U.S. EPA Awards the City of Urbana for Waste Diversion Efforts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the City of Urbana as a 2017 WasteWise national award recipient. The U.S. EPA recognized the prevention and diversion accomplishments of 16 WasteWise national award winners, who collectively prevented and recycled 355,801 tons of waste, saving $17.7 million in avoided landfill fees.
The City of Urbana collects data from its operations and administrative offices at the Public Works Department, which consists of 80 employees and six divisions, including administration, arbor, engineering, environmental sustainability, fleet and operations. These divisions track monthly data on recycling and reuse efforts. Urbana Public Works has been tracking data since 2012. Materials tracked include items such as batteries, oil, antifreeze, tires, solvents, landscape materials, concrete, asphalt, lamps, scrap metal, and more. Last year, the Urbana Public Works Department diverted more than 2,300 tons of materials from landfills, and achieved a 91.8 percent diversion rate.
"The diligence of staff seeking alternatives to landfill disposal is what I am most proud of, and the continuance to strive to make the City of Urbana an environmentally sustainable community," said Courtney Kwong, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Urbana.
For 23 years, EPA's WasteWise program has helped organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to prevent and reduce municipal and select industrial wastes, saving them resources and money. WasteWise partners reported preventing and diverting 8.5 million tons of waste that would otherwise have been disposed in landfills or incinerators. These actions - including waste prevention, recycling, composting, and donation - has saved participants more than $400 million in avoided landfill fees. WasteWise partners who report the best overall improvement in waste prevention and recycling activities - when compared to the previous year - receive awards in various categories.
For more information on this year's award recipients please go here.