NWRA honors recycling innovation, education and partnerships

NWRA honors recycling innovation, education and partnerships

Industry professionals gather to celebrate winners and trade advancements at the inaugural Waste360 Recycling Summit.

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September 10, 2015

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Washington, awarded its first recycling awards Sept. 10, 2015, at the inaugural Waste360 Recycling Summit, an event hosted by Penton and NWRA in Chicago. Four awards and three honorable mentions were given to companies that have made “substantial contributions to American recycling” through partnerships, public education and innovations in recycling equipment and in recycling facilities, NWRA says. Winners were selected by a panel of diverse judges that included waste and recycling industry professionals as well as other specialists in technology and education. Twenty-one applications were received for the four awards.

“These awards honor the very best in the industry for excellence in educating 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,” says 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 work run more smoothly, but it also yields better results for the environment and savings for the households we serve.”

The “Fill it, Tilt it, That’s How We Roll” campaign won the Sustainability Partnership Game Changer award, the headlining category of the program. This project was a collaboration between Kessler Consulting, Hillsborough County government in Florida, Progressive Waste Solutions, 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 1 million tons of material per year, the NWRA says.

Montgomery County Environmental Learning Center in Ohio won the Excellence in Public Education award. The center 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, the NWRA says. 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 Cos. of Minnesota received an honorable mention in Excellence in Public Education category.

Blue Line Biogenic CNG Facility in Lafayette, California, won the Recycling Equipment Innovator of the Year award. It is 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, the NWRA says. 

Cincinnatti-based Rumpke’s “Rumpke Innovates to Meet Glass Recycling Challenges” received an honorable mention in this category.

Sims Municipal Recycling's Sunset Park Materials Recovery Facility in Brooklyn, New York, won the Recycling Facility of the Year award for its efforts to build a state-of-the art facility that enclosed processing operations, avoided potential noise impacts to 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, the NWRA says. Sunset Park MRF has yielded a high production rate with system throughput exceeding design capacity.

Rumpke’s Cincinnati MRF received the honorable mention in the “Recycling Facility of the Year” category.

The NWRA represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers.