Recycling Awards

The NWRA Recycling Awards recognize companies, organizations or individuals who 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.

Submit your application for the 2021 Recycling Awards.

View the 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, repurposing 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 demonstrates 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 individuals 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 and developing 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 who 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.

Have questions?

Please contact Jonathan Taylor at jtaylor@wasterecycling.org with any questions you may have about the awards.

2020 Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: Rehrig Pacific Company and Waste Management

2020 Best Recycling Public Education Program Award: Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County, Fla.’s Recycle Right Everyday campaign

2020 Recycling Facility of the Year: FCC Environmental Services’ Houston materials recovery facility (MRF) and GFL Environmental’s Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, MRF

2020 Innovator of the Year – Recycling Equipment: Fire Rover

2020 Organics Recycler of the Year: Republic Services

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: Village of Mount Prospect Public Works in Mount Prospect, Ill., and SWANCC in Wheeling, Ill.

Best Recycling Public Education Program Award: Republic Services’ “Recycling Simplified” campaign

Recycling Facility of the Year Award: Plano Recycling Facility in Plano, Texas

Innovator of the Year – Recycling Equipment Award: Styro-Constrictor

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: Florida Recycling Partnership, Waste Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Beverage Association

Construction and Demolition Debris Recycler of the Year Award: Waste Connections of Rhode Island

Best Recycling Public Education Program Award: Waste Management’s Latino Outreach Study and Campaign

Recycling Facility of the Year Award: Dem-Con Companies for its materials recovery facility (MRF)

Organics Recycler of the Year Award: Vanguard Renewables

Honorable Mention – Recycling Facility of the Year: City of El Cerrito, El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center

Honorable Mention – Recycling Facility of the Year: Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste, Tri-County Recycling Facility

Honorable Mention – Best Recycling Public Education Program: City of Phoenix, Phoenix Zero Waste Team

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: SCS Engineers and Dane County, Wis., Solid Waste Division

Best Recycling Public Education Program Award: City of North Port, Fla., Solid Waste Division’s outreach strategy and Recology San Francisco’s Artist in Residence Program

Innovator of the Year Award: AMP Robotics

Recycling Facility of the Year Award: FCC Environmental Services and City of Dallas’ materials recovery facility (MRF)

Organics Recycler of the Year Award: City of Cedar Grove, Wash., Republic Services and Alabama Coastal Foundation

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine Waste Diversion Program. Partners included: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, ASI Waste and Reduction in Motion.

Excellence in Public Education Award: Emerald Coast Utility Authority’s Compost Program Outreach and Education

Recycling Equipment Innovator of the Year Award: BinBisa Decorative Recycling Bins

Recycling Facility of the Year Award: Republic Services’ Southern Nevada Recycling Center

Construction and Demolition Debris Recycler of the Year: Zanker Recycling of San Jose, Calif.

Excellence in Organics Recycling: Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s Biosolids Composting Facility

Honorable Mention – Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: Publix and Goodwill Industries Recycling

Honorable Mention – Excellence in Public Education Award: Waste Management’s “Recycle Often. Recycle Right.” Public Education and Outreach Program

Honorable Mention – Excellence in Public Education Award: Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Away Program

Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award: “Fill it, Tilt it, That’s How We Roll” campaign. This project was a collaboration between Kessler Consulting, Hillsborough County government in Florida, Progressive Waste Solutions, Republic Services, Waste Management, ESG, McNeilus Trucks, Sonrai Systems, Schaefer Systems, Cascade Cart Solutions, WasteRec Services and Trio Environmental Solutions.

Excellence in Public Education Award: Montgomery County Environmental Learning Center in Ohio

Recycling Equipment Innovator of the Year Award: Blue Line Biogenic CNG Facility in Lafayette, Calif.

Recycling Facility of the Year: Sims Municipal Recycling’s Sunset Park Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Honorable Mention – Excellence in Public Education Award: “Green Grades” campaign by Dem-Con Cos. of Minnesota

Honorable Mention – Recycling Equipment Innovator of the Year Award: Rumpke’s “Rumpke Innovates to Meet Glass Recycling Challenges”

Honorable Mention – Recycling Facility of the Year: Rumpke’s Cincinnati MRF