Association News

Departments - Industry News

Recent news and developments from the waste and environmental services industry.

August 14, 2018

SWANA announces 2018 safety award winners

Photo: Adobestock

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the organization representing the solid waste and recycling industry in Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced the winners of the 2018 SWANA Safety Awards on June 18. The award winners were selected by SWANA’s technical divisions and the SWANA Safety Committee for demonstrating excellence in solid waste safety.

Winners were selected at the technical division level, and an overall safety award winner was chosen across all categories. The applicants this year consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to reducing accidents and injuries through communication, implementing best practices, training and accident review, according to SWANA.

“SWANA’s Safety Awards program highlights top companies, agencies and facilities who have made excellence in safety attainable through creative strategies and overall commitment,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “We hope that the best practices adopted by the SWANA Safety Award winners are considered as models by others in both the United States and Canada as we work towards our goal of creating a safer working environment for the solid waste and recycling industry.”

The 2018 SWANA Safety Award division winners include:

Communication, Education & Marketing Division

Collection & Transfer Station Division

Landfill Gas & Biogas Division

Planning & Management Division

2018 SWANA Safety Award Overall Winner

  • Lakeshore Recycling Systems

LRS won the Overall Safety Award for its “Live Safety” campaign, which focuses on educating employees at every level of the organization, their families and the entire Chicagoland community on the importance of the Live Safety principle. By creating a culture that champions a lifestyle of safety, LRS has seen a marked decrease in the cost of insurance claims, SWANA says.

“On behalf of all men and women under the Lakeshore Recycling Systems banner, we are honored to be recognized as a leader in instilling safety throughout the industry and general public,” John Sliwicki, vice president of risk management at LRS, says. “As an integral part of the waste industry, which remains the fifth-most dangerous field in the country, we are proud of the initiatives taken to reduce incidents and raise safety awareness that extend past our organization. By tying the Live Safety message back to our community, family and friends, we are able to foster a mindset that furthers our safety values.”

LRS is the largest privately held waste company in Illinois and has been serving the Chicagoland area for nearly 20 years, SWANA says. LRS owns and operates seven material recovery facilities, a fleet of natural gas-powered trucks and is run by a team of 760 full-time employees.

This marks the third year that SWANA has recognized excellence in solid waste safety through the Safety Awards program. The Awards were presented at a luncheon on Aug. 22 at Wastecon 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

For information on the 2018 SWANA Safety Awards, visit

ISRI Scrap Specifications Circular adds zero-tolerance definition

Photo: Adobestock

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI’s) Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter and ISRI’s Paper Division have been collaborating to improve the quality of recycled material by reducing contamination. This effort recently included an update to the “Guidelines for Paper Stock” in ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular that, among other changes, clearly lists items considered “prohibitive materials” that should not be included in the recycling stream and defines the term “zero tolerance” for the first time, according to the Washington-based trade association.

ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular provides industry guidelines for buying and selling a variety of processed scrap commodities, including ferrous, nonferrous, paper, plastics, electronics, rubber and glass.

The circular defines “prohibitive materials” as materials that are included in a package of paper stock in excess of the amount allowed that make the pack unusable as the grade specified or any materials that may be damaging to equipment.

“Zero tolerance” is defined as any material that contains any amount of medical, organic, food, hazardous, poisonous, radioactive or toxic waste and other harmful substances or liquids.

Other changes to the “Guidelines for Paper Stock” include the integration of domestic transactions and export transactions. This is intended to streamline and improve the trade of paper scrap commodities as changes take place in the global marketplace. In addition, moisture allowances on outbound shipments from processor to consumer were updated. The new guidelines can be found in the Scrap Specifications Circular.

These changes were approved by the ISRI board at the recommendation of ISRI’s Paper Division during its Spring Meeting April 16.