DEP CELEBRATES NEW JERSEY’S RECYCLING LEADERS
AND POETRY CONTEST WINNERS
(08/49) TRENTON - From schools that are diversifying what’s collected in their recycling programs to a school mom who produced a film educating youngsters on the basics of recycling, New Jersey’ institutions, businesses, governments and residents are paving the way toward a greener future, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson said today.
“It is so important that everyone takes part in recycling,” Commissioner Jackson said in announcing the DEP’s recycling leadership award winners. “Not only does recycling save natural resources and cut down on waste, it bolsters our economy as it reduces the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. We should draw our inspiration from these recycling leaders and strive to do everything we can to recycle to the fullest extent possible in our own homes and workplaces.”
The awards were presented on behalf of Commissioner Jackson during the 28th New Jersey Recycling Symposium and Awards Luncheon in Eatontown. The DEP and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers co-sponsor the event each year.
The awards ceremony recognizes the vision, innovation and leadership of individuals, organizations, businesses and government entities that have taken notable steps to boost recycling during the past year, Commissioner Jackson said.
During the event, winners of the annual recycling poetry contest for children in fourth through sixth grades also were honored. The sentiments expressed by the winners demonstrate the younger generation’s commitment to the recycling ethic, Commissioner Jackson said.
2008 Recycling Awards
Winner: Lavallette Elementary School, Lavallette
Why: The school implemented a recycling program that is a model for team work. The school goes well beyond traditional recycling of bottles, cans, paper and cardboard by also recycling food scraps, printer cartridges, batteries, computers, and cell phones. Students developed a PowerPoint presentation that describes the program’s objectives.
Winner: Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Why: Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest recyclers of aluminum cans in the state and reclaims nearly all of its waste and byproducts. For example, the Newark brewery recycled 293 million pounds of its 295 million pounds of waste last year. The company also encourages its employees to participate in the company’s efforts through a computer-based and paperless suggestion program.
Winners: Trap Rock Industries, New Jersey Department of Transportation and Rutgers University.
Why: Kingston-based Trap Rock, working in conjunction with the New Jersey DOT and Rutgers, developed a process that recycled more than 80,000 tires in repaving of Interstate 95. They subsequently developed specifications for continued use of the material.
Winner: Janet Pellichero, Princeton Township recycling coordinator
Why: Under Pellichero’s leadership, Princeton Township achieved a 49 percent recycling rate in 2007. She routinely visits schools and business to evaluate recycling compliance. Recycling containers are regularly maintained at all township parks and recreation fields. Pellichero implemented a community paper-shredding program, an e-waste recycling program and disseminates recycling information to the community through web sites and mailings.
Category: Rising Star
Winner: Rowan University, Glassboro
Why: Rowan has developed an ambitious, community-wide effort through its students that has consistently been recognized with national environmental awards. The school was the first institution of higher education in New Jersey to convert to single-stream recycling. With its recycling committee, student recycling team and President’s Council for Sustainability, the university is a model for recycling.
Category: Rising Star
Winner: Thomas Quinn, Mansfield Township School District
Why: As facilities manager for the Mansfield Township School District in Burlington County, Quinn has developed a “Green Team” approach to generate staff support for improving the district’s recycling efforts. He communicates to staff the policies the district develops and solicits input from them. The district has now diverted most of its recyclables from the waste stream.
Category: Educational Program
Winner: Ocean County Master Composting Program
Why: Under the auspices of the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management, the program is a growing network of volunteers that spreads awareness of the benefits of home composting free of charge to county residents. It now has about 50 active members.
Category: Volunteer Citizen
Winner: Megan Giulianelli
Why: The part-time teacher and mother of a fifth-grader spearheaded an environmental filmmaking project at the Glen Ridge Upper Elementary School. Designed to appeal to children in Kindergarten through eighth grade, the film provides practical tips on how to recycle. The film was released on-line and on DVD.
Poetry Contest Winners
Fourth Grade: Rebecca Bulko, St. Joseph Regional School, Newton; Aritro Chatterjee, Martin Luther King Elementary School, Edison; Brian McGrath, Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School, Haddonfield; Anthony Okolo, Franklin Elementary School, Union.
Fifth Grade: Mikaela Palmucci, Lake Tract Elementary School, Deptford; Alyssa Casanova, South Harrison Elementary School, Harrisonville; Anne Li, Brookside Upper Elementary School, Westwood; Priyani Karim, Charles De Wolf Middle School, Old Tappan.
Sixth Grade: Matthew Szpunar, St. Therese School, Succasunna; Meghan Courtney, Lincoln School, Garwood; Catherine Ziesmer, St. Rose Grammar School, Belmar; Jennifer Vialonga, Cherry Hill School, River Edge.