2021 Montgomery County Recycling Achievement Recognition


Recycling Volunteers

Multi-Family Recycling Achievement Awards

Non-Residential Waste Reduction and Recycling Achievement Awards

Recycling Volunteer - Recycling Champion

Awarded to Montgomery County Recycling Volunteers that support the efforts of DEP’s Recycling and Resource Management Division – Waste Reduction and Recycling Section and who make a positive difference in their community 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 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 recycling volunteers participated in.

Sanjukta Sil Upadhyay

Sanjukta Sil Upadhyay joined the Montgomery County Recycling Volunteer Program in 2015. Since joining the Recycling Volunteer Program, Sanjukta has volunteered over 100 hours and has participated in numerous events and activities.  In the past seven years, Sanjukta helped increase resident awareness of recycling by participating in several parades, the County Fair, and many special projects. During the pandemic, Sanjukta provided over 30 hours of her time making phone calls to over 600 County residents as part of a phone survey for the County’s backyard food scraps recycling program.

Multi-Family Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

Outstanding Efforts in Waste Reduction and Recycling

Awarded to multi-family properties that have undertaken exemplary efforts to develop, expand, or enhance their waste reduction and recycling programs. Information obtained is based upon interactions with DEP/ Waste Reduction and Recycling staff.

  1. Blair House
    The Blair House, located in Silver Spring, has worked on their green initiatives to reduce waste, and recycle right and increase residential participation. The goal of their program is to focus on waste reduction efforts for residents as well as continuing opportunities for recycling many different types of more difficult to manage materials, such as fluorescent lights, carpeting and food scraps. The property newsletter and welcome packet are methods used to provide information to residents about these opportunities. One initiative undertaken by the Blair House is that some of the apartments have features such as recycling centers built directly into the kitchen cabinetry to increase residential participation in their recycling program. The Blair House continues to recycle food scraps, which they first started in 2015, and has helped them reduce the total amount of waste disposed annually. In 2020, the waste diversion and recycling rate for Blair House was 80%.
  2. Falkland Chase
    Falkland Chase is a multi-family community in Silver Spring that is committed to reducing the amount of waste generated and increase recycling. Property management, staff and residents have embraced Montgomery County’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Right efforts by actively participating in these practices. Residential educational events are provided to educate residents on how to recycle right and reduce contamination of recyclable materials. These efforts include interactive activities with residents aimed at reducing waste and recycling right.
  3. The Galvan
    The Galvan in Rockville focuses their efforts on waste reduction as well as improving recycling. The property management team created a holistic approach for residents to reduce waste at the source, while ensuring that materials are diverted into recycling and reuse streams. The Galvan provides quarterly diversion reports, education for residents and janitorial services staff using presentations, walk-through assessments, and scorecards. Recycling information is posted in common areas on-site, as well as through an app that about 90% of residents use. As part of Earth Day and America Recycles Day events, residents are provided with recycling tips, statistics, and games focused on reducing, reusing, and recycling. Prizes such as reusable water bottles or tote bags are given to residents to encourage sustainable practices.
  4. Garland Towers
    The community members at Garland Towers in Takoma Park hold each other accountable when recycling through awareness and education. Educational and informational notices about recycling are posted throughout the buildings at this property to educate and remind residents to recycle right. Garland Towers is also focused on reducing waste. Residents hold on-site yard sales as an opportunity to reuse gently used items instead of disposing of them in the trash. There is also a designated “freecycle” area located in the laundry room where residents can place items that are no longer needed for other residents to take and use, giving these items a second chance to be put to good use. Any items that are not taken by residents are delivered to a reuse thrift store for donation.
  5. Lionsgate at Woodmont Corner
    The property management team at Lionsgate at Woodmont Corner in Bethesda has done a great job to improve the quality of recyclable materials collected for recycling. The property manager sends out weekly recycling tips in their resident newsletter that helps to keep recycling awareness at the forefront of the community’s attention. To reduce the amount of waste generated, the property installed a water bottle filler for residents and employees to encourage and promote the use of reusable water bottles to reduce plastic waste.
  6. Maplewood Park Apartments
    Maplewood Park Apartments in Bethesda has shown through their recycling efforts how much waste reduction means to the community. The property management team provide information about recycling right at move-in time for new residents with recycling educational materials, a tour of the property’s recycling collection area where residents take their materials for recycling and hosts a resident meeting to discuss on-site recycling. The property newsletter is also used to educate residents how to recycle right. These efforts result in the recycling of many types of additional materials diverted from the waste stream such as batteries, carpeting, food scraps, building materials, fluorescent lights, cooking oil, paint, and plastic hangers. Maplewood Park Apartments’ efforts to reduce waste and recycle can be seen in their waste diversion and recycling rate which reached 74% in 2020.
  7. The Elizabeth Condominium
    The Elizabeth Condominium in Chevy Chase understands the importance of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. When it comes to the 3 R’s of managing solid waste, reuse is emphasized through its donations of old computers and printers to schools in need. The preference of using electronic notifications and double-sided printing exhibits the property’s commitment to waste reduction. In addition, there is a container on-site for residents to place items that are in good working condition for reuse, such as small appliances, books, and furniture. The property partners with A Wider Circle to ensure these items are reused to help County residents in need.
  8. The Waterford CondominiumThe Waterford Condominium, located in Kensington, recognized the need for more recycling this past year. As residents remained at home due to the Covid-19 health emergency, the amount of waste generated in 2020 increased.  As a result, the Waterford Condominium stepped up its recycling efforts by developing a Green Team and created new, updated recycling signage. Using outreach and education, along with emphasizing the importance of reducing recycling contamination, the Waterford Condominium recycled more materials in 2020 and achieved a waste reduction and recycling rate of 62%.

Multi-Family Property - Green Team Leader of the Year

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 with DEP/Waste Reduction and Recycling staff.

Veronica Magan – MICA Condominium

Veronica Magan is co-chair of MICA Condominium’s Green Team in Silver Spring. Ms. Magan, along with co-chair Ms. Manal Ahmad, has led the property’s Green Team in establishing a food scraps recycling program that is available for all of their residents. The community quickly outgrew its 35-gallon food scraps recycling container and now fills up a 65-gallon food scraps recycling container that is collected weekly. Ms. Magan also coordinated a virtual education event during the Covid-19 health emergency to ensure residents were provided with the necessary information to recycle right, including information about recycling food scraps.

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 and recycling programs. Information obtained is based upon interactions with DEP/ Waste Reduction and Recycling staff.

  1. Bikes for the World
    Bikes for the World is a leader in reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling in Montgomery County. The organization demonstrates waste reduction and reuse by sending donated bikes in good, working condition to people around the world to use for transportation and recreation.  For bicycles that are not in good condition, Bikes for the World removes and reuses different components from bicycles for spare parts.  Anything left that cannot be salvaged is recycled as scrap metal.  On-site, employees are also very committed to reducing the amount of waste disposed by bringing their lunches in reusable containers.  In 2020, Bikes for the World had a waste diversion and recycling rate of 95%.
  2. CSAAC
    CSAAC continues to increase their recycling achievement. In 2020, in an effort to expand their recycling program, CSAAC started recycling cell phones and unwanted or outdated computers. To increase recycling participation in their building, staff placed mixed paper recycling containers in each training room and classroom to make it easier for students and adults with autism to recycle. CSAAC also strives to educate all staff and program participants on the importance of recycling and recycling right.
  3. Colesville United Methodist Church/Jamon Montessori School
    The staff and parishioners at the Jamon Montessori Day School and Colesville United Methodist Church have never wavered in their recycling and sustainability goals for their shared property. Even as students were sent home and congregations ceased gathering due to the Covid-19 health emergency, their office staff continued their efforts to recycle as much as possible, even during the pandemic. Students and parishioners are kept informed on their sustainability and recycling efforts and are active participants in the programs. In addition to the required recyclable materials, they have a textile recycling program in place that is accessible to students, parishioners, and their community. Waste reduction and recycling efforts are taken seriously and the school and church have risen to the challenge.
  4. Kenwood Golf & Country Club
    Kenwood Golf & Country Club has been working over the past few years to increase their waste diversion and recycling efforts.  In 2019, they increased their recycling efforts by adding recycling containers for easier access by their members and guests throughout the pool area, tennis courts and golf course to make sure members and guests are recycling right.  In 2020, Kenwood Golf & Country Club took an additional step to increase their recycling efforts by recycling their food scraps as part of the Montgomery County Commercial Food Scraps Recycling Program. They also switched to fully compostable straws and beverage cups for their members and guests, furthering their commitment to waste reduction and to keep single use plastics out of the waste stream.
  5. Montgomery County Public Libraries
    In 2020, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) worked to make recycling education more accessible to residents who, due to the COVID-19 health emergency, found themselves producing a greater amount of waste and recyclable materials as they worked and attended school virtually from home.  MCPL hosted multiple virtual presentations and webinars on waste reduction, reuse, recycling right and backyard composting.  These efforts provided residents with actions that residents can take at home to reduce waste, reuse materials, reduce contamination of recyclable materials, and divert more items from the waste stream. In addition to providing education to County residents, library staff also practiced what they preached by enhancing recycling stations at over ten library locations and coordinating internal virtual recycling trainings for staff on what can and can’t be recycled. To minimize waste generation during the Covid-19 health emergency, library staff used reusable bags for books that residents picked-up as part of their book hold program. MCPL is applauded for their time and commitment to enhancing awareness and civic engagement around recycling efforts in our community.
  6. Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine
    Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine has made great strides in their commitment to sustainability and waste reduction over the past several years. The hospital has partnered with a waste reduction consulting group to find additional ways to reduce their waste and increase recycling on their campus.  During 2020, the hospital completely revamped their recycling program with placement of new, color-coded dual stream recycling containers and educational materials placed throughout the campus.  Education on their recycling program was provided to all hospital staff to ensure they were educated on the do’s and don’ts of recycling right. Their commitment to recycling did not waiver despite the increased demands on hospital staff during the COVID-19 health emergency. Suburban Hospital continues to increase their waste diversion and recycling efforts by recycling food scraps and batteries.  In 2020, their waste diversion and recycling rate was 72%.
  7. Target Stores in Montgomery County, Maryland
    The Target Corporation has made a strong commitment to sustainability in many of their store operations from auditing their logistics supply chain, purchasing products from green businesses, and closely monitoring their recycling practices in each store.  Target also offers their customers the opportunity to recycle additional materials that they can bring from home, including ink toner cartridges, MP3 players, plastic hangers, and plastic bags and film. By providing these recycling services to their customers, Target is a partner in increasing recycling achievement and working towards zero waste.
  8. United Therapeutics Corporation
    Sustainability is a part of the DNA at the United Therapeutics Corporation in Silver Spring. They are dedicated to improving the environment, pursuing all possible waste streams, and reducing their overall environmental impact. In the face of the Covid-19 health emergency, their production never stopped, and neither did their recycling efforts. The staff worked to expand their recycling efforts by starting a pre- and post- consumer food scraps recycling program and an innovative K-cup beverage pod recycling program. They continue to spread an important message, “leave the planet better than you found it”. Employees are constantly learning different ways to reduce, reuse or recycle through comprehensive programs and trainings.
  9. The Universities at Shady Grove
    The Universities at Shady Grove campus has an efficient and well-maintained recycling program with a waste diversion and recycling rate consistently above 70%. The campus works hard to promote sustainability to all students, staff, teachers, and campus contractors and visitors by continuously updating its website and posting signage and displays to promote greater recycling awareness, education, and participation. The campus has been composting food scraps for over 5 years in its cafeteria and café and ensures everyone has the information and resources they need to recycle right and reduce even more waste from entering the waste stream. The University recycles empty printer and toner cartridges, batteries, cell phones, and cell phone chargers. Student clubs host seasonal clothing drives and food donation drives to benefit local charitable organizations.  To reduce single-use plastic waste, filtered water fountains are provided throughout the campus for students, staff and visitors to use.  The University also works closely with University of Maryland’s "TerpTrader" program to properly reuse and recycle electronics and furniture.  During the Covid-19 health emergency, the University’s green team continued to engage in sustainability initiatives by working to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced in its labs and working to retrofit recycling stations in its parking garages to encourage recycling participation. These efforts are helping the Universities at Shady Grove to aim towards zero waste.

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 with DEP/Waste Reduction and Recycling staff.

Austin Aubinoe – Aubinoe Property Management

Mr. Austin Aubinoe, Vice President at Aubinoe Property Management, has demonstrated his commitment to improve the recycling program at Middlebrook Square Shopping Center in Germantown.  His efforts are exciting and the results of his labor can be seen. Mr. Aubinoe provides regular updates to their tenants to make sure they know how to recycle and how to recycle right.  The tenants are overwhelmed about the noticeable improvements to their recycling program.  

Denise Wade – Montgomery County Department of General Services

As a Property Manager for Montgomery County’s Department of General Services, Facilities Management Division, Ms. Denise Wade helped increase recycling participation at over 40 Montgomery County owned properties and facilities.  These efforts include enhanced electronic recycling and scrap metal recycling efforts, despite changes in facility operations due to the Covid-19 health emergency. Ms. Wade also successfully worked to transition waste and recycling programs at over 170 County locations to a new refuse and recycling collection service provider. Denise renegotiated trash and recycling contracts, oversaw delivery and placement of appropriate refuse and recycling containers, enhanced recycling signage, provided bi-lingual education and training to staff and quickly resolved issues of recycling contamination. Her initiative, communication, and drive are an asset to County government facilities by helping the County continue to walk the talk; diverting more materials from the waste stream to keep our land, air, and water clean.

Commercial Recycling Partnerships

DEP’s Recycling and Resource Management Division – Waste Reduction and Recycling Section recognizes the contributions of our commercial food scraps recycling partners to increase recycling achievement by separating pre-consumer food scraps from the waste stream and recycling them through the commercial food scraps recycling program.  Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 health emergency, these partners separated and recycled over 316,000 pounds of food scraps in less than one year: 
  • Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Rockville 
  • John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children & Adolescents, Rockville
  • Kenwood Golf & Country Club, Bethesda
  • Manna Food Center, Gaithersburg
  • Puree Artisan Juice Bar, Rockville
  • Qiagen, Germantown
  • Quartermaine Coffee Roasters, Bethesda
  • Relish Catering, Rockville
  • Shepherd’s Table, Silver Spring
  • Simply Fresh Events Catering, Gaithersburg
  • So What Else, Inc., Rockville