New York State recycler of the year awarded

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) announced their 2009 Recycler of the Year awards in Cooperstown. Recognition went to Resa Dimino of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as 2009 Public Sector Recycler of the Year; to Jean Bonhotal as 2009 Private Sector Recycler of the Year, and to Tompkins County Waste Reduction and Recycling Team for the Team Recycler of the Year.

Dimino, who works in the DEC Commissioner’s Policy Office, was honored for her successful efforts to enhance municipal recycling programs, increase public awareness, and develop waste reduction policies.

She is currently drawing on her years of expertise to update DEC’s Solid Waste Management Plan for New York State. Dimino’s most recent accomplishment has been working with others to form the New York State Product Stewardship Council, which focuses waste reduction strategies on the design, production, sale and use of a product, rather than solely on the disposal. She was also elected to the national board of directors of the Product Stewardship Institute.

Winning for Recycler of the Year, Private Sector, was Jean Bonhotal of the Cornell Waste Management Institute. Bonhotal has been an untiring advocate of recycling and composting for over two decades. Her main goal has been to help bridge the gap between those responsible for managing wastes and developing policy with the research world, of which she is an integral part.

The Tompkins County Waste Reduction and Recycling Team, (made up of Leo Riley, Linnett Short and Kat McCarthy), was awarded the newly developed 2009 Recycling Team prize. The Tompkins County team combined two successful programs to develop exceptional recycling programs in schools, significantly reducing waste in the County school districts.

By promoting the international Go Green Initiative and ReBusiness Partners, the team has impacted 25 county public schools to date. As a result, on average, schools in Tompkins County have increased their waste diversion rate to 34 percent, up from 21 percent previously. In 2008 alone, 105 tons of organic waste was composted. Further, a culture of environmental sustainability has been created in schools at all levels.