Recycler of the Year Awards Nominations

Each year, AOR selects individuals and organizations to receive Recycler of the Year Awards. These award winners have made exceptional contributions to recycling and waste prevention in Oregon.

Award recipients typically demonstrate the following:

  • Enhancement of materials management through waste prevention, recycling, composting, innovation, upstream impacts, or market development.
  • A long-term commitment to waste prevention, recycling, market development, or community involvement.
  • Innovation in proposing or implementing new, modified, or unique technologies, processes, or promotion.
  • Economic benefits in terms of reduced costs to businesses, organizations, or the public
  • Transferability of recycling or waste prevention programs, processes, or efforts

The 2019 Recycler of the Year Awards will be presented at Sustainable Oregon 2019. To see past award recipients, view the awards page.



To make a nomination, please tell us about your nominee in no more than 500 words. Supporting documents may be included in your nomination. Guidelines are as follows:

As you prepare to write your nomination, consider the following questions about your nominee:

  • What is the history of the program and the goals?
  • What is unique or innovative about the nominee’s accomplishments?
  • What significant accomplishments have been achieved by this organization or individual?
  • How can this project be continued in the future? Is it sustainable long term? What are the benefits to the recycling community?
  • What materials are recycled through the program?
  • What waste was prevented or reduced, materials reused, or toxics reduced?
  • What measures were used to monitor success in waste prevention and/or recycling and why?
  • Was a cultural or economic diversity challenge presented and overcome?
  • Has the program increased public awareness and participation?

You may attach supporting material such as:

  • Up to two letters of support from program partners, government officials, businesses, or community leaders.
  • URL to a news report or press release regarding this project.
  • Photos of the individual or organization.

Submit your nomination via our ONLINE FORM.

Award Categories

Recycler of the Year - Nonprofit
A nonprofit agency that demonstrates significant accomplishments in recycling and waste prevention. 

Recycler of the Year – Individual
Individual whose actions went above and beyond the normal scope of duties and resulted in significantly reducing solid waste or having furthered recycling, waste prevention, and/or reuse. 

Recycler of the Year – Business or Institution
A company whose primary business is not recycling that demonstrates outstanding/significant accomplishments in recycling and waste prevention. 

Recycler of the Year - Higher Education
An institution of higher education (college, university, secondary school, or school district) that demonstrates outstanding accomplishments in recycling.

Recycler of the Year - Youth Education
This award is awarded in conjunction with Oregon Green Schools and is intended for a person or organization working with schools or youth groups that have demonstrated outstanding success in promoting/achieving youth involvement in recycling and waste prevention.

Recycler of the Year - Recycling Business
A recycling company or organization whose work and/or innovation have furthered and improved recycling in Oregon.

Recycler of the Year – Innovation Award
A broker or end-user of recyclables whose policies, involvement, or innovations have furthered recycling in the Northwest.

Recycler of the Year – Public Agency
A public agency that creates programs that effectively increase recycling and waste prevention.

Public Education/Promotion Program of the Year
An educational or promotional effort or program that has used media and materials in a new or creative way to achieve outstanding accomplishments in educating the general public about recycling and waste prevention. 

Alice Soderwall Award for Reuse and Waste Prevention
Individual or nonprofit organization that has gone beyond the norm to reuse materials and prevent waste and has made a significant impact on the community as a result.

About this Award: Alice Soderwall was a recycling pioneer. She had a little business next to Sundance Foods in Eugene, Oregon in the 1970s called The Glass Station. She foraged glass containers, cleaned them, and sold them.

She and a bunch of others decided the best way to save the planet would be if everyone would simply “Begin Recycling In Natural Groups.” After repeating that mantra several thousand times, they shortened it to what we now know as BRING, as in “Don’t wait for a better future; BRING it."

Lifetime Achievement Award
Individual or nonprofit organization that has gone beyond the norm to reuse materials and prevent waste, and has made a significant impact on the community as a result.

Judging Criteria

The criteria below provide a yardstick by which the Awards Committee can measure candidates. Some criteria may not apply to your nomination. Please address those that are appropriate for your nominee. Note: the term “nominee” in the descriptions below refer to program/business/person as is appropriate.

  • Overall environmental benefits: Does the nominee enhance environmental welfare through waste prevention, recycling, composting, innovation, or market development? If possible, provide specific measurements that reflect the impact of the program (number of people reached, tons reduced, etc.). Are there other environmental impacts?
  • Level of commitment: Does the nominee demonstrate a long-term commitment to waste prevention, market development, or community involvement activities? Was the effort above and beyond the call of duty? Has the nominee secured the necessary support or resources to continue the endeavor?
  • Innovation: Has the nominee proposed a new or unique technology, promotion, process, or program not previously implemented – or modified an existing technology, process, or program?
  • Economic benefits: Has the nominee taken a cost-effective approach to waste prevention or market development? Has the nominee reduced business, organizational, or public costs?
  • Transferability: Can the nominee or the efforts of the nominee be applied to similar situations? Have the efforts and implementation plans been documented? Has the information been shared and in what ways?