For Immediate Release, September 19, 2016
This September, The National Recycling Coalition honored recycling awards recipients at the Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans. The awards were presented to the recipients at the 2016 Murray J. Fox Scholarship and NRC Annual Awards Luncheon.
The awards program is designed to honor and recognize outstanding individuals, programs, and organizations around the country, both for their achievements, and to serve as a model and a resource for learning for NRC members. Award categories range from higher education, not- for and for-profit organizations, business leadership, as well as recognition of outstanding programs.
2016 Awards and Recipients
- Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company- Sheetz Inc. & Weis Markets, Inc.
- Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership- La Soupe of Cincinati, Ohio
- Outstanding Recycling Organization- Indiana Recycling Coalition & Texas STAR
- Outstanding Higher Education- Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas
- Outstanding Community or Government Program- The Chapel Hill – Carrboro School District, North Carolina
- Outstanding Community or Government Program, Honorable Mention- City of Columbia, South Carolina, School District
- Bill Heenan Emerging Leader- Laurel Stelter of Iowa
- Lifetime Achievement in Recycling- Meg Morris of Covanta Energy
Details of the Awards and Winners
Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company
Sheetz, a family-owned firm, pilot tested bins, service, hauling contracts, and employee training and found a solution that works in this sector – which they have now rolled out to 70% of their locations. They are already diverting over 8 million bottles and cans, expecting to hit 12 million as they finish roll-out. What a great example for others in the convenience store industry!
In response to a corporate mission to be good environmental stewards, Weis reduced their company’s carbon footprint 22.1% from their 2008 baseline – surpassing their 20% by 2020 target 4 years early. They achieved this goal by creatively manufacturing recyclables into new products, including Envirologs from recycled waxed paper; Weis Choice compost from food from 70 stores; and customer plastic bags turned into Trex lumber – and also receiving back park benches to donate to community organizations.
Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership
Food is a huge focus in our industry, and La Soupe is a non-profit that rescues food toward feeding hungry people with the soups and stews that chef and founder Suzy deYoung whips up – a step up the process over composting! Partnership is the name of the game at La Soupe – including partnerships with grocery stores, organic farmers, and other area chefs (called the “Chef Bucket Brigade”). They also hold after-school cooking classes, and feeding children in food deserts is a special target for La Soupe.
Outstanding Recycling Organization
The IRC (Indiana Recycling Coalition) had three main accomplishments this last year: 1) leading a successful two-year campaign bringing together an array of efforts to oppose siting of a mixed waste facility in Indianapolis; 2) Launching the Indiana Student Recycling Leadership Corps (SRLC), with PepsiCo, a high school scholarship program that allowed two students to present their work on community recycling projects at this year’s IRC conference; and 3) launching the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative (IFSI), a high-engagement stakeholder initiative to build food infrastructure, pilot projects, and toolkits.
Texas STAR was busy this year – spreading word about the huge impact the recycling industry has had on the state through the Texas Data Recycling Initiative (TDRI). Other efforts include strengthening partnerships and relationships with other NGOs in the state, reaching out to new sectors and companies, and a huge focus on providing value to and engaging WITH members though presentations at meetings, conferences, and events to develop a stronger understanding of recycling in Texas.
Outstanding Higher Education
JCCC (Johnson County Community College) has a tradition of proactively connecting students to work in recycling and diversion through internships at the Center for Sustainability. These efforts have led to partnerships with community organizations, and significant “green” changes on-campus. These efforts have increased diversion from 14% to 51% since 2010, helping them progress toward their “Zero Waste by 2025” goal. Community partnerships have also raised more than $135,000 for scholarships.
Outstanding Community or Government Program
The Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School District implemented a district-wide compost separation program. In its first full year, the program diverted more than 255,000 pounds from the landfill to a composting facility. In addition, they increased recycling rates significantly. The result is a net zero-financial program that educates students and their families about composting and waste reduction.
Bill Heenan Emerging Leader
Teenager Laurel Stelter has not only participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) event for several years but has also been helping Iowa towns become better stewards of their environment. In 2013, at only 16 years of age, Laurel contacted the event’s planners to begin a bottle and can recycling campaign – and did a “get it done” move, getting recycling going in the towns and event. Her commitment and dedication to this program shows you how one individual truly can make a difference for her own and future generations.
Lifetime Achievement in Recycling
Meg Morris has dedicated her personal and professional life to the advancement of recycling. She is long-time NRC Board member – serving as president, chair, vice president and treasurer of the NRC during her long tenure on the Board, and was a major force in the re-emergence of the NRC, helping organize the rebuilding of the organization and its finances. Meg has had roles on the Boards of Directors for NYSAR, the PA Recycling Markets Center, Go Green Initiative, Mass Recycle, America Recycles Day, Inc., and the Federation of NY Solid Waste Associations serving in leadership positions.
Savannah Marie Betkowski, NRC Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org; (202) 618-2107