The PA Resources Council Thursday presented its second annual Zero Waste Awards to 10 Pittsburgh-area organizations in recognition of their commitment to adopting sustainable environmental practices and diverting waste through recycling, compost and reuse.
“PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania program provides special events, commercial businesses and institutions with vital waste reduction assistance,” said PRC Western Regional Director Justin Stockdale. “We’re pleased 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.”
The 2016 Zero Waste award recipients are--
-- Green Event Initiative Award: Allegheny County – Hay Day and Family Green Fest:
This one-day event educates families on energy and water conservation as well as waste reduction and resource conservation. Over a six-year period, the festival has expanded waste diversion efforts from simply recycling bottles and cans at the event to introducing composting, free water refill stations and requiring vendors and participating organizations to use compostable or reusable materials.
-- Dedicated Partner Award: Dave Anderson – Echo Valley Farm: Echo Valley Farm, which raises quality grass-fed beef, collaborates with PRC to compost paper cups and food scraps from numerous regional events. Dave Anderson’s New Galilee (Beaver County) farm participates in a compost farm cooperative that enables Echo Valley to receive food scraps from nearby commercial businesses to create a soil amendment used by other local farmers to grow quality food.
-- Zero Waste Business Award - Bronze Level - Ann Jones Gerace Center: The three-story South Side office building diverted 90 percent of waste through recycling and composting (including composting paper towels from restrooms) and is collecting baseline data to determine future waste reduction strategies and goals. PRC honors the Ann Jones Gerace Center with the bronze level Zero Waste Business Award in recognition of its completion of a yearlong program PRC offers for small to medium-size businesses striving for zero waste.
-- Outstanding Multi-Unit Dwelling Recycling Award - Mackey Lofts: Mackey Lofts – which served as the first of 15 complexes to take part in PRC’s hands-on recycling program for multi-unit dwellings – significantly increased recycling rates and reduced recycling contamination. Residents of the six-story building (originally a biscuit factory) have the potential to keep 35,000 pounds of waste from entering landfills each year.
-- Zero Waste Initiative Award - 412 Food Rescue: This organization rescued one million pounds of food from the waste stream in its first 20 months of existence by working with food retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, caterers, universities and other food providers. 412 Food Rescue aims to fight hunger by collecting fresh, healthy food that would otherwise be discarded and distributing it directly to community organizations that serve those in need.
Awards To 5 Events
PRC also presented Zero Waste Awards to five events that achieved waste division rates of 90 percent or greater in 2016--
-- ALCOSAN – 14th annual ALCOSAN Open House: ALCOSAN’s open house has achieved 90+ percent waste diversion for six consecutive years, including the 2016 open house, which diverted 98 percent of its waste through recycling, composting and reuse.
-- Beers of the Burgh – Winter Warmer: This one-of-a-kind festival held at Carrie Furnace featured seasonal offerings from 30+ western Pennsylvania breweries and achieved a 96 percent diversion rate through planning, recycling, composting, education and reuse.
-- Citiparks – 39th running of The Great Race: Pennsylvania’s largest 10K race and its related events diverted 93 percent of its materials from landfills during the ninth year of its “green” initiative via planning, implementation and public education.
-- Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R) - EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler: The 10-mile race through the streets of Pittsburgh diverted 96 percent of its waste through recycling, composting and reuse.
-- Township of Upper St. Clair – 8th annual Bounty at Boyce Mayview Park Fall Fest: The festival achieved a waste diversion rate of 92 percent through a combination of planning, recycling, composting, education and reuse.
In 2016, PRC’s Zero Waste team assisted more than 60 events, businesses and institutions with sustainable waste management solutions.
Last year, Zero Waste efforts diverted 21 tons of material to be recycled and 29 tons of material to be composted and reached approximately one million individuals directly and indirectly through waste audits as well as public and private zero waste services.
“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 many successful partnerships result in diverting tons of material to become valuable compost and recycled products.”
At an awards ceremony/celebration held at Fireman Creative in Point Breeze Thursday, the 10 honored organizations received plaques made of repurposed materials in recognition of their commitment to zero waste principles.
For more information on this program, visit PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania webpage 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.