Cumberland County was recently named as one of the winners of the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau recently announced the winners.
"We were honored to have won in this category and are glad the state recognized the efforts Tom (Breeding) and Mike (Harvel) are putting forth in our county," said Cumberland County Mayor Kennth Carey Jr.
Cumberland County won in the category of Excellence of Materials Management for the Cumberland County Solid Waste Department's purchase and use of the Andela Glass Pulverizer System – a machine that crushes glass into a fine sand-like substance.
Glass bottles present unique management challenges due to their weight and volume.
"This innovative system facilitates landfill diversion of glass bottles and also creates a marketable product with many beneficial uses. The fine glass product is mixed with sand and spread on county roads during inclement weather, reducing salt usage and runoff into area streams by up to 1,000 tons per year," a release from Gov. Haslam's office stated.
"Last year, the system contributed to a 20 percent recycling increase in Cumberland County, including approximately 15 tons of glass. More than 1,000 tons of glass is projected to be recycled and processed by the system in 2012. The revenue generated by the sale of the product to the county road department, as well as savings in landfill disposal fees, will provide a return on investment in less than two years," the statement continued.
Mayor Carey showed the award the county received during September's county commission meeting.
"I'd like to thank the county for allowing us to buy the glass machine to make the difference it has made," said 7th District Commissioner Mike Harvel. Harvel also works for the county as assistant solid waste director at the Cumberland County Recycling Center.
The state winners were recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony held in Nashville last month.
"From implementing innovative new technology to environmentally friendly building practices to community members simply supporting one another, the honorees announced today once again demonstrate that Tennessee businesses, local governments, schools and everyday citizens are committed to healthier and more sustainable communities,” Gov. Haslam said.
The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. In its 26th year, this year’s awards program covered nine categories: Building Green; Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach; Environmental Education and Outreach (school category); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; Sustainable Performance; and Lifetime Achievement.
A panel of 36 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 100 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.
“The ongoing protection of our land, water and air are essential components to our quality of life,” added Martineau. “This year’s award winners have put forth an extraordinary amount of effort, and we are pleased to be in position to honor their commitment to environmental stewardship and for leaving a positive legacy for all Tennesseans.”