Green Project of the Year: Vomela
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: Commissioner Douglas Huebsch
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.
Denise Kolar Award: Kris Kaar, RRS
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 citizens, elected officials, and industry leaders on trending recycling issues such as supplying mixed feedstock during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recycler of the Year: Minnesota MRFs
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.