2020 Montgomery County Recycling Achievement Recognition

 

Recycling Volunteers of the Year

Multi-Family Recycling Achievement Awards

Non-Residential Waste Reduction and Recycling Achievement Awards

Recycling Volunteer - Youth of the Year

Awarded to students who make a positive difference in their community to keep Montgomery County clean, green and beautiful, serving as Montgomery County Recycling Volunteers. These individuals go above and beyond the efforts of others to maintain the quality of life in their communities, working diligently to engage others to actively participate in their waste reduction, reuse and recycling efforts. These individuals serve as examples for others to emulate. Recognition is based upon the number of hours of volunteer service provided and/or the number of events and/or activities that student recycling volunteers participated in.

Anna Nardone

Ms. Anna Nardone joined the Montgomery County Recycling Volunteer Program in March 2016. Since joining the Recycling Volunteer Program, Anna has contributed over 300 hours of her time to the Recycling Volunteer Program and has participated in numerous events and activities.  In the past four years, Anna has enjoyed volunteering in increase awareness of recycling to residents by participating in several parades, the County Fair and special events including the County’s confidential paper shredding and recycling and reuse collection events.

Recycling Volunteer - 1,500 Lifetime Hours of Service

Awarded to residents who make a positive difference in their community to keep Montgomery County clean, green and beautiful, serving as Montgomery County Recycling Volunteers. These individuals have shown a commitment to educating residents about waste reduction, reuse and recycling by contributing over 1,500 hours of volunteer service. These individuals serve as examples for others to emulate. Recognition is based upon the combined total number of hours of volunteer service provided.

Elizabeth Golder

Elizabeth Golder is among our longest serving Recycling Volunteers who are still active in our Program.  Since becoming a Recycling Volunteer in August 2004, Liz has volunteered over 100 hours of time each year, every year. In the 16 years with the Recycling Volunteer Program, Ms. Golder has contributed a lifetime total of over 1,800 hours of her time, helping to create information packets of materials for distribution at community events, organizing educational materials, and filing recycling reports and other materials. Thank you, Liz, for your service.

Recycling Volunteer - 10 Years of Service

Awarded to residents who make a positive difference in our community to keep Montgomery County clean, green and beautiful, serving as Montgomery County Recycling Volunteers. These individuals have shown a commitment to educating residents about waste reduction, reuse, recycling, buying recycled, grasscycling and backyard composting for at least 10 years. The commitment demonstrated by these individuals by serving the community as educators, ambassadors, and motivators in the mission to reduce waste, reuse more, and recycle everything possible serves as brilliant examples for others to emulate. Recognition is based upon the total number of years of volunteer service provided. 

Janice Devine

Ms. Janice Devine has been a volunteer with the Recycling Volunteer Program for over 11 years.  Ms. Devine started volunteering in May 2009 and has contributed over 150 hours of volunteer service.  Over the last 10 years, she has volunteered her time at several confidential paper shredding/recycling and reuse collection events, electronics recycling events, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, and special projects, including providing information to residents on reducing contamination of recyclable materials.

Kenneth Lavish

Mr. Kenneth Lavish has shown his commitment to the protecting the environment by volunteering over 11 years with the Recycling Volunteer Program.  Mr. Lavish started volunteering in May 2009 and has provided over 150 hours of his time educating residents about recycling and backyard composting. Mr. Lavish has participated in several confidential paper shredding/recycling and reuse collection events, electronics recycling events, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, and other special projects. Going above and beyond, Mr. Lavish has also served on the County Executive’s Zero Waste and Strategic Plan Task Force since 2018.

Phillip Palmer

Mr. Phillip Palmer has been a dedicated recycling volunteer for over 10 years. Joining the Recycling Volunteer Program in 2009, Mr. Palmer has contributed over 130 hours of time as a recycling volunteer.  Over the last 10 years, he has participated at several of the County’s confidential paper shredding/recycling and reuse collection events, parades, electronics recycling events, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, and other special projects.  Mr. Palmer has also volunteered as a speaker at our multi-family recycling seminars sharing his first-hand experience managing a recycling program for a large condominium high-rise property and offering guidance to others.

Multi-Family Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

Outstanding Efforts in Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs

Awarded to multi-family properties that have undertaken exemplary efforts to develop, expand, or enhance their on-site waste reduction and recycling programs. Recognition is based upon interactions and on-site evaluations performed by DEP/Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

  1. Asbury Methodist Village
    Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg recycled 60 percent of its waste stream in 2019. In addition to the mandatory recyclable materials, Asbury Methodist Village is working towards zero waste by implementing a food scraps recycling program throughout their entire community. Last year, Asbury Methodist collected and recycled over 87,000 pounds of food scraps. Among Earth Day events, yard sales and more, Asbury Methodist Village is constantly educating its staff and residents to improve their recycling and waste reduction program.
  2. Brighton Village Apartments
    Brighton Village Apartments in Gaithersburg is a very large garden style multi-family property with 600 dwelling units. The staff work diligently to keep each of their nine solid waste and recycling collection enclosure areas clean and well organized, making it easy for residents to participate in their recycling program. This includes the posting of extensive signage to help residents recycle right. All new residents receive educational materials on the property’s recycling program in move-in packets, as well as in-unit recycling bins to help residents recycle as much material as possible.
  3. Eastern Village Cohousing
    Eastern Village Cohousing, located in Silver Spring, has made a commitment to lower its carbon footprint by providing residents the opportunity to recycle their food scraps. The property has also worked to reduce waste by reducing paper usage through prioritizing electronic communication, working with green-friendly vendors, and installing LED lights throughout the property. Last year, Eastern Village Cohousing recycled 62% of their waste stream.
  4. Kentlands Manor, LLC
    Kentlands Manor, LLC takes educating their residents about their recycling program very seriously. Property staff includes educational materials about recycling in their move-in packages to new residents and provides quarterly recycling updates door-to-door. The recycling rooms are equipped with numerous educational fliers and signage to help residents to recycle right. Through these efforts, Kentlands Manor, LLC has achieved a recycling rate above 60% for the last few years.
  5. Manor at Fair Hill Farm
    Manor at Fair Hill Farm does a great job focusing efforts on reducing the amount of waste generated. The property holds four community yard sales each year to give residents an opportunity to buy no longer needed items at a discounted price that would have otherwise ended up in the waste stream. Any items remaining after the yard sales are donated to charitable organizations in the County for reuse. In the leasing office, staff uses reusable mugs instead of single use cups and prints double-sided when possible to reduce waste in the office as well.
  6. Park Potomac Condominium II
    Park Potomac Condominium II in Potomac is recognized for their outstanding efforts to educate and engage residents about recycling. The property provides new resident orientation that includes a section on how to dispose of trash and recycle properly. The management team includes informative tips on recycling in weekly updates provided to residents. If there are changes to their recycling program, residents receive an instructional and educational flyer under their doors. To increase the amount of materials recycled, residents are encouraged to participate in semi-annual drop-off recycling events for electronics, ink and toner cartridges, pots and pans, and old appliances. In 2019, these additional efforts diverted 1,000 additional pounds of materials from their waste stream.
  7. Rock Creek Gardens Condominium
    Rock Creek Gardens Condominium in Silver Spring focuses on the ease of recycling for residents by providing in-unit recycling bins as well as an informational packet during move-in. This year, the property management team expanded their food scraps recycling collection program by placing food scraps recycling containers in each of their five central collection container enclosure areas, an increase from just one location previously. Residents have also been provided with an educational brochure on food scraps recycling so that residents know which materials are acceptable in their food scraps recycling program. Their pledge to increase recycling achievement and make recycling as convenient as possible is also demonstrated by the abundance of recycling collection containers available for residents to use.
  8. The Villages at Decoverly
    Located in Rockville, The Villages at Decoverly took the initiative to create their own property-specific Do’s and Don’ts recycling education signage which are posted at each collection site for residents to reference while placing their recyclables into common containers. Property staff uses a combination of posters, stickers, magnets, and flyers to ensure their residents are equipped with the knowledge to recycle and recycle right to reduce contamination of recyclable materials. Staff also keeps their residents educated on recycling by sending out bi-annual newsletters.

Multi-Family - Waste Reduction and Recycling Champion Awards

Awarded to individuals who made a positive difference in their multi-family communities to keep Montgomery County clean, green and beautiful. These individuals go above and beyond the efforts of others 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. These individuals serve as examples for others to emulate. Information obtained is based upon interactions and site visits performed by DEP/Division of Solid Waste Services staff.

Multi-Family Property Resident Manager of the Year

Jose Carcamo, Thayer Towers Condominium

Jose Carcamo, Resident Manager at Thayer Towers Condominium in Silver Spring ensures that all recycling and trash collection areas are clean and well-organized throughout the year. Thanks to Mr. Carcamo’s diligent work, there is always adequate capacity for recyclable materials. This is especially evident after holidays or peak times when excess amounts of recyclable materials are generated by residents.  Mr. Carcamo also ensures that educational materials are provided to residents to keep them up to date with recycling information.

Multi-Family Property - Green Team Leader of the Year

Karen Green – Chair, Green Team at Kenwood House Coop

Kenwood House Coop in Chevy Chase started a food scraps recycling pilot program with the members of its green committee led by Karen Green. As the Chair of the Green Team, Ms. Green worked to ensure every step was followed to implement a successful food scraps recycling program. The program continues to expand and now, all residents have access to participate in the food scraps recycling program. In addition to working to develop a food scraps recycling program, Ms. Green has worked tirelessly to update educational materials and signage on the property’s recycling and food scraps recycling program.

Susan Pourian – Chair, GREEN Committee at Parkside Condominium

Ms. Susan Pourian has been the Chair of the Green Committee at Parkside Condominium in Bethesda for several years. In 2017, Ms. Pourian received approval from the board to formally establish the Parkside GREEN Committee. The initial work included starting a community garden and increasing recycling awareness. Ms. Pourian has personally conducted walk-throughs of all trash rooms and focus on the most common misunderstandings of where to put certain items. Through her leadership, the GREEN committee sets up information tables on sustainability related topics at community days and during other social and recreation activity days. She also writes an article on recycling for each monthly newsletter, including information on recycling, composting, gardening, litter walks, stormwater education and more.

Non-Residential Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

Highest Recycling Achievement by Businesses

Awarded to businesses that reached the highest level of recycling achievement, as reported on the most recent Annual Business Waste Reduction and Recycling Report and field-verified by the DEP/Recycling and Resource Management Division staff. This recycling achievement includes all materials that are required to be recycled by businesses per the County’s recycling regulation.  The following businesses have robust recycling programs in place that maximize recycling achievement.

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    In 2019, Howard Hughes Medical Institute located in Chevy Chase, achieved a 77% recycling rate and an overall waste diversion rate of 83%. Its high recycling achievement is attributed to the great communication and collaboration that exists between janitorial, kitchen, and facilities staff and their commitment to education for all. Guides to recycle are posted in all pantry areas, on their intranet site and via digital signboards throughout the property. In addition to required recyclable materials, Howard Hughes also recycles electronics, toner cartridges, construction and demolition materials and fluorescent lamps. Howard Hughes Medical Institute also closes the recycling loop by buying materials made with recycled content.
  2. Wegmans Food Market – Germantown
    Wegmans Food Market – Germantown is committed to protecting the environment and has demonstrated their commitment through their robust recycling program.  In 2019, Wegmans had an overall recycling rate of 77%. In addition to recycling all the mandatory recyclable materials such as cardboard, mixed paper, bottles and cans, they also recycle plastic film and wrap, including plastic bags brought back for recycling by customers. Additionally, Wegmans donates much of their leftover food to feed people in need.  Wegmans also recycles food scraps that cannot be donated.

Business - Most Innovative Waste Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Programs

Awarded to businesses that have implemented or enhanced their waste reduction initiatives and/or voluntarily recycled materials that are not required to be recycled per Montgomery County’s Recycling Regulation. These efforts reduce the overall amount of solid waste that is generated at their business or commercial property or minimize the amount of solid waste disposed as refuse and is instead recycled. Information obtained is based upon interactions and site visits performed by DEP/Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

  1. Follain
    Follain’s Montgomery County location, located in Bethesda, is committed to clean beauty and protecting the environment. The retail store promotes waste reduction and reuse efforts for their customers by offering refillable soap bottles. Follain also provides collection boxes in their store for customers to bring back and deposit their empty, hard-to-recycle packaging for recycling. Additionally, the management at Follain promotes and hosts educational events about sustainability, including a recent roundtable discussion on reducing plastic waste.

Business - Most Revitalized Recycling Programs

Awarded to businesses and organizations that reinvigorated their waste reduction and recycling programs to increase opportunities for employees, students, customers, and staff to recycle more materials.  These efforts include utilizing tonnage report data, user surveys, waste audits, and on-site monitoring to identify challenges and develop solutions.  These efforts are expected to result in additional amounts of materials being recycled.  Information obtained is based upon interactions and site visits performed by DEP/ Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

  1. Georgetown Preparatory School
    In 2019, Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, overhauled their recycling program. This effort was led by the school's high school science teacher and student environmental club. The school selected a new recycling collection company and solid waste broker and switched their recycling program from a single-stream recycling program to a dual-stream recycling program to reduce contamination. Dual-stream recycling stations and recycling bins were standardized with signage and labels in all 5 buildings on campus, including its 49 classrooms, 32 offices and on-site dorms to enhance recycling participation. With the help of the environmental club, the program is continuously monitored, and staff and students are consistently educated about their recycling program. To minimize waste, the food service department switched to the use of reusable plates and cutlery for staff and students.
  2. Washington Episcopal School
    At the Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda, STEM teacher, Ms. Katherine Owens, completely revamped the school’s recycling program. The recycling program has been incorporated into their 3rd grade curriculum to educate students about the do’s and don’ts of the school’s recycling program. To further ensure the school is recycling everything that can be recycled, the school conducted two waste audits. The faculty used the data from these waste audits as a tool to further educate students on the types of materials placed in the recycling bins. Staff on the Green Dragon committee (of the PTA) were provided with training on ways to reduce waste at all their events.
  3. Kenwood Country Club
    Last spring, Kenwood Country Club in Bethesda identified the need for an additional 30 recycling bins to revamp their recycling program following a major construction effort. Conveniently placed recycling bins are now located throughout the property, making recycling easily accessible for members and their guests, as well as for staff. Furthering their efforts to protect the environment, Kenwood Country Club also installed solar panels on their new building.
  4. Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
    The leadership and staff at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds was determined to revamp their recycling efforts to strive for the highest level of recycling achievement possible for a correctional facility.  Staff researched various types of centralized recycling collection stations that would make recycling easier for staff, residents and visitors, while ensuring staff and resident inmate safety.  Recycling stations were ordered and set-up in high traffic areas. The stations were color-coded to standardize the recycling program throughout the entire facility.  In addition, staff were provided education on recycling when the recycling stations were set-up to maximize staff awareness and increase recycling achievement.

Business - Outstanding Recycling and Waste Reduction Programs

Awarded to businesses and organizations that excel in their efforts to provide a higher level of education and training to their employees, customers, or staff in an engaging manner to increase awareness and participation in their programs. These efforts include creative ways to engage employees and staff to increase their participation in their waste reduction and recycling efforts. Information obtained is based upon interactions and site visits performed by DEP/Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

  1. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
    With over 420 parks and numerous facilities located in Montgomery County, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has an outstanding recycling and waste reduction program with an overall waste diversion rate of 67%. The success of its program relies on its effective education, communication and monitoring practices. All current and new employees receive annual recycling training.  Each site is assigned a Recycling Captain to assure recycling bins are conveniently placed to make it easy for staff and visitors to recycle. Recycling Captains provide feedback to the Sustainability Coordinator on a quarterly basis. The Recycling Captains, along with M-NCPPC’s recycling truck operator check for compliance, contamination and estimate the amount of recyclable materials collected at each site. This information is used to communicate and correct any issues. In addition to the mandatory recyclable materials, M-NCPPC recycles tires, motor oil, antifreeze, light bulbs, and batteries, and also serves as a community-accessible collection site for recycling empty plastic pesticide/fertilizer containers. Staff are encouraged to practice waste reduction by reusing paper and office supplies, furniture, cups, plates and cutlery.
  2. Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
    The facilities staff and teachers at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville do a great job of encouraging recycling during day-to-day activities. All classrooms and common areas are outfitted with recycling stations and appropriate signage. To reduce the amount of waste disposed, the school recycles batteries and disassembles furniture, reusing the materials for other projects such as building storage shelves. The school has a food donation box where students are encouraged to collect food items that go to the Maryland Food Pantry to assist those who are food insecure in our community. Students are involved in maintaining the lower school’s organic vegetable garden which helps educate them about the importance of caring for the natural world. The members of the management team are personally involved in promoting the school’s waste reduction, reuse and recycling program to encourage greater participation, resulting in less contamination of recyclable materials.
  3. Healthy Directions
    Healthy Directions, located in Bethesda, is committed to promoting healthy, sustainable living practices for both clients and staff. Upon walking into the reception area, visitors can immediately find information on how to recycle properly. Facility staff have done an excellent job of setting up recycling stations throughout the workplace, placing visual cues and posters around the office, and conducting quarterly lunch and learn education events. Topics include the do’s and don’ts of recycling, how to recycle beauty products, opportunities to recycle through various takeback recycling programs, and property management recycling initiatives through its LEED Gold certification efforts. Healthy Directions also promotes waste reduction by contracting with a green caterer and promoting the use of reusable mugs, water bottles, plates, and cutlery for all staff events.
  4. Washington Waldorf School
    Located in Bethesda, Washington Waldorf School is rooted in sustainability. The school interweaves the natural world throughout their curriculum, so students have an evolving appreciation and understanding of nature and how to live and work sustainably. The school uses reusable plates and cutlery in their cafeteria which reduces the need for single-use plastics. Recycling containers are located prominently throughout the campus to make it easy for everyone to recycle. The school takes the initiative to educate their faculty and students with the goal to move as close to zero waste as possible. Students are also encouraged to be creative in the many ways they can reduce waste.

Most Community Focused Programs

Awarded to organizations that prioritize providing recycling to the public and our community at large. The contribution of these efforts ensures more access to and awareness of recycling efforts in our County.  Information obtained is based upon interactions and research performed by DEP/ Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

  1. Bethesda Green
    Bethesda Green works to address environmental challenges locally by creating a sustainable, green community, built collaboratively through citizen engagement, environmental education, government partnership, and innovative business development. Bethesda Green was the first non-profit to partner with local businesses and the County to place recycling bins in public spaces for the public to use in downtown Bethesda in 2010. Recently, Bethesda Green applied for and was awarded a grant to continue this effort to obtain additional recycling containers for downtown Bethesda.

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 and recycling efforts.  These individuals serve as examples for others to emulate. Recognition is based upon interactions and site visits performed by DEP/Recycling and Resource Management Division staff.

Business Employee of the Year

Mike Dieterich, AstraZeneca – Gaithersburg Campus

Optimizing use of energy and water, and reduction of waste with a goal to achieve Zero Waste and Net-Zero energy certifications, Mr. Dieterich leads a team integration on the campus of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg. He is a dynamic leader in the zero-waste movement and strives to share his enthusiasm and passion with others. Mr. Dieterich has greatly increased AstraZeneca’s sustainability portfolio on their Gaithersburg campus, using a variety of best practices and standards as tools to maximize efficiency.  

Chef Michael Rehm, Hilton Washington DC/Rockville

As the Executive Chef at the Hilton Washington DC/ Rockville in Rockville, Chef Michael Rehm is a leader and mentor on reducing wasted food by sharing his passion for food with coworkers and community members and translating that passion into ways that enhance the environment, reduce waste and save money for the hotel he serves. As part of his job, Chef Rehm incorporates his love of gardening by maintaining an on-site vegetable garden to provide hotel patrons with nutritious organic fruits and vegetables used when preparing the hotel’s daily menu. Not only is he involved in sustainable gardening practices, but he works closely with hotel suppliers to track wasted food at the source, adjust ordering and avoid over-purchasing. To further reduce food waste, he  incorporates edible food scraps into new roux, sauces and menu items for the upcoming week. Chef. Rehm’s initiative and drive to reduce wasted food in the community is truly commendable! 

Sergio Soreano, Universities of Shady Grove

As a custodian at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, Mr. Sergio Soreano has gone above and beyond his daily job requirements by checking and ensuring that all recycling containers on the campus are free of contamination. He quickly communicates any issues to facilities staff in order to reduce contamination of recyclable materials. For example, Mr. Soreano personally takes it upon himself to physically remove and separate any plastic bags and plastic film that he finds mixed in the recycling bins and brings them to local grocery stores for recycling, an effort that requires considerable time and effort on a weekly basis. His commitment to ensuring that students and staff recycle right is commendable and is an asset to the recycling program at Universities of Shady Grove and the community.