ROCKPORT — Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) was named the 2018 Maine Recycling and Solid Waste Outstanding Service Organization of the Year by Maine Resource Recovery Association (MRRA) at this year’s Maine Recycling and Solid Waste Conference & Trade Show at the Samoset Resort.

In his remarks, MRRA President Ross Nason commended AVCOG, a quasi-governmental organization, for the long-term commitment to providing solid waste and recycling technical assistance to member towns and coordinating safe HHW disposal options for member towns and others.

“AVCOG organized the first household hazardous waste satellite collection for the Lewiston/Auburn area in 1995,” Ross said. “By 2005, their efforts had led to the operation of ‘The Depot,’ a permanent HHW facility in Lewiston. The facility offers all area communities the opportunity to safely dispose of HHW on days when the depot is open to the public.”

As part of its mission, AVCOG has provided solid waste and recycling technical assistance to member communities since the early ’90s. In addition to providing technical assistance, AVCOG negotiates with recycling service companies to ensure the best pricing for organics recovery, electronics and universal waste recycling and household hazardous waste satellite collections.

Becky Secrest, environmental planner, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

The 25th annual Maine Recycling and Solid Waste Conference & Trade Show, “Betting on Innovation,” was held April 23 and 24.

The following individuals and programs were also recognized for contributions to advancing waste reduction and recycling in Maine:

• Volunteer of the Year: Renew Rockland’s Waste Watchers.

• Composter of the Year: We Compost It! / MB Bark.

• Most Improved Program: City of Eastport.

• Program of the Year: Town of Bowdoinham.

• Manager of the Year: Eva Murray, recycling and solid waste coordinator, Matinicus Island.

• Sustainable Business Leader: Clayton Kyle, CLYNK.

• Distinguished Service Award: George MacDonald, retired director of Sustainability Division, ME DEP.

A special award was also presented to the nonprofit’s president, Ross Nason, in honor of 25 years of service to the organization, the recycling industry and the communities of Maine.

The conference is organized annually by Maine Resource Recovery Association, Maine’s nonprofit trade organization for professionals in the recycling and solid waste industry.

The two-day event brought together experts and service providers from across Maine’s solid waste industry to address current topics in materials management and how to improve recycling and solid waste management programs, reduce costs and protect the environment.

AVCOG Environmental Planner Becky Secrest accepts the award for 2018 Maine Recycling and Solid Waste Outstanding Service Organization from MRRA Executive Director Victor Horton? as President Ross Nason looks on.

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