2017 Recycling Excellence Awards

Recycler of the Year

Perishable Distributors of Iowa

PDI is a perishable food warehousing and distribution company sitting on 140-acre campus, with a 350,000 sq. ft. warehouse offering over 7,400 fresh and frozen items to retail grocery. To fulfill the company mission of eliminating all waste to landfill and incineration, PDI implemented a Zero Waste policy and program. As of September 2016, the company achieved Platinum Level certification under the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council program. The current diversion rate is 99.01%.

Murray J. Fox Recycling Innovation Award

West Liberty Foods

West Liberty Foods achieved landfill-free status since 2012. Less than 1% of WLF waste is landfilled, but the company continues to search for better ways to reduce its waste stream and find environmentally friendly recycling methods. The progressive approach at WLF includes unique partnerships with vendors, and a willingness to share information about waste reduction practices with other companies, both in and out of the meat industry.

Commitment to Iowa Award

Iowa Waste Reduction Center – Iowa Green Brewery Certification

The number of craft breweries in Iowa is growing exponentially. Because brewing craft beer is resource intensive and can pose an environmental threat, the Iowa Waste Reduction Center created the Iowa Green Brewery Certification. This 4-tiered certification program rewards environmentally friendly processes and practices conducted by craft breweries. In 2017 five breweries have been certified and four more are working to reach certified “green” status.

Green Project Award

Palo Alto County Conservation Board

As a part of the Northern Plains Regional Landfill’s EMS (Environmental Management System) initiative to mitigate negative impacts on the environment, the landfill developed a Diversion and Reduction Program. The program provides financial assistance to aid in implementing pollution prevention, solid waste management and public education projects. The Palo Alto County Conservation Board accomplished all three of these objectives with a new campground recycling program.

Community Engagement Award

Metro Waste Authority

To combat plastic bag contamination and pollution in central Iowa, Metro Waste Authority created the Earth Month Plastic Bag Swap. Residents were invited to swap one bag full of disposable plastic bags for one reusable bag made of recycled plastic at their city hall. The city that collected the most bags was awarded a park bench made of recycled plastic. 109,000 plastic bags were collected and kept out of the landfill.



Comprehensive business waste diversion program

Repair Cafe, shredding and metal recycling event

Waste minimization initiatives