Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that eight of its customers were recently honored for their leadership in sustainability at the inaugural Casella Sustainability Leadership Award Ceremony.
The customers were honored for excellence in resource sustainability across seven categories, including: partnership, innovation, recycling, organics recovery, donations and reuse, closed loop economy, and education.
“It gives us a sense of great pride to honor these eight customers for their leadership and outstanding work in advancing sustainability,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO. “We hope that by bringing attention to their efforts, others will be inspired by their passion, commitment, and success.”
Nearly 30 customers, including municipalities, colleges and universities, industrial manufacturers, food and beverage producers, and others were nominated for their efforts. Winners were chosen by a panel of Casella executives and sustainability experts, including True Zero Waste Advisors, who evaluated each nominee on several criteria.
“We’ve spent more than 45 years working towards a more sustainable future, and as we strive to help our customers reach their sustainability goals it is an honor to recognize their collective efforts. The customers and communities we have the privilege of serving are leading the way and inspiring others to live and work more sustainability and that continues to be the most rewarding part of our work,” Casella said.
2020 Sustainability Leadership Award Winners
PARTNER OF THE YEAR
Recognizes the Casella customer who is advancing resource sustainability by forging great partnerships and embodying the spirit of Casella’s core value commitment to teamwork.
Tompkins County, New York has been a Casella partner since the early 1990’s and today achieves an impressive 60 percent recycling rate. Impactful programs have included: pay-as-you-throw tagging, county-wide curbside recycling, drop-off for hard-to-recycle items, early adoption of food waste services, and countless innovative and effective education programs. All of these efforts have helped to reduce contamination and put Tompkins County in an excellent position to achieve its goal of 85 percent recycling by 2030. [read more]
“We’ve had a long-standing partnership over 30 years with Casella and it's a really great example of how we've both had mutual success with our sustainability programs. I knew when I first took the job here, we needed to see a public-private partnership or it wasn't going to work, and that's what we've been able to create. I can’t tell you how grateful we are.”
- Barbara Eckstrom, Director of Recycling Materials Management for Tompkins County
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Recognizes the Casella customer who is advancing resource sustainability by embracing innovative solutions.
UMass Lowell is always ready to try something new to advance sustainability and has earned a reputation among its peer institutions as an innovator. Organics have been a high priority on their campus and has collaborated with Casella to establish food waste collection across 13 locations. When Casella approached UMass Lowell about the potential for onsite food waste processing from InSinkErator Grind2Energy, they installed not only one machine, but two becoming the second university in the country to adopt the technology. Other innovations have included: a closed loop bagged compost program, compost for campus gardens, and an early-stage program for recycling plastic from research labs. [read more]
“We are encouraged continuously to be innovative and to try new ideas at UMass Lowell, and the fact that we're recognized for that today, I think is really reflective of the culture that exists at our University. Casella has been a tremendous partner since the beginning and really helped us advance our sustainability program, and we look forward to continuing to do more innovative projects as we move forward.”
- Ruairi O’Mahony, Director of Sustainability at UML
Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented an ambitious and successful recycling program.
BD Pharmaceutical Systems is a sustainability leader in many different ways and most especially in its commitment to recycling glass, which has been its largest waste stream and is traditionally a very hard commodity to recycle. Over the course of the last seven years, BD has maintained a recycling rate over 93 percent, which is a reflection of its culture and commitment to sustainable practices at every level. [read more]
“We're very honored to have been considered for, and then to have received this recognition. I am grateful to work for an organization that places high emphasis on being stewards of the environment and to not only want to do what is right for our business, but what is right for our community as well.”
- Jamie Peterson, Environmental, Health, & Safety Leader at BD
ORGANICS RECOVERY CHAMPION
Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented a successful recovery program for food, beverages, and other organic materials.
DuPont Nutrition USA generates around 50 million pounds annually of a unique organic byproduct called Algefiber. Because the material is rich in organic matter, magnesium, and lime value, it is great for improving soil and enhancing crop yields. DuPont's commitment to sustainability through innovation, safety and community engagement is inspirational and its partnership with Casella has helped local farmers and others find a higher and better use for 25,000 tons of material that was once destined for landfill. [read more]
“We value the partnership with Casella in handling the byproduct from our Carrageenan production. In terms of sustainability, you need valued partners, you need ways to repurpose your materials, and you need to be good stewards of the environment. It’s nice to be able to run a sustainable business here in Maine.”
- Ben Whitney, DuPont’s Plant Manager in Rockland, Maine.
DONATIONS AND REUSE CHAMPION
Recognizes the Casella customer who has implemented a successful reuse or donation program.
Goodwill Northern New England has been a long-standing partner to Casella on many levels. One of the most significant collaborations between the two organizations has been establishing a Green Move Out reuse program to capture items from college campuses when students move out at the end of each school year. Goodwill Northern New England has been an integral partner, making this great program a success by providing logistics, transportation, equipment, and an outlet for recovering donated materials. Since its inception in 2015, Green Move Outs have recovered over 100 tons of donated items from students. [read more]
“We're honored to share this work and this award with Casella and we do it in so many ways. Casella is a true partner focused on all of the elements of our sustainability lens. Really the ideal triple bottom line partner, the reuse of repurposing of donated goods has been the foundation of our social enterprise since 1902, and can, has helped us to be, to be better, be smarter, and to work more thoughtfully in this space.
- Rich Cantz, CEO of Goodwill Northern New England
CLOSED LOOP ECONOMY CHAMPION
Recognizes the Casella customer who purchases or creates robust markets for recycled content materials, including recycled commodities, organics products, and more.
Read Custom Soils is the leading provider of custom planting soils in New England. They are the top customer for Casella's Earthlife™ products. Casella makes Earthlife™ products from recycled organics, and Read Custom Soils goes on to make them into specialized soil blends for everything from golf courses to green roofs to gardens. Working closely together to establish product and service best practices, the teams at Casella and Read Custom Soils are building healthier soils and landscapes while supporting more sustainable ecosystems and communities. [read more]
“Casella products play such a major role in everything we do. We rely so much on the leaf compost and the super peat in all of our roots own mixes for both golf and athletic fields and the green roof soil that we do, that we ship all over new England. Through this partnership, we’ve reintroduced more than 15,000 yards back into the landscape over two recent projects and this coming year we’ll reintroduce another 20,000 yards.”
- Chris Ierardi, General Manager at Read Custom Soils.
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR (Two Recipients)
Recognizes the Casella customers who implement educational campaigns to engage their communities, customers, employees, and/or students in good recycling and food waste programs.
Bentley University has created a model that today shapes the way Casella interacts with all of its university customers. With its Waste Minimization Task Force, Bentley convenes stakeholders monthly to discuss and advance waste minimization programs, ensuring an ongoing focus and strong campus-wide education and outreach. One of this group's most significant and visible successes has been the campus' ambitious green move out program, a huge operational undertaking requiring seamless logistics, education, and coordination over the course of several days at the end of each semester. [read more]
“This fall we had an opportunity to implement a post-consumer composting program in our dining halls to try and divert some of the additional waste which was being generated due to COVID-19. Casella, our food service provider, our facilities management team and our sustainability team came together to implement the program which required A LOT of education. Our waste minimization task force through a partnership with Casella has helped us manage this heavy-lift project and create buy-in across campus.”
- Sophie Rodgers, Manager of Sustainability at Bentley
Fairfax, Vermont has focused on modern outreach and education, enabled by the launch of an innovative waste and recycling app - powered by Recollect - to give residents immediate access to their collection schedule and a searchable tool to advance recycling and compost education. As of December, 409 people had installed the app and over 5,600 items had been searched across 5,000 households. The Town Manager has supported this success through savvy use of social media and by bringing Casella in to speak with residents to complement these efforts. [read more]
“I want to extend our thanks to our local Casella team that's been so instrumental in helping us in making this possible. The town has had a very productive relationship with Casella over the years, and we're really excited to be partnering in efforts to help educate folks about the role of our stakeholders and the bigger picture of sustainability and all the efforts around it. I really want to credit our select board for seeing that one of the key elements in the bigger mission of sustainability is the impact that each person can have with their own behavior at home, and for taking the initiative to lead the community with the introduction of curbside food waste pickup and the new Fairfax Recycles app that Casella brought to us. We’ve been blown away by the participation, the ability to have a direct interaction between service providers and the community, and the data regarding the tonnage diverted from the landfill.”
- Brad Docheff, Fairfax Town Manager.