Sanitation Division - July 18, 2013
The city of Winston-Salem has received a national Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America for the Sanitation Division’s Recycle Today program. The award will be presented Sept. 17 in Long Beach, Calif., during the association’s annual conference.
Recycle Today received the bronze award in the Collections Systems category for its implementation of roll-out recycling, based on such criteria as performance, cost-effectiveness, environmental protection, use of technology, regulatory compliance, and worker health and safety. The city has partnered with Waste Management on its recycling program since 1990.
The switch to bi-weekly collection saved the city more than $800,000 and resulted in a 20 percent increase in recycling collections. A computerized mapping program created new collection routes balanced by time and load using the fewest trucks possible. Overall fuel consumption for recycling collections dropped by 200 gallons a day, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17,240 metric tons per day.
This is the Sanitation Division’s first national award, said Sanitation Director Johnnie Taylor. “I am very pleased that the efforts of our employees, and those of Waste Management, have been recognized,” Taylor said. “Our switch to rollout recycling has been an unqualified success and they are the ones who made it happen.”
The association’s Excellence Awards recognize outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that are 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 demonstrate that they are fiscally and environmentally responsible through their compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. Gold, silver and bronze awards are presented in 15 categories.
The Sanitation Division comprises 189 employees and is responsible each year for collecting more than 103,000 tons of garbage, yard waste, recycling, brush, bulky items and leaves.