April 19, 2012 | Vol.42 No. 16

Recycling group wins state honor

Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling this month selected Haines Friends of Recycling for a statewide award.

The Anchorage-based ALPAR will present HFR with the annual Outstanding Recycling Community Award – an art plaque made of recycled materials – at a dinner on Thursday, May 10.

Mary Fisher, ALPAR executive director, nominated HFR for the honor.

“We’ve worked with them for several years and we give grants to them, periodically, for projects,” Fisher said. “The volume of materials that they collect is really good compared to the number of people in Haines, the level of service that they provide for their drop-off center is extremely good for a community of Haines’ size, and there is a lot of community support through the Haines Friends of Recycling board for the recycling center.”

ALPAR has provided grants and technical support for programs since 1983.

Fisher in a letter dated April 6 to Melissa Aronson, HFR chair, on behalf of the ALPAR board of directors wrote the Chilkat Valley group would be recognized for “the outstanding accomplishment you have achieved in bringing recycling services to the community of Haines.”

“The criteria is, basically, showing exceptional waste-recovery, per capita, for communities that have recycling programs, and showing particular achievements in providing services to the community,” Fisher said.

Last year’s recipient, Valley Community for Recycling Solutions in the Mat-Su Valley, recently built a new recycling center.

Aronson said HFR will send a representative to the Anchorage awards dinner. She noted several board members would be working on Earth Day planning at that time. Aronson said she submitted a copy of HFR’s annual report after learning the organization had been nominated.

“The next thing we know, we’ve won the award,” she said.

According to the annual report, HFR in 2011 participated in community and river cleanups, an Earth Day and sustainability fair, and a scrap metal drive. HFR collected a combined 2,000 pounds of recyclables at the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay and the Southeast Alaska State Fair. An electronic recycling effort in July tallied 15,196 pounds of materials.

Overall, HFR sent 263,755 pounds of recyclables to Seattle in 2011, Aronson said, and collected about 4,000 pounds of crushed fluorescent tubes. The organization had a membership of around 200 families, businesses and organizations at the end of the year, with a renewal rate of nearly 90 percent.