WSRA is excited to announce our 2018 Recycler of the Year Award recipients and Recycling Hall of Fame inductees! On Tuesday, May 22, we will honor 10 organizations, businesses and individuals for outstanding recycling achievements at our Recycler of the Year Awards Gala Banquet which is part of the 38th Annual WSRA Conference & Trade Show in Blaine. Recyclers of the Year and Recycling Hall of Fame inductees are chosen by a panel of WSRA members, board members, and Hall of Fame inductees.

The 2018 WSRA Recyclers of the Year include these outstanding honorees:

Seattle Public Utilities | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Public Agency
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is honored to receive the WSRA 2017 Recycler of the Year award in recognition of their comprehensive outreach and education programs, leadership in waste prevention initiatives, and innovative conservation programs. With these efforts and ongoing support from customers, stakeholders, and elected officials, SPU achieved an annual recycling and composting rate of over 58% for all material generated in 2016.SPU works with residents in 148,000 single family households, 7,000 multi-family complexes, and 8,000 commercial businesses through targeted outreach and education programs.  SPU has wide-ranging programs that help customers recycle, compost, and reduce waste every day. Each year, specialists assist over 800 businesses in their native languages and visit more than 200 apartment complexes to promote waste diversion and educate residents in multiple languages.All residents can enjoy the Community Education Room featuring multiple interactive exhibits at the LEED Gold certified North Transfer Station. The North Transfer Station also now accepts reusable household goods at the Recycling and Reuse building where a fulltime attendant assesses items for donation to the Goodwill.In 2017, SPU built on a history of innovation, regional leadership and collaboration by hosting the “Plastics Summit” which addressed the issue of microplastics in the environment, and the “Measurements and Metrics Symposium” where regional leaders discussed new ways to measure the impact of our solid waste programs. For more information contact, Susan Fife-Ferris.

Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc. | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Outstanding Recycling Business
Nucor Steel Seattle is built on the sustainable model of recycling steel in massive volumes, and we continue to push recycled steel into products where it was never considered viable.  Our Seattle mill uses an electric arc furnace (EAF), where electricity passes through giant electrodes to melt recycled scrap which we turn into rebar. EAFs are less carbon-intensive than blast furnaces, which keeps our footprint small, our emissions negligible and allows us to compete globally while adhering to rigorous, local environmental standards.  Our Seattle mill emits 85% less greenhouse gases than a blast furnace while manufacturing steel bar products that contain more than 96% recycled content.  Furthermore, our Seattle mill uses 98% less water than the world industry average for EAF steel mills, which saves over five billion gallons of city water annually.  We do this by using recycled water instead of energy-intensive, pre-processed drinking water.  Nucor Steel Seattle helps keep recycling local and sustainable. For more information, contact Sean Wilson.

Ardagh Group | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Nucor Steel Recycling Business
Ardagh Glass Inc. manufactures glass container packaging for the world’s biggest food and beverage brands. We are a global leader in packaging solutions and have been in the PNW since 1931. Because glass is infinitely recyclable without any loss to quality, we can recycle 100% of our internal cullet and accept post-consumer glass containers for recycling through our partnership with Strategic Materials. Once the glass has been sorted and cleaned, it can be put back into the process as a raw material which saves energy and reduces emissions. Over a ton of natural resources are saved for every ton of glass recycled. In addition, we recycle 90% of our packaging materials including plastic wrap dressing, straps, cardboard, paper, and pallets. Through the Operation Excellence Group and ISO 14001 certification, we are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce any negative environmental impact while remaining economically sustainable and socially responsible. For more information, contact Lana Getubig.

Tinkertopia of Tacoma | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Innovation
Tinkertopia, LLC. works with local businesses, capturing safe, reusable materials from the waste stream (aka Great Material Continuum), and re-imagines these as unusual arts and craft supplies for kids, teachers, makers and tinkerers. For more information, contact Darcy Anderson

Waste Management | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Multicultural Engagement
Waste Management (WM) is committed to providing inclusive, culturally relevant recycling education and outreach. WM created several new, innovative programs for customers by rethinking language and structure as they create outreach programs, with a preliminary focus on their Latino customers, the second-largest ethnic group in the U.S. In 2017, WM implemented a recycling education pilot and campaign aimed at Spanish-speakers in Snohomish County that educated residents about recycling and tested the effectiveness of texting, TV and radio ads, direct mail and door to door outreach. Using the information learned from this pilot, WM developed a new education campaign geared towards the Spanish-speaking community: “Odes to Recycling.” The campaign is inspired by the work of Pablo Neruda and his odes to everyday elements, paying homage to recyclable plastics, paper and cans that can be re-born for the benefit of the planet and future generations. Based on the importance the community places on recycling and the environment, odes are a culturally significant way to share recycling best practices for priority materials. In addition, WM launched a new bilingual English/Spanish storytelling program that targets the multicultural communities within schools. The hands-on, visual and interactive nature of the program made it accessible for all students regardless of native language.  For more information, contact Michelle Metzler

Whitworth University, Sodexo Dining Services | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Higher Education
By 2017, Whitworth University had already taken great strides to promote recycling, compost, and an ethos of sustainability throughout their campus in north Spokane. Yet they knew that they could do more.  So last fall, they partnered with a local consulting company, Resource Synergy, to take the program to next level. Since then, a re-vamped recycling and composting program has reduced trash from their student union building by 70%!  Whitworth and Sodexo Dining Services are now working to prevent food waste from occurring in the first place, donate what can’t be prevented, and then closing-the-loop on any remaining organic material through vermicomposting. For more information, contact James O’Brien, Sodexo or Christopher Eichorst, Whitworth University.

T-Mobile Corporate Real Estate & Facilities | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Business Generator
More than 1,200 employees, two buildings, a busy cafeteria, daily food truck service, and 16 yards of trash collected weekly, paints a clear picture of T-Mobile’s 175,000 square foot campus in the Canyon Pointe Bothell community. Since 2016, T-Mobile Canyon Pointe has transformed their operations, halving weekly trash collection, and saving nearly $16,000 annually on solid waste collection services. T-Mobile’s waste reduction efforts included a campus-wide ban on StyrofoamTM, the implementation of a paper towel composting program, and the development of customized educational signage for all collection containers. T-Mobile has demonstrated leadership in the business community, supporting recycling and composting efforts that can produce financial, social and environmental benefits. The success of this initiative in the Bothell community resulted in an expansion of waste reduction and sustainability initiatives throughout T-Mobile’s stores and offices nationwide. For more information, contact Jay MacArthur

Bainbridge Island Zero Waste Volunteers | 
WSRA Recycler of the Year – Nonprofit
The goal of Bainbridge Island Zero Waste, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge, is to reduce landfill waste by encouraging waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.  BI Zero Waste volunteers collaborate with nonprofits, retailers, vendors, schools, city hall, multifamily residents and the community as a whole to work toward this objective.  For example, they oversee discard stations at over ten island annual events, that draw from 200 to 20,000 patrons, as well as weekly at the farmers’ market, and divert 80% of the material to recycling and compost. They also work with local institutions, such as the Senior Center, to organize and expand waste management systems.  Hard-to-recycle items merit their own special collections.  Over the past year at separate times, BIZW has amassed two semi-truckloads of Styrofoam, 72 cubic yards of light strings, over 200 pounds of CDs and their cases (repurposed), 250 campaign signs (repurposed) and 350 solar eclipses glasses (reused).  To discourage use of disposables, BIZW runs a popular tableware lending library, available to private parties as well as to nonprofits.  BIZW educates the public with displays, tabling, a newsletter, a website, monthly meetings with guest speakers, field trips and special events.  This is the third-year of the sell-out Trashion Show (upcycled fashion) and coming up on May 5 is a screening of the documentary Straws to accompany a Straw-Free Bainbridge campaign. For more information, contact Diane Landry.

Bellevue Greener Living Challenge Partners 
– Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue; City of Bellevue Utilities; King County Housing Authority; Wilder Environmental Consulting | WSRA Recycler of the Year – Partnership
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue, King County Housing Authority, and City of Bellevue (and contractor Wilder Environmental Consulting) partnered during the spring of 2017 to issue a “Greener Living Challenge” to over 200 students and their households from three local Boys and Girls Clubs locations housed within King County Housing Authority properties.   The team of partners developed a fun curriculum for students designed to immerse them in a specific environmental issue weekly, for four weeks.  Each week, a guest from a different City of Bellevue department visited students and taught a hands-on activity.   Students also had a weekly challenge to complete during the week.  Challenges included promoting recycling and waste reduction, using natural cleaners, eliminating contaminants down local storm drains and sewer pipes, and conserving energy at home.  Families received tools to help implement the challenge, such as reusable recycling bags and instructions and reusable lunch boxes, reusable water bottles, “Zip-It” drain cleaning tools, car wash coupons, and LED bulbs.   Students were able to translate materials to teach everyone in their home.  As a result, over 200 students learned in classes and achieved the challenge by bringing home and explaining materials to their households, reaching 150-200 families and households with in-depth information taught by students in their household language. For more information, contact Sam Wilder.

The WSRA Recycling Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding long-term contributions to recycling in Washington. The 2018 inductee held a near and dear place in the heart of many and it is WSRA’s honor to celebrate this inductee’s contributions. 

Scott Campbell | (Posthumously)
The Washington State Recycling Association has experienced a significant loss to our recycling family with the passing of Scott Campbell in September of 2017.  Scott was a manager for Waste Connections, Inc. and served on the WSRA Board since the mid 2000’s in various positions including Board President, and most recently serving as Vice President for the 2016-2017 year. Scott was a fixture at WSRA’s Annual Conference helping to emcee the programming and step in as auctioneer for the live auction.Scott tirelessly contributed 110% to every aspect of his life.  His leadership, generosity, and commitment to the recycling industry and to WSRA was unwavering. Scott had a deep passion for life, his family, and his community. A vibrant man, always quick to offer a smile and word of encouragement who had a great sense of purpose and sense of humor.At the time of his passing Scott was campaigning for a city council position for the City of Vancouver. His name remained on the ballot and he won the seat which was then filled by appointment.His legacy will live on in his generous and steadfast spirit as well as his community projects including the now renamed Scott Campbell Christmas Promise bike build event that Waste Connections of Washington Inc. hosts each year.