December 10, 2020
Recycling Association of Minnesota Announces Annual Award Winners
St. Paul, MN – The Recycling Association of Minnesota (“RAM”) today announced the winners of its annual awards presented at its annual meeting held on December 8, 2020. The Recycling Association of Minnesota’s mission is to provide leadership, advocacy, and education to encourage the responsible use of resources through recycling and supporting modes of waste reduction. Founded in 1989, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization currently has 312 members.
Individuals, businesses, or organizations that have contributed to the betterment of recycling or other resource conservation efforts in the state of Minnesota are eligible for RAM awards.
“RAM’s success depends upon our ability to forge strategic partnerships with those within both the public and private sectors, including our incredible members,” stated Lori Nelson, RAM’s Executive Director. “It is only right that we recognize the contributions of those who go above and beyond in their efforts to improve the state of recycling within Minnesota.”
The 2020 award recipients are as follows:
Green Project Award – Vomela
The Green Project Award recognizes a special green project in Minnesota that has demonstrated outstanding environmental results.
Vomela completed an installation of a 3,400-panel solar array at its new 300,000-square-foot headquarters, now making it St Paul’s largest power array. The system can generate up to 1.3 megawatts of power. It provides roughly one-third of the power for Vomela’s facility, or enough to power 200 average Minnesota homes.
Public Service Award – Douglas Huebsch
The Public Service Award recognizes an elected official who has demonstrated outstanding service for the betterment of recycling and the environment.
Doug Huebsch, an Otter Tail County Commissioner, has displayed dedication, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an overall vision for recycling and resource recovery. Doug has been a county commissioner for 12 years and is finishing up this third and final term. During his time as commissioner, he has also faithfully served on the Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority board since its inception in 2011, often assuming the chair or vice-chair role. Doug was instrumental in the Perham Resource Recovery Facility expansion project, which included adding a front-end Materials Recovery Facility to remove Old Corrugated Containers, ferrous, and non-ferrous metal prior to combustion. He has also been extremely supportive of the county’s recycling initiatives including expanding curbside single-sort recycling and its fledgling agricultural plastic recycling program.
Recycler Of The Year – Minnesota MRFs
The Recycler of the Year Award goes to an individual, group, business, public entity or organization that has demonstrated outstanding service as a recycling service provider or advocate.
MRFs are Mixed Recovery Facilities, specialized plants that receive, separate, and prepare recyclable materials for marketing to end-use manufacturers. There are 21 MRFs within Minnesota. The MRFs have continued to provide outstanding service to the public, the recycling industry, and consumers despite the many challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, including contaminated waste, worker safety and absences, and a shortage of end markets.
Denise Kolar Award – Kris Kaar
The Denise Kolar Award honors a member of RAM who has devoted a tremendous amount of energy, goodwill and effort to benefit RAM.
Kris Kaar is a senior consultant at RRS, bringing 30 years of experience in research, planning, communication and program management in solid waste and recycling programs. Due to her extensive work with the Carton Council, Kris has developed an expertise in adding new materials to existing recycling programs and expanding access to recycling for select materials. Kris and RRS have supported the Carton Council on the way to their goal of 60% U.S. carton recycling access through data research and analysis, communications and outreach, and policy/legislative monitoring and support.
Kris has a long-standing relationship with RAM and has been actively involved in our work to educate and engage citizens, elected officials, and industry leaders on trending recycling issues.