Iowa’s leading recyclers honored at annual luncheon

In a July luncheon, the Iowa Recycling Association, a Council member organization, honored some of Iowa’s leaders in resource management and recycling practices.  The awards recognize programs and facilities that contribute to a healthier economy and environment and serve as models of sustainability to other businesses and organizations.

Recycling project of the Year: Mercy Medical Center (Cedar Rapids)

Mercy Medical Center undertook an aggressive effort to step up its recycling program:  capturing large quantities of commingled recyclables, increasing its recycling rate, reducing hazardous waste, and implementing an organics/food waste collection.   Mercy’s use of a split compactor (described in the video below) and establishing recycling champions in each department has garnered a lot of awareness and buy-in from patients, staff and visitors.

Iowa recycler of the year:  Brian Hoyer

BrianRecycler of the Year Brian Hoyer, a Cedar Falls native, UNI student, and young entrepreneur has filled a very large niche in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo community, by creating a curbside recycling pickup program where none existed.  Brian has an inspirational story of starting an incubator business from scratch; how it focuses on meeting customer service needs; and became a key factor in waste diversion in his community.  Congratulations, Brian!

See a list of additional honorees below (after the jump).

Best Organization Recycling Program:  CCI Industries of DeWitt, Iowa (DeWitt)

Community Care, Inc. of Dewitt, Iowa has been working with businesses in the tri-county area since 2008 to increase their recycling and diversion from the landfill. The Vocational Services Division is servicing more than 150 businesses, three colleges and three school districts, and providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

 Best Business Recycling Program:  Van’s Sanitation & Recycling (Le Mars)

Van’s has helped Plymouth County expand its recycling operations by serving additional towns with recycling pickup. They are currently implementing 90-gallon curbside recyclable pick-up in all towns in Plymouth County and assisting businesses with achieving zero waste.

 Best Industry Recycling Program: EMD Millipore Corporation (Billerica, MA)

To support the division’s commitment to Corporate Responsibility, EMD Millipore’s innovative customer recycling programs are the first of their kind within the Life Sciences industry and have been developed in conjunction with Heritage Interactive Services at their processing facility in Iowa City. As the programs continue to expand, EMD Millipore and Heritage are working closely together to develop additional novel and innovative solutions that support their customers’ sustainability needs.

Best Government Recycling Program: Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency (Le Mars)

PCSWA is an innovative leader in county-wide recycling and environmental excellence. The agency is handling multiple diversion streams, including shingles, construction and demolition waste, appliance demanufacturing, in addition to a commingled recycling stream. They sort concrete, wood, and shingles and take out recyclables from the debris piles. Concrete is crushed for road construction; wood goes to an ethanol plant; and shingles are ground and used in state road projects. The PCSWA is a model for recycling best-practices in rural Iowa.

Best Public Education Program:  Reusable Usables Creative Arts Center (Le Claire)

Reusable Usables is a non-profit organization offering clean, safe and non-toxic materials for reuse by children teachers and the general public for art and play. With a mission statement of “Engage a Mind, Save a Landfill,” the organization has created exceptional public education opportunities through summer and after-school programs, family events, workshops and community events.

Murray J. Fox Recycling Innovation Award:  Closed Loop Recycling LLC (St. Louis, MO)

Closed Loop Recycling developed a process to clean and reuse oil absorbent materials and to refine the used oils extracted from the materials. This innovative process provides the most environmentally sound method available for absorbent recycling. It is a true recycle, reuse system void of harmful solvents and waste water discharge.

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