National Recycling Coalition awards leaders

The National Recycling Coalition named the top individuals and organizations within the recycling community at their 2008 Annual Awards Program. The event took place on September 22 at the 27th Annual Congress & Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The following awards were presented:

National Leadership Award: Senator Tom Carper - United States Senator Tom Carper of Delaware has long recognized the value in developing the nation’s strategic and sustainable response to resource conservation and global warming. As co-Chairman of the Senate Recycling Caucus since its inception, Senator Carper has been a champion for the recycling community on all pertinent matters before the Senate, and has provided extraordinary leadership in the development of legislation to support recycling and its many environmental and economic beliefs.

Recycler of the Year: E. Gifford Stack - Stack has extensive experience with solid waste management programs. He has developed waste paper recovery systems, directed the glass industry’s national recycling activities, sold recycling equipment, and created recycling programs for PET plastic beverage containers. Stack spent almost 14 years with the National Soft Drink Association (now the American Beverage Association) directing their environmental affairs program.

Outstanding Recycling Organization: Georgia Recycling Coalition - The Georgia Recycling Coalition emphasizes the importance of waste reduction through education. Outreach and continuing education are an integral part of the organization, which strives to educate about the most up-to-date education strategies and programming.

Tim McClure Award for Outstanding Environmental and Community Leadership: Ed Newman - Since 1991, Newman has been the manager of Ohio University’s recycling and waste program. Newman, along with the sustainability coordinator at Miami University, formulated the idea of RecycleMania - a competition that pitted two Mid American Conference schools against each other during a 10 week competition to see which campus could recycle the most.

Beth Brown Boettner Award for Outstanding Public Education: Recycle M.O.R.E Minnesota Campaign - In order to increase recycling at home, away from home, and at work, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Recycling Association of Minnesota partnered to create the Recycle MORE Minnesota Campaign.

The team launched , a website providing timely and accurate information about recycling in the state.

To help promote recycling education, the team created a downloadable toolkit (fact sheets, ads clip art, etc.) for stakeholders, local units of government, and others to use. Recycle MORE purchased recycling bins with the Recycle MORE message for various events, programs, and locations.

Outstanding Community or Government Program: Center County, Pennsylvania - Currently, the Authority employs 54 individuals; operates a transfer station, a recycling processing facility and a recycling collection system that uses nearly 200 haulers and includes curbside collection services to more than 22,000 households and more than 500 businesses in the country. Additionally, over 125 drop-off boxes are located throughout the 35 municipalities to provide recycling services to rural residents.

The Authority’s Recycling Processing Facility handles more than 12,000 tons of recyclables per year and provides tours to thousands of visitors per year.

Best Elected Recycling Leader: Todd Portune - Since 2001, Commissioner Todd Portune has chaired the Hamilton Solid Waste Management District’s Policy Committee. Due to his strong support of the environment and recycling, Commissioner Portune has been instrumental in establishing the vision for the District, developing innovative recycling projects, expanding District programs, and promoting recycling and waste reduction throughout the County.

Fred Schmitt Award for Outstanding Corporate Leadership: Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT) - AERT has been awarded a series of patents relating to the technology for manufacturing wood and polyethylene composites. AERT develops, manufactures and markets composite building materials made from recycled polyethylene plastic and wood.

Outstanding K-12 School Program: City of San José Go Green Schools Program - The City of San José Go Green Schools Program (SJGG) of the City’s Environmental Services Department fosters school recycling and environmental stewardship in a parent- and community-driven process. The program serves as a schools environmental resource center, connecting over 100 of the 300 total K-12 San José schools with free recycling supplies and other green resources.

Through SJGG, 69 schools have developed recycling programs, and 45 schools have been awarded mini-grants.

Outstanding College or University Program: Georgia Tech - Georgia Tech operates a comprehensive recycling program that provides collection opportunities for a variety of materials including: mixed office paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, mixed metal, pallets, plastic and tires at established collection sites and regular pick-ups for campus wide recycling.

This award-winning recycling program was started in 1997 with the hiring of manager Cindy Jackson. At it’s inception, the department’s primary function was to incorporate recycling, waste diversion and source reduction programs to Georgia Tech’s structure.

Outstanding Recycling Innovation: Eco-Cycle – Zero Waste Event Kit - Launched on Earth Day 2007, Eco-Cycle’s do-it-yourself Zero Waste Event Kit comes complete with compostable single-use tableware, compost collection bins, tips for Zero Waste entertaining, and educational signage and guidelines. Since April 2007, Eco-Cycle has distributed 530 kits and diverted an estimated 21,492 pounds of compostable and recyclable materials from the landfill.