Posted Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Recycling is in Fashion at MUA’s Annual Recycling Awards Event 

Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, with a cape made of CDs created for "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, with a cape made of CDs created for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority honored some of the county’s most inventive and hard working recyclers at an awards ceremony held on Friday at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township.

MUA Executive Director Larry Gindoff thanked all of the award recipients — ranging from cyclists, contractors, students, educators, store owners, arts organizations, and law enforcement — for outstanding environment work.

The event itself was a recycling fashion show. Purses made from tires, candy wrappers and computer keys accessorized a recycling fashion show at the awards luncheon that highlighted ways to make useable clothing and wearable goods from upcycled, recycled and found objects.

“We thank all of these county residents for hard work to improve our environment, and to help make Morris County a great place to live and work,” said Freeholder Christine Myers, who is the county governing board’s liaison to the MUA.

Award Winners Included:

Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey designed costumes using bottles caps, CDs, and other reclaimed materials, which kept them from being dumped in a landfill. Actors sparkled during performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is why she received the “All that Glisters is Not Gold”  award (a quote from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice).

Employees of Marty’s Reliable Cycles were awarded the “Biking for a Cleaner Environment!” award for organizing the extensive cleanup of illegal dumping along Waterloo Valley Road in Mt. Olive near Stephen’s State Park. Marty Epstein, Frank Cuenchenmeister and Mike Sciancalepore put out the call for volunteers, and members of the Jersey Off Road Bike Association (JORBA) and Northstar Contracting Group answered the call.

JORBA members spent two days filling four 30-yard waste containers. Northstar Contracting Group supplied heavy equipment including a mini-excavator, front-end loaders, roll-off containers, and transportation to the garbage transfer station. For their outstanding work, JORBA’s volunteers also were honored with the “Biking for a Cleaner Environment!” award.

Northstar Contracting Group’s award for getting the job done was called “Giving by Taking Away!”

Shakespeare Theatre of NJ showcase costumes made of recycled materials created for "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Shakespeare Theatre of NJ showcase costumes made of recycled materials created for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

During the past year, Girl Scouts Madeline Beavis and Emma Rosenkilde of Troop 80971 developed a plan to add recycling containers at the Morristown Green and presented the concept to the Trustees of the Green. Because they proved that the containers were important to keeping the Green litter free, recycling containers were then purchased. In recognition of their efforts, they were presented with the “Keeping THE GREEN green” award.

Morris County MUA Celebrates Recycling Excellence

Hunter Wilson models a waxed candy wrapper handbag made of intricately woven upcycled wrappers from Tootsie Rolls. Tropical Stormz Pops and Tootsie Fruit Chews.

Alicia Scelso, Principal of Pequannock High School, was honored with the “Sustainability & Stewardship” award for getting the school’s recycling program in place and working with students and staff to make it succeed. She was instrumental in the Pequannock school district participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time.

Roxbury’s certified Municipal Recycling Coordinator and certified Clean Communities Coordinator, Kellie Ann Keyes, received an award entitled the “Rox-Star Recycler.” Kellie Ann is a talented Department of Public Works employee who continually educates residents, schools, multi-family complexes, businesses and institutions about proper recycling protocols. She organizes litter clean ups, directs operations at the Recycling Center, gives presentations at fairs, and does waste audits at schools, among her many other duties.

Morris County MUA Celebrates Recycling Excellence

Donovan Cooper, a student at Pequannock High School, with his upcycled artwork.

Donovan Cooper, a student at Pequannock High School, is an artist and sculptor who creates innovative artwork out of scrap metal and found materials. He received the Hy Nadel Creativity Award for his extraordinary talent. Hy Nadel created woodwork pieces and was a member of the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority’s board of directors for many years. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure…Cooper’s sculptures truly are treasures.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Department has been running a prescription drug drop box program since 2013 to help Morris County residents dispose of medications safely. In honor of the department’s commitment to this program, which diverts prescription drugs from waterways and keeps them out of the hands of children, the Department received the “Proper Disposal is the Best Medicine” award.

Ankur Patel, Manager of Stop & Shop in Morris Plains, has a goal to divert as much as possible from the store’s waste stream. He has instituted programs to recycle mandated materials as well as plastic bags and plastic film, compost food waste, and donate items to area food banks. He promotes community involvement and education by bringing municipal departments and local residents together in his store. He was honored with the “Stop, Shop & Recycle!” award for his diligent efforts to improve the environment.

Ankur Patel walks through a luncheon audience as they applaud.

Ankur Patel, Manager of Stop & Shop in Morris Plains, has a goal to divert as much as possible from the store’s waste stream.

As part of the Clean Communities grant program, Morris County public school students in grades 5 to 12 can enter their anti-littering artwork into a poster contest. Winners receive a $200 gift certificate and will have their posters replicated on a recycling receptacle for their schools.

Liz Sweedy, certified County Clean Communities Coordinator, announced the winners. They are Josephine Cabrera and Ananya Raghavan from  Valleyview Middle School in Denville; Natalie Diaz, Riverdale Public School; Amelia Doan, East Dover Middle School; Erica Knap, Morris Knolls High School, and Alyssa Mayhood, the Bragg School in Chester.

Sweedy also congratulated Kathleen Hourihan on her retirement. Kathleen has been the long-time County District Recycling Coordinator and has been responsible for many of the MCMUA’s recycling programs. Her dedication, perseverance and expertise over the years has resulted in Morris County’s excellent recycling rate of 51 percent.

The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority provides drinking water to Morris County municipalities and oversees the county’s trash transfer stations and hazardous waste disposal facility, and various curbside recycling programs. For more information visit the MUA’s website.