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Recycling Awards
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Recycling Awards

The NWRA Recycling Awards recognize companies, organizations or individuals that have made a significant impact in the waste and recycling industry. They are intended to celebrate achievements and commitment, as well as provide inspiration for others. You may click here to see our 2020 Recycling Award recipients. 


Award Categories

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award
This award recognizes partnerships that include municipal and county governments, regulatory agencies, community organizations and private industry that have successfully partnered to implement game-changing initiatives, policies or programs that advance sustainability in their community. Examples include, but are not limited to, increased recycling participation, targeted recycling or reuse campaigns, innovative organics collection and management efforts, carbon emissions reductions, re-purposing closed landfills, or the preservation of biodiversity. Applicants must demonstrate how partnership and collaboration with another entity, or the general public, resulted in a meaningful and quantifiable sustainability outcome or breakthrough.


Best Recycling Public Education Program
This award is open to public, private and non-governmental organizations that exemplify excellence in recycling or sustainability public education programs. Applicants are required to submit program materials and methodologies, as well as data that demonstrate the impact and success of the program.


Innovator of the Year - Recycling Equipment
This award is open to recycling equipment designers and manufacturers that successfully challenge and advance recycling sector operations. This honor celebrates innovation in design and manufacturing that increases the effectiveness or efficiency of recycling equipment and operations. Applicants are required to provide data that supports improved outcomes as a result of their innovation.


Recycling Facility of the Year Award
This award is open to all recycling facilities, new or existing. This honor recognizes the facility that demonstrates leadership in key measurements, such as innovation, quantity of materials collected and/or processed, types of materials recovered, site improvements, or sustainability measures adopted. Applicants are required to provide metrics to affirm that their facility is the preeminent recycling facility in the country.


Construction & Demolition Debris Recycler of the Year Award 
This award is open to companies, organizations or individuals that have made a significant impact in construction and demolition debris recycling operations. It will reward companies or indviduals in the sector who have embraced waste prevention and careful use and reuse of resources. This could be through a number of means including expanding alternative management of construction and demolition debris, increasing diversion, development of new facilities or equipment that will lead to safer or more efficient operations. The embedding of waste prevention into a company's culture will be strongly considered. It is intended to celebrate achievements and commitment, as well as provide inspiration for others. Applicants are asked to describe facilities, methodologies or programs, and provide data to quantify the impact and success of their work. 


Organics Recycler of the Year Award

This award is open to companies, organizations or individuals that have made a significant impact in minimizing food waste in their community through prevention, reduction, reuse and/or recycling. It is intended to celebrate achievements and commitment, as well as provide inspiration for others. Applicants are asked to describe methodologies or programs, and provide data to quantify the impact and success of their work. 

Nomination Fees

The nomination fee for our flagship award - Sustainability Partnership Game Changer -  is $300/application. For all other awards, the nomination fee is $150/application. 


How to Submit Nominations

  1. Follow this link to purchase the application you'd like to apply for: Recycling Award Applications

  2. Add the award application to your cart and checkout (you will need to login to the NWRA website. If you don't have a login, you will need to create one). 

  3. Once your purchase is submitted, there will be a link for you to "download". That link will take you directly to the online form for completion. You MUST use a gmail address to access this document. 

  4. Complete all questions on the nomination form. Please complete each section in full. Add sheets where necessary. (To view an example of an application form click here). 

  5. Submit nomination form(s) with payment and required documents by July 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.

Eligible companies must become members prior to applying for an award. Please use this link to join NWRA. Municipalities, state governments, universities and non-profits organizations that are not eligible for membership are welcome to apply. Please contact Anne Germain at agermain@wasterecycling.org with any questions on eligibility. For troubleshooting issues, please contact Megan Passinger at mpassinger@wasterecycling.org.