Casella Waste Systems Recognizes Tompkins County as Sustainability Leader

County’s commitment to teamwork leads to Partner of the Year honor

RUTLAND, VT – (February 16, 2021) Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that Tompkins County, New York was recently honored for their leadership in sustainability at the inaugural Casella Sustainability Leadership Award Ceremony.

Tompkins County was honored as the 2020 Partner of the Year for advancing resource sustainability by forging great partnerships and embodying the spirit of Casella’s core value commitment to teamwork.

“It gives us a sense of great pride to honor the entire Tompkins County team for their leadership and outstanding work in advancing sustainability,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO. “We hope that by bringing attention to their efforts, others will be inspired by their passion, commitment, and success.”

Tompkins County was among 30 Casella customers, including municipalities, colleges and universities, industrial manufacturers, food and beverage producers, and others nominated for their efforts. Winners were chosen by a panel of Casella executives and sustainability experts, including True Zero Waste Advisors, who evaluated each nominee on several criteria.

“We’ve had a long-standing partnership for 30 years with Casella and it’s a really great example of how we’ve both had mutual success with our sustainability programs,” said Barbara Eckstrom Director of Recycling Materials Management for Tompkins County. “I realized that we needed to create successful public private partnerships for recycling to be successful.

A Casella partner since the early 1990’s, Tompkins County achieves an impressive 60 percent recycling rate today. Impactful programs have included: pay-as-you-throw tagging, county-wide curbside recycling, drop-off for hard-to-recycle items, early adoption of food scrap composting, and countless innovative and effective education programs. All of these efforts have helped to reduce contamination and put Tompkins County in excellent position to achieve its goal of 80 percent waste diversion through recycling, reuse, composting and reduction by 2030.

“We’ve spent more than 45 years working towards a more sustainable future, and as we strive to help our customers reach their sustainability goals it is an honor to recognize their collective efforts. The customers and communities we have the privilege of serving are leading the way and inspiring others to live and work more sustainability and that continues to be the most rewarding part of our work,” Casella said.

2020 Casella Sustainable Leadership Award Winners

PARTNER OF THE YEAR: Recognizes the Casella customer who is advancing resource sustainability by forging great partnerships and embodying the spirit of Casella’s core value commitment to teamwork.

Tompkins County, New York has been a Casella partner since the early 1990’s and today achieves an impressive 60 percent recycling rate. Impactful programs have included: pay-as-you-throw tagging, county-wide curbside recycling, drop-off for hard-to-recycle items, early adoption of food waste services, and countless innovative and effective education programs. All of these efforts have helped to reduce contamination and put Tompkins County in excellent position to achieve its goal of 85 percent recycling by 2030.

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR: Recognizes the Casella customer who is advancing resource sustainability by embracing innovative solutions.

UMass Lowell is always ready to try something new to advance sustainability and has earned a reputation among its peer institutions as an innovator. Organics have been a high priority on their campus and has collaborated with Casella to establish food waste collection across 13 locations. When Casella approached UMass Lowell about the potential for onsite food waste processing from InSinkErator Grind2Energy, they installed not only one machine, but two becoming the second university in the country to adopt the technology. Other innovations have included: a closed loop bagged compost program, compost for campus gardens, and an early-stage program for recycling plastic from research labs.

RECYCLING CHAMPION: Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented an ambitious and successful recycling program.

BD Pharmaceutical Systems is a sustainability leader in many different ways and most especially in its commitment to recycling glass, which has been its largest waste stream and is traditionally a very hard commodity to recycle. Over the course of the last seven years, BD has maintained a recycling rate over 93 percent, which is a reflection of its culture and commitment to sustainable practices at every level.

ORGANICS RECOVERY CHAMPION: Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented a successful recovery program for food, beverages, and other organic materials.

DuPont Nutrition USA generates around 50 million pounds annually of a unique organic byproduct called Algefiber. Because the material is rich in organic matter, magnesium, and lime value, it is great for improving soil and enhancing crop yields. DuPont’s commitment to sustainability through innovation, safety and community engagement is inspirational and its partnership with Casella has helped local farmers and others find a higher and better use for 25,000 tons of material that was once destined for landfill.

DONATIONS AND REUSE CHAMPION: Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented a successful reuse or donation program.

Goodwill Northern New England has been a long-standing partner to Casella on many levels. One of the most significant collaborations between the two organizations has been establishing a Green Move Out reuse program to capture items from college campuses when students move out at the end of each school year. Goodwill Northern New England has been an integral partner, making this great program a success by providing logistics, transportation, equipment, and an outlet for recovering donated materials. Since inception in 2015, Green Move Outs have recovered over 100 tons of donated items from students.

CLOSED LOOP ECONOMY CHAMPION: Recognizes the Casella customer who purchases or creates robust markets for recycled content materials, including recycled commodities, organics products, and more.

Read Custom Soils is the leading provider of custom planting soils in New England. They are the top customer for Casella’s Earthlife™ products. Casella makes Earthlife™ products from recycled organics, and Read Custom Soils goes on to make them into specialized soil blends for everything from golf courses to green roofs to gardens. Working closely together to establish product and service best practices, the teams at Casella and Read Custom Soils are building healthier soils and landscapes while supporting more sustainable ecosystems and communities.

EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR (Two Recipients): Recognizes the Casella customers who implement educational campaigns to engage their communities, customers, employees, and/or students in good recycling and food waste programs.

Bentley University has created a model that today shapes the way Casella interacts with all of its university customers. With its Waste Minimization Task Force, Bentley convenes stakeholders monthly to discuss and advance waste minimization programs, ensuring an ongoing focus and strong campus-wide education and outreach. One of this group’s most significant and visible successes has been the campus’ ambitious green move out program, a huge operational undertaking requiring seamless logistics, education, and coordination over the course of several days at the end of each semester.

Fairfax, Vermont has focused on modern outreach and education, enabled by the launch of an innovative waste and recycling app – powered by Recollect – to give residents immediate access to their collection schedule and a searchable tool to advance recycling and compost education. As of December, 409 people had installed the app and over 5,600 items had been searched across 5,000 households. The Town Manager has supported this success through savvy use of social media and by bringing Casella in to speak with residents to complement these efforts.

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