At a reception held on Thursday at its western headquarters building in Pittsburgh, the PA Resources Council presented its inaugural “Zero Waste” awards to eight environmental leaders in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and minimizing the amount of solid waste sent to area landfills.
“PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania Program provides special events, commercial businesses, residential entities and institutions with vital waste reduction assistance,” said PRC Western Regional Director Justin Stockdale. “We’re pleased to introduce a formal awards program to recognize the accomplishments of those committed to preserving the environment, and we applaud the efforts of this year’s class of honorees for their outstanding leadership, innovation and dedication.”
In 2015, PRC’s Zero Waste team assisted more than 50 events, businesses and institutions with sustainable waste management solutions.
“Our Zero Waste team members provide technical expertise and hands-on assistance to enable a wide variety of organizations to pursue the ultimate goal of producing zero waste,” said Stockdale. “Each year these many successful partnerships result in diverting tons of material from landfills to become valuable compost and recycled products.”
In recognition of their commitment to “zero waste” principles, the eight honored organizations received awards made of reclaimed materials. Artists from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse hand crafted the awards using wood, glass and a variety of salvaged materials.
The 2015 Zero Waste Award recipients were:
-- Green Initiative Events Award-- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival: Since launching its “green” initiative in 2008, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival has consistently expanded its efforts – including introducing compost stations, providing recycling containers and collecting cooking oil for recycling – to pursue its goal of hosting a zero waste annual event.
-- Recycling Institution Award-- Allegheny County Office of Sustainability: Employees at the Allegheny County Office Building in downtown Pittsburgh tripled waste diversion during a one-year period (beginning in January 2015) and now divert 60 percent of the building’s waste from local landfills.
-- Dedicated Partner Award-- AgRecycle: The comprehensive programs of AgRecycle – which exemplifies the industry standard for quality compost production, customer service and dedication toward organic waste diversion – have assisted countless events and institutions reach high diversion rates.
PRC also presented Zero Waste awards to five events that achieved waste division rates of 90 percent or greater:
-- ALCOSAN – 13th annual ALCOSAN Open House: Since 2011, ALCOSAN’s open house has earned PRC’s sole platinum certification designation. Sustained leadership achieved 90+ percent waste diversion for five consecutive years, including the 2015 open house, which diverted 93 percent of its waste from landfills.
-- Citiparks – 38th running of The Great Race: In 2015, Pennsylvania’s largest 10K race and its related events diverted 94 percent of its materials from landfills during the eighth year of its “green” initiative.
-- Construction Junction – 9th annual Steel City Big Pour: Construction Junction’s annual fundraiser, which has worked with the Zero Waste Pennsylvania team since 2010, has achieved a 92 percent diversion rate since 2014.
-- Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R) – Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon: The 2015 marathon served as the “greenest” to date with 90 percent of the event’s waste diverted from landfills. P3R’s sustainability initiatives have diverted more than 39.3 tons of material from landfills since 2011.
-- The Outdoor Classroom – 7th annual Bounty at Boyce Mayview Park Fall Fest: The festival experienced waste diversion rates of 97 to 99 percent in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 2015 event diverted more than 22,000 pounds of compostable materials reused from other locations.
Visit the Zero Waste Pennsylvania webpage for more information or call 412-488-7490.For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Resources Council website. Click Here to sign up for regular updates, follow PRC on Twitter or Like them on Facebook. Click Here for PRC’s Events Calendar.