2022 Awards

32nd Annual CRA Awards

Each year, the Carolina Recycling Association honors top performers that advance waste reduction and recycling in the Carolinas. Award recipients were honored at the Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach. Continuing this year, the award categories were consolidated into a general pool and a panel of judges selected outstanding people, projects, and/or programs to recognize. There were four nominees that rose to the top with creative and new ways to approach recycling and help improve the way recycling and waste reduction happens in the Carolinas!  CRA also awarded our inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award!

Steve Raines – Director of Solid Waste for Pickens County, SC

Steve took the position in November of 2020 and immediately learned that the county’s C&D landfill was over permitted capacity by nearly 17,000 cubic yards.  In July of 2021, a plan was implemented to prove that Pickens County could reduce the volume of their C&D and recover all metals that previously were put in the landfill. Thru October of 2021, Steve worked diligently shredding the existing non compacted waste from the landfill and incoming C&D waste stream.

Key Metrics for Success:

    • Improved from a 5 to 7 ton/load, to 20 tons/load
    • Newly shredded material used as daily cover, used up less air space, and required less effort to compact.
    • Now transferring 75% of our waste stream and landfill recovery, while placing and reconsolidating 25% back into our landfill
    • On December 31, 2021, collected program data as follows:
      • reduced landfill volume by 35,236 cubic yards
      • new recyclables stream in metal recovery
      • recovered 2257.22 tons of metals which netted $316,010.80
      • removed hard metals from our landfill and nearly 2300 tons of material that is no longer taking air space

Cassandra Lohmeyer – Recycling Coordinator for Buncombe County, NC

Led by the new Recycling Coordinator, Cassandra, Buncombe County Solid Waste has demonstrated outstanding environmental leadership. The expertise, creativity, hard work and dedication Buncombe County Solid Waste has been able to champion energetic community projects like compost drop-off, increased education & outreach, C&D Recycling, litter sweeps, and other waste reduction initiatives throughout the organization.

Kari Snyder – Director of Community Engagement for South Carolina Charities

For two decades, thanks to the support of their community, the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX has successfully persevered in raising funds for Upstate charities devoted to bettering the lives of their neighbors. In 2021, because of our continued pursuit to find new ways to do the right thing for the beautiful Upstate of South Carolina—we introduced “Fore the Love of the Green.”

To make this sustainability program a reality, they asked their stakeholders, partners and community groups for assistance in elevating this important environmental initiative; as always, they answered the call. With their support SC Charities were able to hold a zero-waste event. They partnered with local organizations to create “Community Green Teams” which educated the public on proper disposal of items. They switched to compostable service-ware and to Ball Aluminum Cups and partnered with Univar Solutions to ensure that items were hauled to the proper locations. They had the community support that they needed to ensure this was not just a successful event, but a successful zero-waste event!

BioJoe Renwick – Co-owner of Green Energy Biofuel & ReSoil Compost

Green Energy Biofuel recycles used cooking oil and ReSoil Compost is an industrial scale composting facility, both located in South Carolina.
2021 was full of accomplishments, here are just a few:

    • Over 20 mil pounds of grease related waste recycled for renewable energy
    • Over 7 mil pounds of food waste converted into compost
    • Customer base grew 20%
    • Used cooking oil volume increased 27%
    • Employee growth increased over 75% with new hires
    • Created a free household cooking oil recycling program that is now utilized by almost 70% of SC counties

Volunteer of the Year – Nan Kirlin, Gaston County

For many years Nan has volunteered to serve the CRA year round as a member of the Household Hazardous Waste Council, chair of the Awards Committee & Safety Committee, and member of the Conference Committee. Nan is an exemplary volunteer who truly understands that the conference and other CRA activities are only possible through teamwork, dedication, and care. Nan is so deserving of this award, always there to lend a helping hand and her time even when she is not asked for a thing, even at the last minute or when unexpected. Her warm and generous spirit lifts everyone up. Thank you Nan!