Montgomery County Recycling Achievement Recognition Awards

Multi-Family Waste Reduction and Recycling Achievement Awards

Non-Residential Waste Reduction and Recycling Achievement Awards

Individual Waste Reduction and Recycling Achievement Awards

Multi-Family Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

Excellence in Janitorial Crew Member Performance

Awarded to a multi-family janitorial crew member who has consistently gone the extra mile to keep trash and recycling areas in excellent condition to encourage residents to recycle more in a safe and welcoming environment.

Ms. Manuela Moya, Aurora Condominium

Ms. Manuela Moya keeps 22 trash rooms and the hallways at Aurora Condominium spotless throughout the day. Manuela takes her job to the next level of excellence. Often, residents have mentioned in internet reviews how pleasant it is to live there thanks to the cleanliness and organization of the trash rooms and common areas. Manuela has been instrumental in developing the food scraps recycling program at Aurora Condominium. In addition, Manuela volunteers to explain to residents what is -- and what is not -- recyclable to residents who speak only Spanish.

Outstanding Efforts in Waste Reduction and Recycling

Awarded to multi-family properties that have adopted exemplary efforts to develop, expand, or enhance their waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs aiming for Zero Waste.

Fairchild Apartments

Upon opening of the Fairchild Apartments in May 2023, Property Manager Weston Henry and his team have worked diligently to ensure that residents are informed and recycling properly.  The trash and recycling area at Fairchild Apartments is immaculate and well signed and labeled. Even before the property opened, to ensure residents would participate in the recycling program, Weston was proactive about ordering a large quantity of recycling bins and educational materials to share with residents as they moved in.  All the recycling education efforts are paying off as Fairchild Apartments achieved a recycling rate of 80.6 % in 2023. We look forward to celebrating their continued successes!

Georgetown Village Condominium

Georgetown Village Condominium continues to improve their recycling program. For over two years, this property has been using plastic bag recycling collection boxes in each trash and recycling room, which has greatly reduced the plastic bag contamination in mixed paper and commingled recycling containers.  Recently, they have also added one small container in each trash and recycling room for battery recycling collection. This will not only ensure that batteries are recycled correctly, but also prevents fire hazards for the property and its residents, as it mitigates the chances of battery-caused fires.

Hampden Square Condominium

Hampden Square Condominium has shown commendable collective effort towards their recycling goals. Led by the Facility Lead Engineer, Russell Hoes Sr., the community has embraced a proactive approach to recycling various materials. Russell's initiative in recycling batteries, key fob replacements, and old cell phones at Batteries Plus (a local retailer) is an example of responsible recycling of electronic items and disposal of hazardous waste. Additionally, resident Pam Shroeder's dedication to setting up plastic bag recycling and personally transporting them twice a month to a local grocery store shows that one individual within a community can make a noticeable difference. Lastly, the property's annual paper shredding and recycling event, which resulted in the recycling of 700 pounds of paper in 2023, highlights their commitment to recycling.

Meridian at Grosvenor Station

The residents and staff at Meridian at Grosvenor Station work together to make recycling a success. The residents are proactive in setting aside recyclable materials to minimize contamination of the recycling stream. Also, the janitorial staff works tirelessly in their efforts to properly separate the recyclable materials.  Both parties are communicative about their needs and challenges in this cooperative effort, and we congratulate them all on their continued efforts and successes. 

Old Georgetown Village Condominium

The management and residents at Old Georgetown Village Condominium work cooperatively to make their recycling program a success.  They work with the TRRAC Program to utilize the resources the TRRAC Program offers, plan recycling events, and attend our TRRAC seminar every year to stay up to date with recycling mandates. Recently the Green Committee sent out a survey to measure interest in a food scraps recycling program and it was received with great excitement from other residents.  Moreover, the Green Committee is planning a continued educational campaign to promote recycling in the community, and it is motivated to reduce their footprint by working alongside community residents and the TRRAC Program.

Triangle Towers

Triangle Towers has implemented several initiatives to minimize their ecological footprint. A Planet Aid bin was installed onsite for residents to donate clothes and shoes, which ultimately reduces textile waste. Complementing this effort, the property shuttles books from its onsite library to local centers for reuse, promoting a sustainable solution for an overflow of materials. The property has reached tangible recycling achievements, including the responsible recycling of 200 pounds of carpet, 75 pounds of batteries, and 8 pounds of toner cartridges and printer ink cartridges. Through these actions, Triangle Towers sets an example of conscientiousness that deserves recognition.

University Gardens I & II

University Gardens I & II is receiving this award for their remarkable achievement, recycling 3,200 pounds of construction materials, 85 pounds of toner cartridges and printer ink cartridges, five pounds of batteries, and 40 boxes of incandescent light bulbs, all diligently swapped out for energy efficient alternatives such as LED bulbs. Their efforts stand as a testament to the property's unwavering dedication to ensuring that nothing recyclable slips into the waste stream.

Wheaton House Apartments

The staff members at Wheaton House Apartments work hard to ensure that recycling is done properly but also to ensure that residents are getting the proper information regarding recycling.  To increase accessibility, this property often requests bilingual recycling educational materials to help ensure that all their residents are receiving recycling information in their native language. In addition, the staff at Wheaton House Apartments consistently provide residents with new and updated educational materials from the TRRAC Program.


Multi-Family - Outstanding Efforts in Waste Reduction and Recycling Management

Awarded to property managers or staff at multi-family properties that have gone above and beyond the efforts of others to develop, expand, or enhance their waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs aiming for Zero Waste. These individuals help to maintain the quality of life in their multi-family communities, working diligently to engage others to actively participate in their waste reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts.

Ms. Lourdes Benavides, The Palisades of Bethesda

Ms. Lourdes Benavides from The Palisades of Bethesda is being awarded for her exemplary leadership through recycling and donation efforts. Instead of allowing usable items like food, clothes, shoes, toys, rugs, and dishes to end up in the waste stream, Lourdes channels them to her church, where they find new homes and purposes. Furthermore, Lourdes demonstrates that with empathy and resolve, we can all make a profound difference in preserving our planet for future generations. In 2023, The Palisades of Bethesda achieved a recycling rate of 64.0%.

Ms. Reena Vohra, Americana Centre Condominium

Property Manager Ms. Reena Vohra constantly communicates about best recycling practices with residents and sends out emails with recycling reminders on a weekly basis.  The email content includes information about the fire hazards of batteries, informative articles about recycling, and even a recycling quiz. Since Reena has taken on her new role as Property Manager of Americana Centre the recycling program has expanded to include battery, printer ink cartridge, and light bulb recycling at two sites on the property.

Non-Residential Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

Business - Outstanding Efforts in Waste Reduction and Recycling

Awarded to businesses that have undertaken exemplary efforts to develop, expand, or enhance their waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs, striving to reduce waste and recycle more while aiming for Zero Waste.

Brookfield Properties

At Brookfield Properties, they believe: a cleaner future can't wait. It's why they are committed to reaching Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner across the entirety of their global portfolio. They prioritize understanding and managing their environmental impact to be best-in-class on sustainable development and operations. 100% of core developments are LEED Gold or higher. 99% of core offices have a sustainability designation. Their commitment to lead sustainable solutions is demonstrated by strong environmental improvements. Their industry-leading work for the last eight years has produced dramatic decreases in greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, electricity usage, and a 52% diversion from disposal.  In Montgomery County, their properties have aggressively taken on their zero-waste goal by providing all tenants with food scraps recycling services.  They also hold annual electronics recycling events and have a green team in place for each property to discuss their localized sustainability goals. They work closely with Waste Reduction and Recycling Section staff to learn about zero waste programs and incorporate them into their daily practices.

DAVIS Construction

At DAVIS Construction, they never lose sight of the impact construction has on the environment. They are committed to building a greener, more sustainable, future for the community. But being environmentally conscious isn’t important just on project sites – they are setting a sustainable example at their headquarters in Rockville, Maryland as well. They recently introduced composting at their headquarters as part of their Corporate Sustainability Initiatives. They proudly partnered with The Compost Crew for weekly recycling collection of food scraps and compostable materials. Throughout the office, all disposable plates, bowls, cups, lids, and utensils have been replaced with 100% renewable Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified compostable products. In addition to these products, they are also composting coffee pods, tea bags, and countless food scraps including meat and dairy items. Several 12-gallon recycling bins are located throughout the building for convenient separation of compostable materials. Within the first week of implementing the program, they produced more than double their anticipated amount of diverted food scraps, totaling 80 pounds. And after 50 days they diverted nearly 800 pounds of food scraps from the waste stream. They expect the waste diversion to continue to grow throughout the year, as employees become accustomed to composting in favor of using traditional trash receptacles. DAVIS Construction hosts a Spring Clean day at their main headquarters located on Parklawn Drive. They bring in a paper shredding and recycling truck on site for employees to clean both their home office and DAVIS office of all paperwork. They also offer environmentally friendly cleaners and reusable cloths for employees to do a deep cleaning of their workstations and offices.  When DAVIS Construction remodeled their home office, they recycled many types of construction and demolition materials, resulting in thousands of tons of reusable and recyclable materials diverted from the waste stream.

Grace Episcopal Day School

The staff and students at Grace Episcopal Day School have cultivated a vibrant and thriving green community. Each classroom has dedicated students who are experts in recycling to lead their peers to reduce waste and recycle right, reminding everyone of their role in preserving our planet for future generations to come, just like them. Staff encourages students to develop ideas for campus-wide sustainability, such as reducing plastic waste, supplying compostable cups, and reusing common materials for art projects. The school has a successful composting program, which students use to fertilize their campus garden, and students then take the produce grown home to share with their families.  At its foundation, the school makes reuse a priority; the building itself is a repurposed Montgomery County Public Schools facility. The art and science programs employ a brilliant reuse strategy to all their projects, with students bringing in materials from home that would otherwise be thrown away. Teachers are constantly inventing new projects to showcase their students’ talent and incorporate a sense of environmentalism. Walking the halls, one can see proof of reuse projects, community cleanups and other initiatives they have implemented to save the Earth.

JLG-RICA Rockville, John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents

Located in Rockville, Maryland, The John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents is a community-based, public residential, clinical, and educational facility serving children and adolescents with severe emotional, behavioral, and psychological challenges. While addressing the needs of more than 80 students, and tackling daily challenges, the faculty, staff, and students still make incredible efforts to recycle and reduce waste. Materials are voluntary recycled, including electronics and toner cartridges, which are recycled by the IT team, and pallets and batteries, recycled by the maintenance crew. Last fall, students did an hour-long presentation about the benefits of recycling.  Staff have since incorporated the benefits of recycling and reducing waste into the school curriculum. The facility has also become a location to drop off clothing for donation through the program called Cash for Clothes in which donations contribute to earning points that the school can then use to obtain educational items for students. Lastly, students participate in the school’s Garden Program after class where they actively learn about the process of recycling, gardening, and composting.

Montgomery College, Takoma Park Campus

At Montgomery College Takoma Park Campus, recycling is all around you. Staff, students, and visitors can’t go far in any direction without having access to recycling bins and containers, making it a strong part of the campus’s culture. Staff are always assessing different materials for their recycling potential, removing as much from the waste stream as possible and creating a sustainable environment for everyone. From construction materials to chemicals, from E-waste to food, Montgomery College is recycling as much as they can. In 2023—their first year participating in the County’s food scraps recycling program—they diverted over two (2) tons of food scraps to a composting facility instead of being disposed as refuse. Through dedication and hard work, year after year, Montgomery College maintains over 60% waste diversion.  

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

Reducing waste in a school can be a challenge, but the faculty and students at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School do an extraordinary job with their waste reduction and recycling efforts. In addition to recycling the required recyclable materials they recycle batteries, wood pallets, motor oil and ink cartridges. OLGHS has implemented a voluntary food scraps recycling program to minimize the amount of waste disposed in their waste stream and increase recycling. They are a true champion in aiming for zero waste.

Pass with Purpose

Pass with Purpose is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2022 by sisters, Sydney, and Ashley Mednik, who play for Bethesda Soccer Club. The club requires its players to buy new soccer uniforms every two years and when the sisters discovered that many of their old uniforms and those of their teammates were being thrown out as trash, they came up with the idea of Pass with Purpose. Their organization partnered with the soccer club to collect previously worn uniforms from club families and then worked with the Peace Corps in Zambia to distribute the donations to children living in remote villages across the country. Pass with Purpose has made five shipments of an estimated 1,000 jerseys and shorts in addition to socks, warm-ups, sweatshirts, and backpacks to children in Zambia. It has also sent several boxes of soccer gear from their collection efforts to disadvantaged children in Saint Maarten. The recipient groups not only get uniforms in great condition, which saves textiles from disposal, they also feel a sense of team pride as they have the appropriate attire for their sport and camaraderie with matching uniforms. Pass with Purpose is currently planning more collection drives with other local clubs as it continues to grow.


Business - Waste Reduction and Recycling Champion Awards

Awarded to individuals who made a positive difference in their workplace to keep our land, air, and water clean. These individuals go above and beyond the efforts of others to maintain a healthy environment in their workplace working diligently to engage others to actively participate in their waste reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts.

Ms. Lauren Dworkin, Bender JCC of Greater Washington

Ms. Lauren Dworkin is a Montgomery County Recycling Champion. For the last several years, starting before the pandemic Lauren worked hard to increase the waste diversion rate for the bustling Bender Jewish Communality Center of Greater Washington.  Daily, hundreds and often thousands (during peak events) of members and guests come through the center.  There is also a preschool and K-8 independent school which are tenants in the building. Each fall, the Bender JCC hosts a Fall Festival with a pop-up farmers market and dozens of local vendors promoting their sustainably focused businesses and education about how to be good stewards of the environment. Lauren makes sure that all staff (upwards of 250 including seasonal workers) are trained on all of Montgomery County recycling regulations and all recycling and trash bins are clearly marked and generously placed throughout the buildings to make waste diversion easy for guests and to avoid contamination. Lauren is always looking for new ways to increase the waste diversion rate for the Bender JCC and is committed to helping the county reach it’s zero waste goals.

Mary C. Schirf, Sheppard Pratt

Ms. Mary Cooper Schirf works at Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville. She’s well known for enthusiastically inspiring her colleagues and students to recycle. She’s shown extreme dedication in revamping the recycling program and implementing centralized collection bins, as well as increased desk-side bins. She shares her dedication to environmentalism with her students by demonstrating different ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Kent Zhang, Thomas S. Wootton High School

Mr. Kent Zhang, currently a sophomore at Thomas S. Wootton High School has shown commendable vision, drive, ingenuity, and dedication by turning his passion for sports and environmentalism at school into community action to expand tennis ball recycling efforts throughout Montgomery County. An avid tennis player, Kent watched a YouTube video discussing the detrimental effects of tennis balls and their low rates of recycling and became resolved to affect change. Kent partnered with RecycleBalls, a tennis ball recycling organization out of Vermont to start mailing back balls from his tennis center. Starting with 7,000 tennis balls initially recycled, Kent was eager to grow the program. By joining Wootton High School’s Youth Volunteer club, creating flyers, posters, and volunteer training materials and partnering with Eco-swift, a local student run environmental non-profit, Kent has been able to grow to an estimated 80 volunteers helping to maintain recycling stations and raise awareness. With additional assistance and resources provided in collaboration with MCPS’s Sustainability and Compliance Division and Montgomery County’s Recycling and Resource Management Division, today, Kent has installed 13 tennis ball recycling collection sites including eight sites at MCPS schools and two sites at private tennis centers in Montgomery County.  Kent has even expanded tennis ball recycling stations out-of-county with one location in Howard County, and two others in Ohio and Pennsylvania through partnerships with Harris Teeter grocery store. To date, the program has recycled over 60,000 used tennis balls, (equal to more than 3.5 tons) and shows no signs of slowing down as Kent is now focused on expanding to include pickleball recycling. Kent is a true asset to our community by helping us rethink our waste and find new ways to recycle more.

Commercial Recycling Partnerships

Awarded to commercial food scraps recycling partners who have significantly increased their recycling achievement by separating pre-consumer food scraps from the waste stream and recycling them through participation in the Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Partnership Program.

  • Clarksburg Premium Outlets
  • Congregation Har Shalom
  • Montgomery College, Takoma Park Campus

Recycling Volunteers

Awarded to volunteers who have dedicated substantial time and effort to support of the County’s waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives by actively participating in recycling education programs, outreach events, and the behind the scenes work necessary to promote recycling in the community.  These individuals share their enthusiasm and commitment to recycling by promoting and inspiring their peers to recycle more and recycle right and contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Adult Volunteer:

  • Ms. Bernice Addo

Youth Volunteers:

  • Mr. Jared Addo
  • Ms. Ashley Wan
  • Ms. Ella Wan
  • Ms. Sophia Wan

Outstanding Waste Reduction and Recycling Champion

Awarded to an individual who embodies the constant mission to enhance and improve Montgomery County’s initiatives to reduce waste, encourage reuse and increase recycling, working to preserve valuable natural resources, and keep the County’s land, air, and water clean and green.

Mr. Alan Pultyniewicz

Mr. Alan Pultyniewicz has dedicated his career to almost every aspect of integrated waste management. Today we are recognizing Alan’s numerous contributions to the residents, multi-family properties, businesses, organizations, and government facilities of Montgomery County, with respect to waste reduction, reuse and recycling over the last 24 years and counting. Alan has demonstrated a longstanding and limitless commitment to protecting the environment through sustainable materials management to the benefit of the entire community and everyone living in, working in, and visiting the County. Fortunately for all of us, he continues his enthusiastic and tireless efforts to expand services and recycling initiatives on behalf of the single-family residents of Montgomery County.