Washington, DC – The 2011 American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Community Recycling Award was presented today to Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) in North Syracuse, New York. The annual awards recognize outstanding community, business, and school paper recycling programs across the country.
"Recycling is a true sustainability success story, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to communities across the country" said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "It is through the tireless and innovative efforts of people engaged in programs, such as Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, that we have achieved such great heights."
Through a comprehensive outreach program, OCRRA has helped the 450,000-member community achieve new heights, including the recovery of 165,000 tons of paper and paper-based packaging in 2010.
Curbside collection, drop-off locations, and annual "Shred-O-Rama" and book recycling events are all staples of the OCRRA paper recovery program. Further contributing to the success is a combination of education efforts including multi-media advertising, newsletters, emails, and Facebook fan page updates.
"The success of OCRRA's recycling program is due to the amazing community-wide effort put in by our residents every single day," Sarah Stewart, OCRRA recycling specialist.
Thanks to the on-going daily efforts of millions of Americans, 63.5 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2010. Coupled with the renewable nature of the raw material, recovering paper for recycling helps extend the life of paper and paper-based packaging products, and is an important part of the industry's sustainable practices.
Just last month, AF&PA launched a new initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 – to further that commitment to sustainability. As part of this initiative, a new recovery for recycling goal has been set to exceed 70 percent by 2020. The participation of millions of Americans who collect paper for recycling at home, school and work every day will be essential to achieving this new goal, and programs, such as that initiated by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, are examples of how we can all help recover paper for recycling. More information on the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative can be found at www.afandpa.org/sustainability.
AF&PA sponsors this annual awards program to recognize best-in-class efforts in education and innovation in recycling. Details regarding the award-winning programs, background information, free classroom resources, and more are available at www.paperrecycles.org.