Green City Awards recognize innovative municipalities

Waste & Recycling News announced the winners of the 2012 Green City Awards in late March

As consumer demand for green products continues to rise, so too does their awareness of the various aspects of living a green lifestyle. Being green has taken on a broader meaning then simply recycling or for a city to designate “green space”.

For a city to be considered a “Green City“, an award given by Waste & Recycling News – – a leading informational source for environmental managers,recyclers, and businesses that generate and manage waste – and sponsored by ReCommunity Recycling, a city must demonstrate:that it goes the extra distance in its recycling and waste reduction efforts. Examples include:

  • innovation in how they promote their recycling programs and educate residents.
  • their recycling accomplishments

The 2012 Green City Award winners – announced the last week of March at the annual Residential Recycling Conference – were Whiting, Indiana, Bellevue, Washington, and San Jose’, California.

Entrants for this prestigious competition were judged by the editorial staff of Waste & Recycling News, representatives from conference co-organizer Republic Services Inc., and by conference attendees. Each group represented one-third of the vote.

Each of the award-winning cities have shown impressive levels of diversion and recycling. Whiting´s recycling rate is at 40 percent. San Jose´s is more than 60 percent, and Bellevue recycles more than 68 percent of its waste.

The winners were drawn from a list of nine finalists, encompassing three major categories:

  • Small cities (fewer than 100,000 residents): Allen, Texas; City of Whiting, Indiana (in partnership with the Lake County Solid Waste Management District); Rockville, Maryland.
  • Medium cities (100,000 to 500,000 residents): Ann Arbor, Michigan; Anaheim, California; Bellevue, Washington
  • Large cities (more than 500,000 residents): the regional Municipality of Halton, Ontario, Canada; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Jose, California.

These cities all developed unique and innovative strategies to help educate consumers about recycling. and environmental issues.These include:

  • Colorful recycling bins found around San Jose’ are just part of the city’s efforts to encourage recycling

    Whiting  helped build a recycled float in its annual Pierogi Parade

  • Bellevue has created a unique mascot called Carbon Yeti
  • Honolulu offers on-demand educational programming for residents on “The Green Channel,” which it calls the “first eco-conscious television network in America”
  • San Jose has organized flash mobs to pleasantly surprise shoppers who use reusable grocery bags
  • Anaheim has its own smartphone app that lets residents schedule collection

“Each of the Green Cities should feel especially proud,” said WRN Editor John Campanelli. “Not only did we get an overwhelming number of submissions, almost all of them were exceptional. Choosing the finalists from such an amazing pool of entries was not easy.”

The Green City Awards – sponsored by ReCommunity Recycling – take both initiative and creative planning to achieve. Congrats to this year’s award winners!

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