Keesler accepts state recycling award

  • Published
  • By 010213
The Keesler Recycling Center will accept its Environmental Hero Award Recycler of the Year Award, 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the base's Bay Breeze Event Center.

Each year the Mississippi Recycling Coalition honors outstanding environmental efforts of organizations, businesses, schools and local governments throughout the state. Keesler earned the award in the state or federal government category.

Nominees were judged based on efforts to promote recycling as a way to create a better community, conduct continuous recycling or environmental programs rather than a one-time project, practice and improve awareness of environmental stewardship and improve community waste handling and environmental practices.

Doug Smith, Zero Waste Solutions/Mark Dunning Industries project manager at Keesler, said the Environmental Hero Award recognizes the base's recycling progress over the last two years.

"We've gone from a 20 percent to a 52 percent diversion rate," Smith said. "It takes all the individuals on Keesler to make this happen." The base's goal is a 75 percent diversion rate by 2015.

In fiscal year 2012, Keesler recycled 2,383 tons of materials including 323.45 tons of food waste, a unique effort in south Mississippi. The base saved nearly $100,000 in landfill costs and resulted in $180,119 in revenue being returned to the base.

In addition to base leaders and recycling officials, guests expected for the ceremony are Sarah Kountouris, Mississippi Recycling Coalition president; Paige Holliman from Keep Mississippi Beautiful; Mark Williams, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality solid waste policy, planning and grants branch administrator; Jennifer Milner, MDEQ organic waste program coordinator; and Ronda Powell, Jackson County solid waste director.

Media representatives who would like to cover the ceremony are asked to call Keesler Public Affairs, 228-377-2783, by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, to coordinate base access.