2018 Recycler of the Year – Individual: Eva Aguilar, Washington County
Eva Aguilar has gone above and beyond the normal scope of her duties promoting waste prevention and recycling to Washington County's Latino community in her role as Bilingual Program Educator.
Over the past year in this role, Eva has vastly expanded engagement with Washington County's Latino community and has spearheaded multiple innovative equity projects.
One project Eva tackled is the development of the iAcepte el Reto! Coma Mejor ; Ahorrando Mas campaign, a fully trans-created version of the Eat Smart, Waste Less wasted food prevention campaign.
Following her full trans-creation of this campaign including developing Spanish versions of every piece of collateral available in English and a fully bilingual website (www .EatS mart WasteLess .com), Eva single handedly implemented the campaign in the community. Her efforts have resulted in impressive outcomes. Prior to her efforts in 2016 Washington County's Eat Smart, Waste Less campaign received a total of 792 pledges, with 6 of those (or 0.76%) being from Spanish speaking community members.
Following Eva's efforts to trans-create the campaign in 2017 the campaign received a total of 930 pledges, with 350 of those (or 38%) being from Spanish speaking community members. This level of engagement with the Latino community has not been realized in any prior effort s.
Eva has also pushed the envelope to ensure the County' s Latino community receives equitable access to information and resources.
One such innovative project includes a formal partnership with Bienestar, a housing and advocacy organization that primarily serves low income Latino community members. This innovative partnership increases awareness of waste prevention and recycling among Latino community members through Bienestar's Promotoras program.
Promotoras are community members that share resources, services and information with neighbors, family and friends, similar to community health workers. Waste prevention and recycling content is incorporated into the program and delivered by Promotoras through peer to peer interaction and home visits with community members. The Promotoras are compensated for their time through monthly stipends supported by the County and will have access to additional funding for self-identified work. This partnership supports waste prevention and recycling goals, reaching previously underserved community members, and it supports Bienestar's mission to offer training and empowerment opportunities to its community leaders.
Eva is also currently working with Centro Cultural, another community based organization in the County, to further explore how waste prevention outreach and the promotoras model can be combined and implemented throughout the community. ·
On top of her outstanding work developing and implementing campaigns, Eva is always willing to step up for the Washington County team. She routinely works long evenings and weekends speaking with community groups and tabling at events, all while raising three young children. I strongly feel that Eva is deserving of the Recycler of the Year Award for her outstanding efforts to go above and beyond and advocate for equitable access to waste prevention and recycling knowledge and services on behalf of the Latino co mmunity.