And the SWANA 2017 Excellence Award Winners Are…


I love movies. And I’ve always been a fan of the Academy Awards including all the hype and buildup that precedes Oscar night. I’m avid because I consider the significance of the awards to be a measurement to aspire to for the motion picture industry, and the cultural impact it has on a society that loves movie stars. Awards in any field or industry can serve as motivation to do better work. They can create role models to emulate. Then can inspire. The result can be innovation and progress.

I remember one Oscar moment that struck a lasting chord with me. It’s from a few years ago when Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for “Dallas Buyers Club.” In his acceptance speech, he named three things that he “needed” each day. The first is something to look up to, then something to look forward to, and third, someone to chase. I interpreted it as a mantra for success and growth.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has announced its 2017 Excellence Awards winners. Programs and facilities in 13 different categories covering numerous facets of the municipal solid waste industry have been judged by their peers as being the most innovative and dynamic organizations throughout North America.

“SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that demonstrate the highest practices through their commitment to using effective technologies and processes in system design and operations, advancing worker and community health and safety, and implementing successful public education and outreach programs. Programs also must exhibit that they are fiscally and environmentally responsible through their compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.”

SWANA Executive Director and CEO, David Biderman says, “The recipients of the SWANA Excellence Awards represent the best solid waste management practices in North America today. Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these projects provide to their citizens.”

The 2017 Excellence Awards winners are, by category:

Awareness Campaign

Gold – Tie

  • Western Placer Waste Management Authority, California  One Big Bin” campaign
  • Pitkin County Solid Waste Center, Colorado “Talkin’ Trash” campaign

Silver –

  • City of North Port Solid Waste Division, Florida, Creative Awareness Campaigns

Education Program

Gold – 

  • RecycleSmart – Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, California

Silver – 

  • Waste Management Youth Education

Bronze – 

  • OC Waste & Recycling Landfill Tour Program

Communication, Education and Marketing Tools

Bronze –

  • City of Greenville Solid Waste Division-Recycling, South Carolina

Innovation in Communication, Education, and Marketing

Gold –

  • City of Charlotte, North Carolina, Healthy Communities Education Program

Collection Systems

Bronze –

  • City of Baltimore Citywide Municipal Trash Can Program, Maryland

Transfer Station

Gold –

  • Valley Vista Services Pomona Valley, California

Landfill Gas & Biogas

Silver – 

  • OC Waste and Recycling Bowerman Power Project, California

Landfill Management

Bronze –

  • City of Toronto, Ontario, Green Lane Landfill

Landfill Redevelopment

Gold –

  • Niagara Region, Ontario, Landfill End Use Site Development

Bronze –

  • City of Los Angeles, California, Lopez Canyon Environmental Center

Integrated Solid Waste Management System

Gold –

  • City of Toronto, Ontario, Long Term Solid Waste Management Strategy

Silver –

  • County of Santa Barbara, California, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division

Recycling Systems

Gold –

  • GreenWaste Recovery, California, Materials Recovery Facility

Silver –

  • Emerald Coast Utilities Authority Materials Recycling Facility, Florida

Bronze –

  • Niagara Region, Ontario, Recycling Centre Improvements

Special Waste Management

Gold –

  • Niagara Region, Ontario, Household Hazardous Waste Depots

Bronze – Tie

  • Lorain County, Ohio, Collection Center
  • Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority, New Jersey, EPS Recycling Program

Composting Systems

Gold – Tie

  • Navy Whidbey Recycle In-vessel Composting System, Washington
  • Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency Compost Operations, New York

Silver –

  • Republic Services Pacific Region Compost (PRC) Facility, Oregon


Gold – 

  • Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach Florida, Palm Beach, Renewable Energy Facility #2

The winners will be acknowledged and awarded at the annual WASTECON® conference in Baltimore, Maryland, on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

WASTECON is co-sited this year with ISWA’s World Congress.

To learn more about SWANA’s 2017 Excellence Award winners, visit

And in the words of Matthew McConaughey, “Alright, alright, alright!”



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