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WSRA Announces 2014 Recyclers of the Year and Recycling Hall of Fame Inductees

Friday, April 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsay Kittleson
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Recipients to be recognized at WSRA Conference, May 6
The Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) will honor organizations, businesses and individuals for outstanding recycling achievements at their Awards Gala Banquet on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at the WSRA annual conference at The Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, WA.
Recyclers of the Year and Recycling Hall of Fame inductees are chosen by a panel of WSRA members representing a variety of aspects of the recycling industry, including collectors and processors, government agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations. 
The 2014 WSRA Recyclers of the Year include these outstanding honorees:
In 2008, Amazon launched its Frustration Free Packaging  initiative to improve customer experience and reduce waste  generated by packaging material. Amazon works directly  with manufacturers, and even offers incentives to deliver products in smaller, easy-to-open, recyclable cardboard boxes. In its first 5 years, Amazon’s program has grown from 4 manufacturers to over 2,000, and from 19 products to over 200,000. Subsequently, the program has eliminated 58.9 million square feet of cardboard and reduced box sizes by 14.5 million cubic feet. Unlike many of its competitors, Amazon is actively using its broad reach to change the marketplace for the better. For more information: Amanda,
Small Business Generator | Chaco Canyon Organic Cafes
Seattle’s Chaco Canyon Organic Café thinks outside of the box when it comes to waste reduction. Chaco Canyon hand sorts 99% of their waste, eliminating the need for separate garbage, recycling and compost receptacles in the front of house. Employees are trained to hand sort and optimize all waste, which has led to dramatically smaller trash bills and an estimated 70% of waste diverted from landfills.  In addition, Chaco Canyon has never given out a disposable utensil in 10 years of business, which has trained their customers to bring their own, borrow one, or opt out. Chaco Canyon reduces waste down to the smallest detail and is teaching their customers to do the same. For more information: Chris Maykut,
The City of Olympia is guided by a Vision of Zero Waste, a mission  “to lead and inspire their community toward a waste-free future,  and to play a strategic role “to create opportunities to eliminate  waste.” The year 2013 was filled with accomplishments and new  programs centered on Olympia’s Vision of Zero Waste. Through  programs such as their award-winning GrassCycling Virtual Workshop, Pedestrian Recycling, 3rd Grade Education Program, Lakefair Parade Recycling and many more, the City of Olympia Public Works Waste ReSources is leading their community toward a zero waste future and setting a strong example of successful public outreach. For more information: Ron Jones,
Nucor Steel Recycling Solutions | Emerald Recycling
Emerald Recycling, Inc. is a part of the daily fabric of Washington’s recycling scene. Every year this local, family-owned company addresses practical needs for businesses by properly, responsibly and cost-effectively recycling more than 200 million gallons of usable feed stocks and materials that would otherwise need to be disposed as regulated wastes.  In addition, Emerald Recycling creates sustainable products, including quality alternative fuels, recycled solvents, cleaners and degreasers from products once wasted. By collecting, processing and returning materials to local markets, Emerald has created closed loop recycling in the Pacific Northwest, offering a local recycling solution for organic liquid and industrial wastes produced from industrial and retail businesses, government shops and marine clients. For more information: Susan Thoman,

In 2010, King County Solid Waste Division formed a team with the skills to develop a first ever culturally targeted Hispanic education outreach program. The Recicla más. ¡Es facilísimo! Spanish language curbside education program has incorporated culturally competent principles in design, implementation and evaluation to meet the needs of the Hispanic community. The County developed a program that includes volunteer recycling educators, called Facilitadoras de Reciclaje, or “Recycling Facilitators,” and formed a first of its kind Hispanic/Latino media partnership to get the word out to the community.   The success of this program comes from continuously collaborating with the Hispanic/Latino community to increase awareness and accessibility to recycling and waste prevention education. This program provides an outstanding example for how to reach communities in a culturally competent way. For more information: Gerty Coville, 
Large Business Generator| Metagenics, Inc.
Metagenics, Inc., a Gig Harbor company that practices the science of nutrigenomics, knew that increasing recycling and waste diversion throughout the 5 buildings spread out on their campus would be no small task.  However, since 2011, when they began their commingled recycling program, Metagenics has seen increased recycling rates and reduced solid waste costs, by staying committed to environmental stewardship and community involvement. The company has increased their recycling rate from 27% in 2012 to 43% in 2013 and reduced their waste by almost 19 tons, using commingled recycling, reusing barrels and donating food waste to a local farm to feed animals. For more information: Audrey Herrell,

The Olympia School District’s Child Nutrition Services Department (CNSD) is one of the most innovative and visionary school food service departments in the nation. Having added bulk milk dispensers, eliminating disposable dishware, and creating a Food Rescue program, the District, under CNSD supervisor Paul Flock’s leadership, is saving money, conserving energy and resources, and helping to feed their community. With a 30 year history of reducing waste, the Olympia School District was one of the first school districts to implement comprehensive recycling and organics collection. They are modeling environmental stewardship in a hands-on, real-world way every day for staff, students and families they serve. For more information: Paul Flock,
Societal Impact| Plastic Whale Project 
Thurston County’s Plastic Whale Project is an innovative educational program that combines art and marine biology with the goal of waste prevention. The project brought together more than 900 people from all walks of life to create a 32’ replica of a grey whale made entirely out of plastic bags and waste commonly found in our oceans. The purpose of the project was to inform the public about the impact of our waste on marine life in a life size work of art. The project has been viewed by over 1.65 million people and has successfully reduced plastic bag use, helped pass plastic bag bans in unincorporated Thurston County, Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia, educated the public about the Pacific Garbage Gyre, and brought people face to face with the effects of waste on our environment. For more information: Carrie Ziegler, Watch "The Plastic Whale Project: a sensational cetacean" online:
The WSU Lewis County Master Recycler Composter program is an active, dedicated group of 22 volunteers who assist the Lewis County Public Works Solid Waste Utility with educating Lewis County residents and businesses about waste reduction, recycling, composting and household hazardous waste. From 2012 through the end of March of2014, the group logged more than 1,500 hours working in their compost demonstration sites; teaching others how to compost, vermicompost and create hugelkultur compost beds; helping students make mini-worm compost bins; organizing leaf exchanges; chipping up Christmas trees, and many other environmentally targeted projects. Through the hard work of their dedicated volunteers, this nonprofit group is meeting the goals of their mission to promote public awareness of household hazardous waste and recycling issues and to facilitate waste reduction through education and other activities. For more information: Debbie Burris,
The WSRA Recycling Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding long-term contributions to recycling in Washington. The 2014 inductees include these outstanding individuals:

Bart Kale, Hall of Fame | Nucor Steel Seattle Division
For over 15 years, Bart Kale has played an integral part in the success of Washington State’s largest recycler, Nucor Steel. As the Seattle plant’s Environmental Manager, Bart has contributed to the ongoing success of the business by promoting programs that reduce toxic contaminants and greenhouse gas emissions, and expand the types of metal products accepted for recycling. Bart’s efforts to educate suppliers on how to screen scrap metals for the presence of lead and his institution of quality assurance protocols has helped to ensure the protection of nearby residents and the environment as a whole from toxic contaminants. Through Bart’s leadership and oversight, Nucor Steel has become one of the most efficient steel mills in the nation. 
Bart has also been a dedicated and valuable leader in WSRA, serving as an extremely diligent board treasurer for many years. For more information: James Neely,

Jeanne Stewart, Hall of Fame | Clark County Solid Waste Advisory Commission & Vancouver City Council
For the last two decades, Jeanne Stewart has helped Clark County develop one of the most progressive recycling and waste prevention programs in Washington State.  Jeanne recently retired from the Clark County Solid Waste Advisory Commission after a long career as a facilitator for change in the County’s recycling programs. 
Jeanne has given countless hours of service to the community and has had a hand in twenty years of county wide recycling and waste prevention efforts, including education and outreach programs, curbside yard debris collection, hazardous and special waste collection, and curbside and multifamily recycling collection programs. Jeanne is well known and appreciated for her detail-oriented work style and is admired for her commitment to citizens, community and the environment. For more information: Anita Largent,

Earl Snyder, Hall of Fame| Kirkland Recycling Center (deceased)
Earl Snyder started working as a garbage collector in Seattle in 1947. He said that packing and managing garbage collection for over 25 years in Seattle and Kirkland gave him “first hand knowledge” of the need for recycling. After collecting and sorting thousands of bottles in the family’s back yard for several years, he launched the Kirkland Recycling Center, which he ran as a family business with the help of his wife, LaVerne, daughter, Joan, and son, Edward, until his death in 1987.
Deeply committed to recycling and waste prevention, Earl educated his customers. In a hand-written report about the center’s first 10 years, he highlighted recycling impacts in practical terms. (e.g. ” In ten years you recycled 950,000 cases of beer bottles, or 22,800,000 bottles. Placing those bottles end to end would create a line approximately 22,000 miles long.”) 
His dedication to the recycling industry led Earl to join the very first WSRA board in 1976. When he wasn’t recycling seven days a week, he was usually fishing with his sons, who have carried on the family tradition. His son, Ed Snyder, now drives truck for Pacific Topsoil. Another son, Bill Snyder, worked for Waste Management for many years and then moved to North Dakota, where he became a major player in promoting recycling. Ed will be present for his father’s induction into the WSRA Recycling Hall of Fame in May.
For more information about the WSRA conference and awards presentation, visit or call 206-244–0311. Award applications are available each November at

The Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA), formed in 1976, provides leadership, networking, advocacy and education to foster the expansion, diversity and economic vitality of recycling in support of sustainable resource management. Its 280 member organizations and over 700 individual members include private, community and government recycling agencies, generators of recyclables, collectors, processors, transporters, broker, commodity markets, recycled content product manufacturers, and others.  Contact Washington State Recycling Association, 206-244-0311,

 Washington State Recycling Association | 545 Andover Park W, Ste 209, Tukwila, WA 98188 | 206.244.0311 |

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