Diane Cohen - Recycling Leadership, Lifetime Achievement

Diane Cohen of Ithaca, the executive director of Finger Lakes ReUse, Inc. was recognized for her collaboration with people from public and private sectors to work together on material reuse, workforce development, and repair. Diane provides technical assistance and mentoring of reuse startups in NYS and frequently presents at regional and national conferences alongside establishing and fostering a culture with values of safety, respect, and resourcefulness, with a strong social commitment and a living wage employer with over 70 employees. Finger Lakes ReUse has kept an estimated 4,500,000 items in use and out of the waste stream since 2008, or approximately 40 pounds of materials for every person in Tompkins County. FLR is active in the deconstruction and salvaging of building materials, job training, computer refurbishment, poverty relief, creative reuse, and inviting local artists to showcase and celebrate reuse. 

John Wackman - Recycling Leadership, Lifetime Achievement

John Wackman, the founder of the Hudson Valley Repair Café Network, was recognized posthumously for his outstanding efforts in promoting the ideals of reuse and repair. He was the organizer for Repair Cafe initiatives in the Hudson Valley, which aimed to assist in waste reduction and build a culture of reuse in the community by helping neighbors learn how to fix their "broken but beloved items" by expert fixers. Repair Cafe is now active in more than 40 communities in 10 counties in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Capital region. Since its inception in 2012, Repair Cafes have diverted tens of thousands of pounds of material from disposal and inspired hundreds of volunteers to promote waste reduction through reuse and product stewardship


Andrew Goldstein - Recycling Leadership, Public Sector

Andrew Goldstein, the Recycling and Compost Specialist of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning was recognized for his work developing school program curriculums and encouraging the reduction of food waste in the community. His work developed the school program Pollution Prevention Through Art & Science, where a team created a STEAM k-12 curriculum to engage teachers and students alike on plastic pollution, focusing specifically on single-use plastics by having students collect single-use plastic and create art from it. Over three years, the program trained hundreds of teachers, resulting in thousands of students participating in the program and tens of thousands of students viewing artwork produced in their schools. He was also responsible for establishing a food scrap collection and compost site at the Erie County Correctional Facility that actively collects approximately 2,700 pounds weekly, saving the Sheriff’s department $20,000 annually in disposal costs.

Steve Hannon - Recycling Leadership, Private Sector

Steve Hannon, of Amherst, was recognized for his efforts in helping to advance the mattress recycling industry in New York state. He was able to take the state from recycling zero mattresses a year to over 30,000 by working with colleges, counties, the US Army and Air Force, retail stores, and individuals to recycle these mattresses. They are all 100% recycled, keeping them out of landfills and using them for recycled materials like steel and wood. This effort has also created jobs, including jobs for refugees.


John Miola - Recycling Leadership, K-12 School

John Miola of P721K, the Green Team Creator, and classroom teacher was recognized for his work in helping students with disabilities to connect with the earth through hands-on learning and environmentally friendly lessons. He got the school back onto the recycling pick-up program after the school was off of it for 6 years, and until that point had been taking home all of the schools' recyclables to recycles at his own home. His dedication to recycling has accumulated in him and his classes winning many awards, including the DSNY-Zero Waste in Schools Super Recycler Award, being the first place winner in the DSNY Reuse Challenge, and being the grand prize winner of the 3R’s “Little Bites “contest in 2018, winning several grants along the way. His enthusiasm for recycling has spread through the community and continues to do so.

Jackie Junttonen - Recycling Leadership, Innovation

Jackie Junttonen of GrowNYC was recognized for her work with NYC public schools in developing materials for staff and students alike to achieve waste diversion goals. By helping students to engage in learning through projects and experiments she captivates students and encourages them to learn more about waste issues. She curates slides and videos for teachers to help them explain concepts and shares easy experiments to do that relate to the curriculum already in place. Students are encouraged to study and reflect on their own habits as well as their family’s consumption levels to illustrate where they can reduce waste.  During the programming period from January to June in 2021, she was able to develop new virtual programming that included stories, interactive activities, science experiments, virtual field trips and student projects. Jackie worked with 15 classes at 4 schools and delivered over 160 remote sessions.