Residents from across Morris County who have shown environmental leadership and creativity, have been honored by the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, which celebrated their accomplishments during a recent awards ceremony held at the the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.
Larry Gindoff, Executive Director of the Morris County MUA, thanked all of the award recipients for their outstanding environmental work and said the MUA is proud to honor such a great group of exceptional individuals working towards sustainability in Morris County.
“Congratulations to all of the county residents who worked so hard and showed great diligence and creativity to improve our environment and to make Morris County a better place to live,” said Freeholder John Krickus, who is liaison to the MUA.
The Morris County MUA provides drinking water to Morris County municipalities and oversees the county’s garbage transfer stations and hazardous waste disposal facility, along with curbside recycling programs in select Morris County towns.
Here are the 2019 honorees:
- Ina Braun of Jefferson, who creates reusable shopping bags out of old t-shirts, was named “Bagtivist Extraordinaire” for her work in limiting the use of throw-away plastic bags and creating unique keepsakes.
- Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana received the “Recycling & Sustainability” award because of his many years of supporting and encouraging the efforts of Morris County’s recycling initiatives. He has been a true advocate for both the environment and source separation and recycling in Morris County.
- Eric Gabrielson, operations manager at the ReCommunity/Republic material recovery recycling facility in Mine Hill, he received the “Man in the Trenches” award. Eric ensures that incoming recyclables are processed properly to produce marketable recyclables for sales worldwide.
- Girl Scout Junior Troop 96407 of Boonton received the “Waste Reduction & Sustainability” award because of their successful water bottle filling station project at the John Hill School in the town of Boonton. The filling station has eliminated many single-use plastic bottles.
- The Lake Hopatcong Foundation conducted a litter cleanup during the drawdown of Lake Hopatcong where they removed everything from tires to refrigerators from the lakebed. They received the “Clean Water Stewardship” award for their efforts.
- Nancy Lennon of Parsippany High School received the “Stewardship & Sustainability” award. She is the environmental club advisor and has participated for over a decade in the Slam Dunk the Junk program by removing litter from school property.
- Alison Maxwell, Director of the Kemmerer Library in New Vernon (Harding Township), ran a program to collect plastic bags for the TREX program. TREX makes plastic lumber decking and benches from plastic bags and films. The name of her award is entitled “Renew Overdue Bags.”
- Steve Nebesni of Long Valley is a dedicated recycler and employee of Morris County. Instead of being a “wishful” recycler who expects unacceptable materials to be recycled, Steve follows the M.O.R.E. (Morris County Office Recycling Excels) recycling requirements to a T. As his award reads, he goes “Above & Beyond M.O.R.E.”
- Wegmans grocery store in Hanover Township was honored for their many programs that reduce waste and promote recycling. Their well-named award was for “SUPER Market Recycling”
- Employees from Wharton’s recycling depot — Jeff Kazanchy, Bob Norton and the late M. Bobby Dorr — won praise and the “Recycling Right” award from the MCMUA for their enthusiasm, knowledge and, especially, for the improvement of single-stream materials accepted at their depot. Those honored were .
- The Willows at Roxbury, a multi-family complex, has been working with Roxbury Township and the MCMUA to improve their recycling program. They have been using the MCMUA’s apartment recycling bags to great advantage and received the “ReBag to Recycling Bin” award for their efforts.The Parent Green Team from the Mendham Borough Schools made recycling cool by educating students and staff during lunch periods. Their appropriately titled award is called “Dream Green Team”.
As part of the Clean Communities grant program, Morris County public school students in grades 5 to 12 can enter their anti-littering artwork into a poster contest. This year’s winners received a $200 gift certificate and had their posters replicated on a recycling receptacle for their schools. Liz Sweedy, certified County Clean Communities Coordinator and District Recycling Coordinator, announced the winners:
- Luke Gargione, Black River Middle School;
- Laura Lozano, Morris Hills High School;
- Juliet Trouse, Riverdale Public School