This September, The National Recycling Coalition honored recycling awards recipients at the Resource Recycling Conference in Indianapolis. The awards were presented to the recipients at the 2015 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.
NRC’s Awards Committee Chair Lisa Skumatz commented on the process saying of fellow committee members, “They worked long and hard to sort from among several score of submittals to find those shining examples – a task that was made particularly hard because there were so many really stellar nominees.”
2015 Awards and Recipients
- Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company- Rumpke Inc.
- Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership- Northeast Recycling Council (NERC)
- Outstanding Recycling Organization- Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW)
- Outstanding Higher Education- Michigan State University’s Surplus Store & Recycling Center
- Outstanding Community or Government Program- Catawba County Recycling
- Lifetime Achievement in Recycling- George Dreckmann, City of Madison
- Murray J. Fox Endowment Scholarship- Ryan Hackbarth, Leah Lahu, Gabrielle Vinyar, Spencer Wesche
Details of the Awards and Winners
Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company
This year, the Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company award, which is awarded to a company showing leadership, innovation, success as model in recycling and diversion, was presented to
Rumpke, Inc. and the Dayton Glass Processing Facility. Mike Bramkamp, regional Vice President of Rumpke Waste & Recycling’s Northwest Market accepted the award at the event.
Operating in Ohio since 1932, Rumpke operates some of the most technologically advanced recycling facilities in the US. With $4 million in upgrades, supported by a $500K grant from Ohio EPA, Rumpke was able to expand – in fact double – their state of the art glass processing facility in Dayton to keep up with the 40,000 tons of glass they collect from about 1.4 million residential and commercial customers from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. The glass is processed to create a highly-demanded raw material necessary to manufacture fiber glass and container glass and play a key role in stabilizing regional glass markets at a time when many municipalities are removing glass from their list of acceptable materials. Rumpke’s success in glass processing is a model for others in the US to prepare glass for end users.
Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership
The Northeast Recycling Council, or NERC, was the recipient of this award presented to a non-profit company showing leadership, innovation, success as model in recycling and diversion. The Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) – now 28 years old! – is a multi-state non-profit organization serving Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
On hand to receive the award was Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director & Events Organizer for the Northeast Recycling Council, who commented, “NERC staff is honored to receive the Not-for-Profit Recycling Business award from NRC. And we are delighted to be recognized by our peers for our work. Thank you.”
In addition to its focus on environmental and economic sustainability through responsible solid waste management, NERC’s mission is to promote sustainable materials management by supporting traditional and innovative solid waste best practices, focusing on waste prevention, EPP, toxics reduction, reuse, recycling and organics recovery.
Outstanding Recycling Organization
This award, which recognizes a State or other recycling organization with outstanding growth, programs, leadership, or contribution and impact in the field, was accepted on behalf of the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin by Karen Sieg, their Executive Director. “AROW is extremely proud to receive this award, because it represents the great work AROW’s board, staff, committee chairs and members has done to serve our fellow members and to support our industry.”
Now 25 years old, Member-focused Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, or AROW, has been providing statewide proactive leadership on waste reduction and recycling in Wisconsin. It provides an array of services, including education resources to local government, best practices, advocacy, and a focus on collaboration, networking and “connecting” actors to get materials and get materials to market. AROW has grown from its 20th Century roots to a 21st Century organization focused on promoting a broad range of policies and strives to provide insightful comments and valuable information to legislators, its members and the public and on critical legislation or issues that will affect them and our industry.
Outstanding Higher Education
The Michigan State University’s Surplus Store & Recycling Center (SSRC) won this award for an exceptional program in recycling or in connecting higher education and the industry, in degrees, tech transfer, and career services links. This center processes and markets 9.5 million pounds of recyclables annually, including 4 million pounds from a public drop off center serving 17 different zip codes. The SSRC also processes 10 million pounds of organic waste and reusables annually. Non-traditional materials are processed through a highest and best use model that focuses on reuse first. SSRC’s greatest accomplishments are building a processing center and store, growing its services and increasing diversion with no additional or new funding.
Outstanding Community or Government Program
Catawba County Recycling received this award recognizing a program showing innovation, progress, and success as model for other public programs. There were many factors contributing to NRC’s Awards Committee’s decision to award Catawba County. Recycling and being kind to the environment is the way of life for many Catawban’s, but it’s also about the local government’s commitment to environmental sustainability that contributes to programs overall success. Building a sustainable program….an innovative twist on Recycling and Solid Waste Management…. Catawba County’s EcoComplex components continue to evolve to meet the goal of developing a system that will recover useable products and by-products from private and public partners that will work together to use each other’s waste products either as a source of energy or as a raw material for the manufacture of their own product. The EcoComplex is focused on making and using “green” energy and on the economic development of Catawba County.
Amanda Kain, of Catawba County Recycling accepted the award at the NRC Annual Awards Luncheon. “We are very pleased to win this award that reflects the dedicated efforts of Catawba County citizens, businesses (particularly Republic Services, the County’s solid waste franchisee), school systems and our cities and towns, who have made recycling a very high priority for more than two decades,” said Amanda Kain, Catawba County’s Waste Reduction Coordinator and Educator.
From the many recycling programs offered throughout the county to its innovative EcoComplex and Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility, Catawba County continues to be a leader in recycling, waste reduction and solid waste management.
Lifetime Achievement in Recycling
From the City of Madison Wisconsin, George Dreckmann is NRC’s 2015 winner for Lifetime Achievement in Recycling recognizing his commitment, dedication, and leadership in the field.
Madison began collecting newspapers at the curb in 1968 making it the oldest curbside recycling program in the country. George Dreckmann has led Madison’s recycling program since 1989, with demonstrated leadership, innovation, and an environmental commitment.
Originally Madison relied on a refuse derived fuel program for its waste diversion. George implemented a yard waste recovery system, expanded the curbside program to include a full spectrum of materials, and converted the incineration facility to a transfer station and brush/wood waste recovery facility. George added household hazardous waste (1990); electronics recycling and medication and sharps drop off (1999); textile and shoe recycling (2006), construction and demolition recycling (2010), and mattress recycling (2013), and an organics collection program is to be rolled out by the end of 2015.
He has led the program to a national leader position — In 2014 65% of its waste was either recycled or composted. In addition, George has been an active and devoted member and board member of the National Recycling Coalition – and for those who know him, an equally devoted baseball fan!
“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Dreckmann told the Indianapolis audience. “This represents recognition for the men and women of the Streets Division and our committed residents who have worked so hard to make our program a success.”
Murray J. Fox Endowment Scholarship
Since 1994, the National Recycling Coalition has awarded scholarships from the Murray J. Fox Endowment to students interested in recycling careers. This year, four Indianapolis area college students were selected: Ryan Hackbarth and Leah Lahu/ Hanover College, Gabrielle Vinyard/ Butler University, and Spencer Wesche/Franklin College. In addition to cash scholarships and a one-year membership in the Coalition, Resource Recycling has offered complementary admission to the Resource Recycling Conference.
Notable supporters and contributors of these awards include: Patty Moore, of Moore Recycling Associates, Inc.; award supplier Dan Weisenbach of Weisenbach Recycled Products; Gary Bilbro, President and CEO of SMART Recycling of South Carolina; Mark Lichtenstein, President and CEO of the NRC, and from Syracuse University Sustainability; Margie Griek, Executive Director of the Colorado Association for Recycling; Robin Weiner, President of ISRI, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries; Jack DeBell, Recycling Manager from the University of Colorado – Boulder; Arley Owens, President and CEO of Earth Green Team; Lisa Skumatz, Principal of Skumatz Economic Research Associates
The National Recycling Coalition congratulates all of this year’s winners!