COOPERSTOWN – The Recycling Team at the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority was among outstanding environmentalists recognized by the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) at their annual conference Nov. 16 & 17 in Cooperstown. Each year NYSAR3 recognizes a few of their members for their dedication, innovation, and passion for recycling.
Recycler of the Year – Team was awarded to Dave Lupinski and Jamie Tuttle of the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority. They work on many projects that benefit not only their own counties, but other recycling programs. Their projects provide leadership and best-practices models. Through Lupinski’s and Tuttle’s efforts, Oneida-Herkimer has a great recycling website, a green team for schools, assistance for college composting programs, a comprehensive residential recycling program, commercial recycling programs, household hazardous waste collection. Lupinski is Vice President of NYSAR3, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Region 6.
In addition to the easily recognized household recycling materials of paper, metal, and glass, NYSAR3 includes composting as an important element of the whole recycling picture. For the first time, the Recycler of the Year is a professional composter as well as a horticultural professional. Ken VanAlstine Sr., of VanAlstine Nursery and Horticultural Services of Johnstown and Fort Hunter, has been recycling organics for over 67 years. His nomination states, “There is no one that we can point to that has contributed more to recycling organics, or who has done it with so much joy and energy as Ken VanAlstine.”
The first of the two Lifetime Achievement awardees was Neal Walters, who served as Recycling Coordinator for the Western Finger Lakes Solid Waste Management Authority for 20 years, overseeing the curbside recycling programs for Seneca and Wayne Counties and the operation of the Materials Recovery Facility.
The second Lifetime Achievement Awardee was Lynn Leopold, who retired as City of Ithaca Recycling Education Coordinator and later as the Tompkins County Recycling Specialist for over two decades. Leopold was an early leader of the recycling movement in the state and successfully encouraged the City of Ithaca to implement one of the first residential curbside recycling programs in the 1980’s.
Meg Morris, who works for Covanta Energy, was named a lifetime, honorary member. Morris has served on the NYSAR3 board of Directors for 20 years, as an At-Large rep and Treasurer. “I'm proud to say that during those years, I believe NYSAR3 has grown; it continues to be financially viable, and it continues to provide funding opportunities to schools for recycling improvement,” Morris said.