The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) awarded its first recycling awards at the inaugural Waste360 Recycling Summit in Chicago.
Four awards and three honorable mentions were given to companies that have made substantial contributions to American recycling through partnerships, public education, innovations in recycling equipment and innovations in recycling facilities. Winners were selected by a panel of diverse judges who are professionals not only in the waste and recycling industry but also in other technology and education roles. Twenty-one applications were received for the four awards.
“These awards honor the very best in the industry for excellence in education the public about smart ways to recycle; creating innovative facilities to advance our work, constructing state of the art facilities to make waste and recyclables collection safer, faster and more efficient; and revolutionary partnerships that help to protect the environment and increase collaboration within the business,” said NWRA President and CEO Sharon H. Kneiss. “Our industry continues to make great strides in safety, engineering and community engagement which not only helps to make our worker run more smoothly but it also yields better results for the environment and savings for the households we serve.”
The Sustainability Partnership Game Changer award, the headlining category of the program, was given to the “Fill it, Tilt it, That’s how we roll” campaign. This project was a collaboration between Kessler Consulting, Hillsborough County Government in Florida, Progressive Waste, Republic Services, Waste Management, ESG, McNeilus Trucks, Sonrai Systems, Schaefer Systems, Cascade Cart Solutions, WasteRec Services and Trio Environmental Solutions. This campaign was based on a strategic plan of sustainable partnerships that would modernize waste and recyclables collection for the 21st century. The program focused on reducing costs, maintaining high service levels and protecting the integrity of the collection system as the partners served 260,000 households and processed almost one million tons of material per year.
The Excellence in Public Education award was given to the Montgomery County Environmental Learning Center in Ohio which seeks to encourage waste reduction, recycling and water and energy conservation. The facility opened its doors to the Montgomery County community in 2014 and served 6,000 visitors in its first 10 months of operations as it hosted free tours for schools, businesses and community groups. During tours at the facility, visitors learn about ideal behaviors that contribute to environmental sustainability as the Center fosters sustainable behaviors to conserve natural resources and preserve the local environment. The “Green Grades” campaign by Dem-Con Companies received an honorable mention in this category.
The Recycling Equipment Innovator of the Year award was given to the Blue Line Biogenic CNG Facility in South San Francisco, Calif. as the country’s first dry anaerobic digestion facility that will convert organic waste into compressed natural gas to fuel the very collection vehicles that supply it. Their unique closed loop system and facility construct pioneers the future of materials management by creating a fuel source for trucks from materials collected in local communities. The “Rumpke Innovates to Meet Glass Recycling Challenges” project by Rumpke received an honorable mention in this category.
The Recycling Facility of the Year award was given to the Sunset Park Materials Recovery Facility in Brooklyn, N.Y. for its successful efforts to build a state of the art facility that enclosed processing operations, avoided potential noise impacts for its surrounding community, implemented inbound scales for on-site quieting and addressed potential truck traffic concerns. The facility boasts an impressive safety record and aggressive safety-training program for its employees. Sunset Park MRF has yielded a high production rate with system throughput exceeding design capacity. Rumpke’s Cincinnati MRF received the honorable mention in this category.