NWRA honors industry members

Association recognizes industry veterans for their contributions.


As part of the 48th annual WasteExpo in Las Vegas June 6-9, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) honored a number of waste and recycling industry professionals. The association recognized honorees during an awards breakfast the morning of June 7.

Jason Lind, vice president of sales at J.V. Manufacturing Inc. / Cram-A-Lot in Arkansas, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his lengthy service to the industry, while Charles Walton, founder of Wastequip, was posthumously honored as an “industry visionary.”

Additionally, David Brian Bedford, a driver for Republic Services in Boise, Idaho, was awarded Driver of the Year, as was Rickie Patterson, a driver for Rumpke Waste & Recycling in Cincinnati.

“The waste and recycling industry strives to successfully collect, recycle and innovate with the exemplary dedication and service Jason Lind has exhibited, and his recognition is well-deserved,” Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of NWRA, says.

“Jason has served tirelessly as chairman of the NWRA Standards Committee to ensure that all voices and ideas are heard, that vital consensus is reached and that our standards meet the needs of our businesses,” she adds. “He also provided instrumental leadership as we transitioned to a new and enhanced platform for our Manufacturing Sales Data Program.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for my service to the National Waste and Recycling Association,” Lind says. “I’m very proud to be part of an industry that performs such important work for the communities where we all live and work.”

He adds, “I’m especially proud of the continued focus on safety by my manufacturing partners in the waste and recycling industry. There are many examples in our industry where manufacturers have utilized new technology in creative ways to deliver safer products, benefitting our friends in the industry who use these products, as well as the general public.”

Lind concludes, “With such committed members, I think our industry will continue to set new standards for safety in our society and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Kneiss says Walton, who passed away at age 83 last year, “was a true trailblazer and entrepreneur in our industry.”

She adds, “Charles had a tremendous amount of respect for his employees, regardless of their position in the company. He earned the trust and respect of his employees and others in the industry through honest and fair treatment of all individuals. His transparent style in conducting business with acquisition targets helped him build a reputation for keeping the promises he made.”

Walton consolidated the fragmented waste equipment manufacturing sector of the waste industry. As waste haulers began consolidating into large national firms, he realized a national manufacturer would have the best opportunity to serve these companies by providing standardized equipment, manufacturing economies of scale, improved engineering, inventory availability, faster delivery and better service, the NWRA says. To realize his vision, Walton knew he would need to create a company with manufacturing facilities coast to coast. He invested his life savings, combining it with $10 million he raised from venture capital firms in Cleveland, to found Wastequip in 1989, the organization explains.

Throughout his waste industry career, Walton’s focus was on acquiring the best companies within their region and product category, brands like Toter, Galbreath, Pioneer, Mountain Tarp, Cusco and Accurate, NWRA says.

During his 20 years with Wastequip, Walton completed 24 acquisitions and started four businesses. At one point, Walton grew the company to 41 locations and more than 2,500 employees, the association says.

Bedford, who was recognized as a Driver of the Year, has worked for Republic Services for 30 years with outstanding safety record on the road, according to NWRA. Each week he drives an average of 1,035 miles on his route, with an average 41 pickups.

“David’s safety record, commitment to his company and his dedication to customer service are a source of pride for the entire waste and recycling industry,” Kneiss says.

The other Driver of the Year recipient, Patterson, who has worked for Rumpke Waste & Recycling for 30 years, also has an outstanding safety record on the road, according to NWRA. Each week he drives an average of 600 miles on his route, with an average 700 pickups.

“Rickie’s safety record, commitment to his company and his dedication to customer service are a source of pride for the entire waste and recycling industry,” Kneiss says.

In addition to these awards, NWRA honored these professionals:

  • Members of the Year
  • Terry Guerin, Southside Landfill
  • Jeanie Dubinski, Big Truck Rental

    Chapter Leadership Awards
  • Will Flower, Winter Brothers Waste Systems
  • Ron Bergamini, Action Environmental Group
  • Robert Lee, Ecotech Waste Logistics

    Distinguished Service Awards
  • Rick Prather, Advanced Disposal
  • Jason Lind, CRAM-A-LOT

    Driver of the Year Awards
  • Ronald Work, Waste  Management
  • David Brian Bedford, Republic Services
  • Efren “Fernando” Lopez, Republic Services
  • Scott Bruso, PDC/Area Disposal
  • Daniel Clark, city of Tacoma Washington
  • Mark Frazure, municipality of Anchorage Solid Waste Services
  • Rickie Patterson, Rumpke Waste & Recycling
  • Angel Veloz, WastePro USA
  • Chuck Lawyer, Casella Waste Systems
  • Gary Reay, Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District

    Hall of Fame Awards
  • Bill Meyer, Republic Services
  • Charles Walton, Wastequip
  • Michael Paine, Paine’s Inc.
  • Kevin Walbridge