NWRA Announces 2023 Recycling Awards Recipients

NWRA Announces 2023 Recycling Awards Recipients

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) announced its 2023 Recycling Awards recipients, recognizing innovators and leaders in its industry. Awards in four categories were given to companies that have made substantial contributions to U.S. recycling through partnerships, public education, and innovations in recycling facilities. Winners were selected by a panel of judges who are professionals in the waste and recycling industry.

“These awards honor the very best in the industry for excellence in creating innovative approaches to advance our work and constructing state-of-the-art recycling solutions that help protect the environment,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “Our industry continues to make great strides in expanding options for managing materials, which yields better results for the environment and the communities we serve.”

The 2023 Recycling Facility of the Year Award went to Murphy Road Recycling, LLC’s All American MRF. The All American MRF has a capacity of approximately 1,000 tons per day. The facility has 11 optical sorters that ensure the system is flexible to respond to changes in the recycling market. It can be adjusted to look for different materials and different grades of recyclables.

The 2023 C&D Facility of the Year went to WM Recycling Deerfield. The facility opened in 2022 and processes 1,000 tons of debris daily. It accepts Class III waste, C&D debris, and yard waste from commercial and municipal customers. It diverts approximately 800 tons of material from landfills daily.  WM Recycling Deerfield’s initial goal was to recycle approximately 60% of the material that comes to the facility. It averages 80% of inbound material and significantly exceeds its recycling goals.

The 2023 Organics Management Facility of the Year Award was shared by WM Varick CORe facility and Recology Ostrom Organics. WM’s CORe process recycles food waste into an engineered bioslurry of organic feedstock for use in municipal wastewater treatment plant digesters. With the CORe process, the facility can accept materials too contaminated to be processed through traditional methods.

Recology’s Ostrom Organics (ROO) compost facility accepts up to 250 tons of mixed organics. It is an important facility for the long-term management of organic material in the Northern California region. Since it opened in 2020, the facility has processed over 136,000 tons of organic material and produced over 80,000 yards of compost which is sold locally,

The 2023 Game Changer of the Year Award went to Clean Harbors. UpCycle Arts received an honorable mention. Clean Harbors is North America’s largest refiner and recycler of used oil and offers many environmental and industrial services including the collection, transportation, and treatment, recycling, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste and wastewater treatment. In 2022, Clean Harbors collected and processed 232 million gallons of used motor oil and returned approximately 196 million gallons of new, refined oil, lubricants, and by-products to the marketplace.

Upcycle Arts accepts donations of art supplies and provides them to communities in the Charlotte, NC area. Upcycle Arts partnered with Charlotte Stormwater to re-purpose scraps and pieces of leather left behind in a large warehouse they had moved into. Through its outreach and partnership with Charlotte Stormwater, Upcycle Arts was able to distribute 130,000 pounds of leather.

The 2023 Excellence in Recycling Public Education Award went to American Waste Control for its Feed Mr. Murph program. The program educates and encourages recycling. Mr Murph is a cartoon image of American Waste Control’s Material Recovery Facility. Mr. Murph tours local schools, fairs, festivals, and community events, spreading the word about recycling. American Waste Control released a 3D recycling game and an app, which teaches the recyclability of various items. Through several local partnerships, Mr. Murph helps spread the message of recycling and environmental stewardship.

The 2023 Equipment Innovator went to Everest Labs – RecycleOS. EverestLabs created RecycleOS to make recycling more effective and sustainable. Material Recovery Facilities sort tons of materials every day and while recyclable materials are recovered, no equipment or human sorter is perfect, and plenty of recyclables still go to landfills. EverestLabs’ AI-controlled robotic cells pick 2-3x more objects than human sorters with an industry-leading 90% success rate.

“I congratulate all our winners on their outstanding achievements and contributions. It is important we recognize the good work our industry is doing to make our communities better,” said Smith.

The honorees will be recognized at NWRA’s Executive Leadership Roundtable event October 4-5, 2023.



The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and various other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.


Brandon Wright
National Waste & Recycling Association