Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney today was awarded the first-ever Recycling Impact Award, a nationwide recognition of his work on recycling stewardship. The Recycling Impact Award is presented to a National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) member who is committed to working within a state, region, and/or communities to positively impact resource conservation and recycling. “Lt. Governor Cooney is an influential public leader in our community, state, and country promoting economic and environmental benefits of recycling,” said Pacific Steel & Recycling CEO & President Jeff Millhollin, who presented Cooney with the award. “Furthermore, Mike has been instrumental developing and supporting policy in the best interests of both his constituents and the recycling industry. This includes co-sponsoring the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ ‘Scrap is not Waste’ resolution in 2016, which the NLGA subsequently adopted.”
The Recycling Impact Award is an annual award presented by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in partnership with the NLGA. “Lt. Governor Cooney is a champion of the recycling industry, not just through policy, but also through the example he sets personally,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “While working at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, he collected recyclables from other employees and took them to a collection center himself. He also works at collection points throughout the state on his own time as a way of promoting recycling. The Lt. Governor is also an advocate for rural recycling programs throughout Montana. For his efforts to promote recycling we are pleased to honor Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney with the first Recycling Impact Award.”
Lieutenant Governor Cooney is the head of Montana’s SMART Schools Challenge. The program encourages schools to promote energy efficiency, environmentally sound practices, and reduce waste by recycling. As a result of this effort 82,000 pounds of material was diverted from landfills this year and into the recycling stream. “As Lieutenant Governor, it’s been a priority to make recycling simple and accessible to more Montanans and encourage everyone, especially young people, to be thoughtful about their choices and impact on the planet,” Lt. Gov. Cooney said. “It’s an honor to be recognized and I’m thrilled to keep working with Montanans to protect Montana for generations to come.”
“This award recognizes established and up-and-coming leaders committed to effectively tackling the current and future challenges of our nation,” said NLGA Director Julia Hurst. “By recognizing Lt. Gov. Cooney, attention is brought to his accomplishments in Montana in a way that can bring new ideas to other states.” The award was announced and the presentation made during the NLGA 2019 Annual Meeting in Wilmington, DE.