The National Waste and Recycling Association announces membership award honorees across three categories for contributions in support of the waste and recycling industry and the association. The 2019 awardees are: Members of the Year Award: Chris Coulter, Peoria Disposal Company, and Don Ross, New Way Trucks; Chapter Leadership Award: Michael O’Connor, Premier Waste Services and Steve Edwards, Advanced Disposal Services, Inc.; Distinguished Service Awards: Tom Agema, Homewood Disposal, Michael Savage, PTR Baler & Compactor Company, and Kevin O’Brien, WCA Waste Corporation.
“Our member companies and their employees are the strength of NWRA. Without these individuals’ leadership and contribution, NWRA would not be the leading association in the waste industry. I congratulate them on their achievement,” said NWRA President and CEO, Darrell Smith. The award winners will be officially recognized at WasteExpo 2019 during the Awards Breakfast.
About the Winners
Member of the Year
Chris Coulter, Peoria Disposal Company
Chris served as the Illinois Chapter Chair in 2018 and was reelected for a two year term, serving through 2021. As chair, he reestablished the Legislative/Advocacy committee and was instrumental as the industry representative to the Mahoment Aquifer Task Force; he worked with the task force to ensure that the interests of the waste and recycling industry were represented in its final report. Chris helped raise over $1.5 million for Easterseals Central Illinois, including more than $350,000 from the waste and recycling industry.
Don Ross, New Way Trucks
Don has been in the waste and recycling association for more than 30 years. He has experience in all facets of the industry including hauling, transfer, consulting and manufacturing. Don is an active NWRA member, serving on the Suppliers Board of Governors and Hall of Fame Awards Committee Chair. He is also involved in other industry groups including the Environmental Resource and Education Foundation.
Michael O’Connor, Premier Waste Services
Michael has been a committed NWRA member for several years, being involved at both the national as Board of Governors Representative and the Arizona chapter level as Vice Chair. Michael has demonstrated his commitment to the betterment of the association through speaking at numerous education sessions and by serving as a voice for small haulers. He has been integral in the success of the Arizona annual golf tournament, the most popular and profitable NWRA event in the western states.
Steve Edwards, Advanced Disposal Services, Inc.
Steve has served as Georgia’s chapter chairman for eight years. During his tenure, he led legislation initiatives to pass Slow Down To Get Around and regulation equality betweeen privately- and publicly-held landfills. Leveraging his political experience as the Mayor of Sugar Hill, he has demonstrated a solid history of pulling people together to address common interests and ideas.
Tom Agema, Homewood Disposal
Tom has served the industry for over 30 years and has served as the company’s designated representative to the IL Chapter since joining Homewood. Legislation introduced each year since 2003 is internally named the Tom Agema bill because he makes the motion to support a repeal of a provision for the collection of an annual commercial distribution fee on vehicles.
Michael Savage, PTR Baler & Compactor Company
Michael has been an active member of NWRA for many years. He is a former chair of the NWRA’s Supplier Board of Governors where he helped develop the board’s strategic plan. Additionally, he assisted the Board of Trustees with the development of their strategic plan. Michael also finds time to give back to his community where he is active in civic and charitable organizations.
Kevin O’Brien, WCA Waste Corporation
Kevin has served as the MO Chapter chair since 2008 and the Chapter’s alternate to the BOG since 2014. Kevin worked with the governor’s office to get Hours of Service and truck weight relief after severe storms and the tornado damaged Joplin, MO in 2011. Kevin successfully fought flow control legislation in 2015 and worked to get Slow Down to Get Around legislation passed in 2017.