2019 Recycling Excellence Awards

Recycler of the Year

Pam Blake

Known for her enthusiasm, warmth and eagerness to engage with her local community, Pam Blake was the Marshall County Recycling Education Coordinator for the past 23 years, retiring in mid-2019. Throughout her career, Pam was actively involved with Iowa’s solid waste and recycling industry. In 2005, she was a recipient of the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations Award for Best Education Program. The award acknowledged her work establishing a bi-lingual solid waste education program.

Business Recycling Program of the Year

Kum & Go

The company culture at Kum & Go is dedicated to sustainability. This commitment is demonstrated by numerous waste reduction and recycling efforts, including in-store and recycling-at-the-pump programs and food-rescue initiatives. Since 2015, enhanced recycling efforts have diverted over 13,000 tons of material from Iowa landfills. Since 2018, Kum & Go’s food rescue program has diverted 621,025 pounds of food, increasing their overall waste diversion by 7.8%.

Government Recycling Program of the Year

City of Iowa City Resource Management

Inspired by a community-wide recycling cart distribution, the City of Iowa City is implementing a strategic plan in 2019 to educate its curbside customers about best practices. Through a series of five outreach campaigns, Iowa City staff are working to make the curbside recycling program sustainable – through education on program participation and the importance of recycling correctly.

School Recycling Program of the Year

Southeast Polk Community School District

Southeast Polk’s administration, faculty, staff and students realize that successful environmental outcomes stem from cross-curricular environmental education and diverse learning opportunities. The school district has shown its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint through multiple programs, including waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation, sustainable farming and hands-on environmental learning.