Recyclers, Take a Bow

The National Recycling Coalition dishes out its annual awards.

The Washington-based National Recycling Coalition has announced the winners of its 2008 annual awards. The 10 awards recognize both individuals and organizations within the recycling community.

“NRC's award winners are a diverse group, from small nonprofits to global corporations, that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and have created innovative solutions that benefit society in many ways, including protecting the environment and contributing to our economy,” said David Refkin, president of the NRC Board of Directors, in a press release. Below is a summary of the awards:

  • The National Leadership Award was presented to U.S. Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., for his efforts to develop a national response to global warming and resource conservation. In December, Carper introduced a two-part amendment to the federal Climate Change Act that called for a study of how recycling can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the inclusion of recycling in federal grant programs intended to help states fight climate change.

  • The Recycler of the Year Award was given to E. Gifford Stack, a recycling professional since 1976, who has developed waste paper recovery and plastic bottle recycling systems, and has directed national recycling activities for the glass industry.

  • The Atlanta-based Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC) received the Outstanding Recycling Organization Award.

  • Ed Newman won the Tim McClure Award for Outstanding Environmental and Community Leadership. Newman has been the manager of Ohio University's recycling and waste program since 1991. He also helped formulate the idea for RecycleMania, a 10-week, national recycling competition in which more than 400 colleges and universities compete to recycle the most.

  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, Minn., and the Recycling Association of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn., received the Beth Brown Boettner Award for Outstanding Public Education. The organizations created a Web site,, that educates residents and provides them with accurate information about recycling in the state.

  • The Oustanding Community or Government Program Award was given to Center County, Pa., for its recycling facility that processes more than 12,000 tons of recyclables each year and provides tours to thousands of visitors each year.

  • Todd Portune, chairman of the Hamilton County, Pa., Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee, won the Best Elected Recycling Leader Award.

  • Advanced Recycling Technologies, Springdale, Ark., received the Fred Schmitt Award for Outstanding Corporate Leadership. Founded in 1989, the company manufactures building materials made from recycled polyethylene plastic and wood.

  • San José, Calif., was recognized with the Outstanding K-12 School Program Award for its Go Green Schools Program, which connects more than 100 of the city's 300 K-12 schools with free recycling supplies and other green resources.

  • The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, won the Outstanding College or University Program Award for its comprehensive recycling program that includes collection opportunities for materials such as aluminum, cardboard, glass, mixed metal, mixed office paper, pallets, plastic and tires.

  • Finally, the Outstanding Recycling Innovation Award was given to Eco Cycle, Boulder, Colo., for its Zero-Waste Event Kit, which includes compost collection bins, educational signage and guidelines, single-use tableware, and tips for zero waste entertaining.