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Posted Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, which provides drinking water to Morris County municipalities and oversees county programs for solid and hazardous waste disposal, and recycling, celebrated environmental excellence during its award ceremony that heralded a variety of green efforts from e-recycling and food waste recycling to roadside trash collection, water quality improvement, and one business’ trash audit.

Stream monitoring

Stream monitoring in the Black River

The awards were presented on May 20 at a ceremony held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.

“The award recipients represent outstanding efforts that produce environmental benefits and provide excellent examples for others to follow,” said Kathleen Hourihan, Morris County District Recycling Coordinator.

“We are extremely proud of our residents who have worked so hard to make our community better, with a series of remarkable environmental efforts that cut across a wide-spectrum of our society, from students to teachers and disabled residents to our businesses community,’’ said Freeholder Christine Myers, the county governing board’s liaison to the MUA.

The award recipients are:

The Raritan Headwaters Association: This group, which works to protect, preserve and improve water quality and other natural resources of the Raritan River headwaters region through science, education, advocacy, and land preservation, received the “Clean Water Stewardship” award.

Green Vision, Inc.: This Randolph-based group is organized to give students and adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn and work in real life job situations through a Reverse Supply Chain, with a focus on electronics recycling. Tim Butler, President, has worked in the field of autism since 1999. After teaching in the classroom, and starting three successful vocational programs, he founded Green Vision in 2005.

Green Vision’s electronics recyclers

Green Vision’s electronics recyclers


Frank Cappuccio of Morris Hills High School: Frank received “The Power of Green – Living, Leading, Teaching” award for being an exceptional educator and head of the school’s Environment Action Club. He has led many weekend and after school clean-up programs where tons of illegally dumped trash was collected and then properly disposed.

Sarah Jane Noll, Chester Township’s Municipal Recycling Coordinator: She received recognition as a “Stellar Recycling Coordinator” for increasing recycling opportunities for residents, disseminating educational information, and actively enforcing mandated recycling requirements. Sarah Jane also was singled out for not being afraid to get her boots dirty as she did when investigating illegally dumped waste at a local horse riding academy.

Holly Tighe, Director of Chartwells’ Dining Services: She was honored for her work at the County College of Morris. Through her guidance, her associates are given tools, perspective, and ownership to track and trim waste. She has reduced costs and the carbon footprint of disposal by measuring food waste to see what type of garbage is being taken from the kitchen. By doing that she has enhanced sustainability and improved efficiency at the college’s dining room.


Rockaway Township Police Lieutenant Rob Scherr: A 16 year police veteran, Rob donates his time to picking up trash along Green Pond Road in Rockaway Township. Rob has a deep affection for his hometown and strives to make sure its main roadway looks pristine. He wants people to think twice about throwing garbage out of the window of their cars, and for that he received the “On Guard Against Litter” award.

Morris Catholic High School student Molly Szpakowski: She was honored for taking recycling to a life-saving level by sending empty pill bottles to Africa for reuse by needy patients. Molly collected bottles for the Malawi Project, an independent nonprofit group that offers medical, educational and other aid to this underdeveloped nation where prescription-pill bottles are an expensive necessity.

Morris Knolls High School Teacher Tricia Goginsky: She received the “Hy Nadel Creativity Award.” Tricia, who is an art teacher, is head of the school’s Ecology Club and inspires her students to excel as craftsmen. At last year’s award event, her designers modeled upcycled fashions that they created from found materials and wowed the audience.

Wilmington Paper Corporation of Pine Brook won the “Business Category Award’’ for doing an outstanding waste audit of their trash. The audit identified mandated recyclables that were thrown away in error, significantly reduced waste by incorporating reuse of materials, and increased savings for the company.

Grace Faulkner, a senior at the Morris County School of Technology: Glenn Schweizer, Executive Director of the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, announced that she would receive the Maraziti, Falcon Environmental Excellence Scholarship for her qualifications and passion for the environment. This prestigious award has been issued annually by the law firm of Maraziti, Falcon, LLP, Livingston.

Slam Dunk the Junk Poster Contest Winners: Liz Sweedy, Senior Recycling Specialist for the MUA, announced that winners are Cristian van Rossen, Mt. Arlington Public School; Veronika Hammond and Jolie Chow of Morris Hills High School; and Kate Rivera of Morris Knolls High School.

For more on the Morris County MUA and its recycling, vegetative and hazardous waste, and water quality efforts, please visit: