reuse and Repair Program Manager
Toma has been an advocate for the houseless in Portland for about six years concentrating most of his energy on helping villagers build intentional community. During his work as a carpenter he trained houseless folks to design and build structures for several of Portland's tiny home villages. Now he's a coordinator for Ground Score Association's GLITTER Program. Here Toma helps to provide low barrier jobs providing trash collection services for a number of houseless tent sites downtown.
Ground Score Coordinator
Amani Grant was born in the bay area but has resided in Portland for the last 16 years. He received an associate of arts from Portland Community College and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history from Portland State University. In his free time, Amani enjoys watching movies, reading, playing the bass guitar, practicing HEMA, and hopes to return to Rugby when the global situation allows.
He is a Ground Score coordinator who has been with the organization since March 2021 and has mostly been involved in the Peoples Depot program.
Laura Kutner Tokarski
Founder & Executive Director
Laura is a Peace Corps alumna and native of Portland, Oregon. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University. She is fluent in Spanish and has over 15 years of experience in sustainable community development. In 2019 Laura was recognized by the Association of Oregon Recyclers as Recycler of the Year. She is also an instructor at Mt. Hood Community College and received a distinguished teaching award in 2016. In her free time she loves to run, read, go on adventures with her family and friends, and explore the outdoors.
(Sustainability Education Coordinator - in partnership with Confluence AmeriCorps)
Spirituality is very important to me and being able to connect with others brings me joy. I love dogs, hiking, dinners with my friends and family, overall being able to connect with everyone and everything around me! I always find ways to reuse or keep using an item. I love baking for dogs, and sports. I'm a big LA Lakers fan!
Our Board Members
We are actively recruiting new Board members with skills in finance, law, fundraising and development. We seek to build a team of diverse individuals who share our passion for a more environmentally just and peaceful planet and are willing to devote their time and talent to further this mission.
Please contact us if you’re interested!
Founding Board Member
Founding Board Member
We are proud to work with Truly Bookkeeping to help us manage our finances!
Interested in helping further our mission? Help us seek donations!
We work with houseless community members all over Portland and our metro region who are often in need of good rain gear, warm socks and shoes, and clean towels.