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Associated Recyclers of  Wisconsin

2025 Award Nominations Will Open Fall 2024

Check back for details and form to submit.        Deadline :  January 15, 2025

2024 Christy Dixon Recycler of the Year

Jim Birmingham

The prestigious Christy Dixon Recycler of the Year Award was awarded to Jim Birmingham of Carton Council and owner of Birmingham Recycling.  This recognition is given to an individual whose career demonstrates the highest professional standards. Jim has made a career of recycling for over 50 years.  

Some of Jim's highlights over the years include; in the 1970's, at a young age, Jim took a leadership role with Continental Can Company in Milwaukee. That was the start of a career in recycling. Through the years Jim has adjusted, evolved, and continued his dedication working with Peltz Group to Waste Management/Recycle America to Pioneer Industries, and eventually establishing his own Birmingham Recycling consultation business. 

Jim served on the Governor's Council on Recycling during a critical time when funds for recycling were in jeopardy in Wisconsin. Jim fought hard and continued to provide leadership to the Council serving as chair in 2016-2018. He also served on the Board of Directors for WasteCap. In 2008, Jim joined the Carton Council as the Midwest Manager. 

Whether he was running a can buy-back center, developing a full-service recycling center, working for other recycling companies, running his own company or serving on the Wisconsin Council on Recycling Jim has been a leader in Wisconsin's recycling industry for over 50 years.

Photo:  Jim Birmingham, along with Amanda Haffele (AROW Board President) who presented him with the award.

Outstanding Achievement in Waste Reduction and Recycling:  Private Entity

Hilltopper Refuse & Recycling 

Hilltopper Refuse & Recycling has engaged many community partners to provide more inclusive services and greater opportunities for material diversion and recovery. Just in the past year, they have developed or expanded new programs in education, organics diversion, and management of problematic wastes.

Hilltopper partnered with the City of La Crosse Fire Department, local businesses/organizations, and Xcel Energy on a lithium ion battery campaign to raise awareness of fire dangers and appropriate management options. Hilltopper also partnered with Trempeleau County staff to create a bilingual English/Spanish educational video on recyclable materials including plastic types, electronics, special wastes, household hazardous wastes, material exchange programs, and more, making this information more widely available to residents in a new format.

Knowing the low recovery rates of polystyrene and associated challenges with the material, Hilltopper saw an opportunity for diversion in an economical way with the purchase of a densifier, to more readily market and transport material. This effort is in collaboration with La Crosse County drop-off center as another material source.

Hilltopper has “walked the walk” of organics recovery by identifying large organic waste generators and end users of food waste in their area, and provided appropriate service to recover this waste. For example, Hilltopper partnered with Festival Foods to recover several tons of pumpkins around the fall season to be diverted for composting.

Photo:  Brandon Knudtson, along with Amanda Haffele (AROW Board President) who presented him with the award.

Outstanding Achievement in Waste Reduction and Recycling:  Public Entity

Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers Association - Book Sales Program

Since 1991, the Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers Association (SPARTA) has been organizing and conducting community events to sell reusable books, CDs, DVDs, and puzzles.  The books and other items are donated throughout the year by local community members and organizations. 

 Approximately 6,250 pounds of books are sold and reused at each sale.  So, after organizing and hosting this program for over the 32 years, it is estimated that SPARTA has facilitated the reuse of at least 100 tons of books!

Aside from these sales events, the SPARTA Book Committee also instills the reusing ethic in children locally at the annual Boston School Forest’s Earth Day Celebration. The committee staffs a booth, and each child attending can choose one of the free “pre-owned and pre-loved” books on display. At the 2023 event, over 150 books found new homes at this event.

In addition to this wonderful waste reduction program, all sales proceeds are returned to the local community in the form of grants to nonprofits, and annual scholarships to two local students planning to study education. Since the start of their book sales events, SPARTA has handed out $141,785 in grants and scholarships.

Photo:  Carol Colby & Janeen Kwarciany of SPARTA accepting the award from Amanda Haffele (AROW Board President), who presented them with the award.

AROw awards: descriptions

Christy Dixon Recycler of the Year: 

  • An individual whose career demonstrates the highest professional standards in the recycling field (includes reuse and composting). Applicant may be from the public, private, or nonprofit sector.

  • NOTE: if a person has already received this award they are not eligible to receive the award a second time.‚Äč

Outstanding Achievement in Education

  • An individual or group that has excelled in environmental education, specifically related to solid waste and recycling.  Applicant may be from the public, private or nonprofit sector.

Outstanding Achievement in Recycling

  • An individual or group that has excelled with their recycling program.  Applicant may be from the public, private or nonprofit sector.

Outstanding Achievement in Waste Reduction and Recycling - Student

  • An individual that has excelled with their overall activities, or a specific project, supporting waste reduction, sustainability, recycling, and/or organics management. Applicant must be a student of higher education or recent graduate.

Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Recycling –  Youth Emerging Leader

  • A youth that has excelled with their overall activities, or a specific project, supporting waste reduction, sustainability, recycling, and/or organics management. Applicant must be a K-12 student.


Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW)

Call:
Office:  (715) 343-0722

Email:
execdirector@arow-online.org

Address:
1100 Main St Suite 120 Stevens Point, WI 54481

Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin AROW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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