SWANA announces 2019 award winners

SWANA announces 2019 award winners

Honorees to be recognized Feb. 26 at SWANApalooza in Boston.

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February 11, 2019

Two members and a company will be recognized for achievement, volunteer efforts and leadership in 2019. The technical divisions of Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, will present Michelle Leonard and Ivan Cooper with Distinguished Individual Achievement awards. Interior Removal Specialists Inc. will receive the Sustainable Materials Management award. Presentations will be made Feb. 26 during the SWANApalooza conference in Boston.

“SWANA Awards recipients represent the best the solid waste profession in North America has to offer,” says SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman. “Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these professionals provide to their citizens.”

Drawing on 47 years of technical and management experience, Cooper oversees water and wastewater consulting activities for landfill leachate and other industrial facilities at Civic and Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC). He chairs the Landfill Management Division’s leachate and landfill liquids committee and is a frequent speaker and session curator for sessions on leachate topics.

Under his leadership, the committee conducted a survey of landfill leachate management practices in North America and presented the findings at many events. Through SWANA, Cooper was invited by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem to participate in a public diplomacy program on public-private partnerships (P3s), infrastructure management and water and wastewater management, distribution and regulation. At SWANApalooza, Cooper will talk about his experience as the sole U.S. representative for the program.

The Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) awards will go to to Michelle Leonard, vice president at SCS Engineers, and California-based Interior Removal Specialist, Inc. (IRS Demo).

Leonard began her career in the solid waste industry in the 1990s with SCS Engineers. She was nominated for the SWANA executive board, where she served as treasurer, secretary, vice-president and international president in 2016. Her passion for her work and her depth of knowledge in our industry are unsurpassable, SWANA says.

From hybrid vehicles for the estimating staff to a fleet of CNG roll off trucks for their hauling, IRS Demo has always treated minimum regulations as a starting point. SWANA says the company has “completely changed the way they perform demolition to prove that greater diversion can be achieved.”

The company's recycling yard was designed to deal with what most consider to be problematic materials. This facility now boasts a diversion rate in excess of 80 percent, with no material going to be used as SDC. Watch a video of the program here.

More than 5,000 of SWANA’s 10,200 members participate in SWANA’s seven technical divisions. The volunteer leaders of those divisions consider nominations to recognize “outstanding individuals and solid waste programs and facilities that demonstrate a commitment to the highest practices of the industry.” Individuals selected must show commitment through professional achievement, volunteerism in SWANA and leadership in the appropriate technical division.

Solid waste programs receiving recognition have met a set of specific criteria, including using effective technologies and processes in system design and operations, advancing worker and community health and safety and implementing successful public education and outreach programs. In addition, the programs must exhibit they are fiscally and environmentally responsible and follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations.