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2015 Awards

Announcing the 2015 Ohio Buckeye Chapter Award Winners

2014 Awards

Announcing the 2014 Ohio Buckeye Chapter Award Winners

2013 Awards

2013 Chapter Awards

Tim Wasserman began his solid waste management career in 1988 working for Sandusky County Recycling and Litter Prevention. Tim began working for the Ottawa-Sandusky-Seneca Joint Solid Waste Management District where he became the Director in 1991. Tim is a past president of the Organization of Solid Waste Districts of Ohio and also a past Solid Waste Advisory Committee member for the State of Ohio. Under Tim’s leadership, he recently revamped the recycling drop-off program in the three county area to include over 40 full time drop-off sites while saving over $100,000 in expenses annually. He also rebranded the District recycling program called “Aim to be Green”. Tim is also a graduate of Bowling Green State University. 

2013 Solid Waste Operator of the Year – JB Green Team

The JB Green Team consists of the Jefferson-Belmont Regional Solid Waste Management Authority. The JB Green Team recently finished a complete overhaul of its recycling program and Authority operations. The process began with a comprehensive evaluation of Authority programs and administrative organization. The results of the study provided impetus for the Authority to rebrand itself into the JB Green Team and to completely upgrade its recycling drop-off program. The program transitioned from the use of barns and trailers to a state of the art high compaction and efficient front loader packer truck drop-off system that employed the use of 6 cubic yard dumpsters with unique graphics. Over 200 sites are served by the JB Green Team ranging from public access sites to schools and businesses. The study also recommended that the Authority down size its operations from 3 offices to 2 and eventually to 1. Accepting the award for the JB Green Team was Mr. Cliff Meyer, Executive Director.

2013 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year – Ken Kovatch

Our innovator award goes to Mr. Ken Kovatch, President of RET3 Job Corp, an electronics recycler in Cleveland Ohio. Ken created RET3 in 2003 to serve the growing need to recycle computers and electronics in Ohio and the region. RET3 is a non-for-profit organization that not only provides eco-friendly end-of-life management of electronics but also provides valuable training to its employees to better themselves and their careers. RET3 also refurbishes computers and donates them to inner city schools. To date, over 3 million pounds of computers have been recycled or refurbished by RET3. Ken also created a statewide program with the Ohio Penal Industries called Computers for Education of Ohio. Accepting the award is Ken’s son Kenny Kovatch.

2013 Non-Member Recognition – Larry Long

Larry Long recently retired as the Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) where he served since 1974. Larry became the Director in 1986 and was previously the Assistant Director since 1982. Larry was heavily involved in the HB592 process back in 1988 where he set-up 5 regional meetings with Commissioners to review the newly proposed law. Larry created the solid waste handbook for County Commissioners in 1993 and updated the handbook in 2008. Larry has worked tirelessly as an advocate for solid waste management in Ohio amongst his other duties at CCAO. Pictured with Larry to his right is Brad Cole whole worked hand in hand with Larry on solid waste issues across Ohio.

2013 Service Awards 

Holly Christmann

Holly has been our president for the past year and has provided great leadership for the Chapter including seeing us through the Ohio EPA HB592 review. Holly conducted our quarterly meetings flawlessly with great organization and time management. Holly also assisted in many of the committees of the chapter including chairing the executive committee, programs and arrangements committee, meetings, education and technical sessions subcommittee, by-laws committee, legislative subcommittee and nominating committee.

Pat Holland

Pat has been a member of SWANA for over 16 years years and a Board member for 16 years. Pat has served as the Chapter’s president and all other officer positions. Pat retired from the board in 2007 before coming back in 2010 and is now retiring once again. Pat also served the Board as a member of the International Board for SWANA. Pat was also the previous Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District.

Mike Long

Mike retired from the Board after 24 years of service. Mike has served as Chapter President as well as all other officer positions. Mike served on the membership committee, programs and arrangements committee and was the chair of the meetings, education and technical sessions committee.  

2012 Chapter Awards

2012 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year – Bill Strazinsky

2012 Professional of the Year

Our award recipient began his solid waste management career in 1987 working for Waste Management after a successful career in the trucking industry. In 1990, our award recipient was hired by the Medina County Sanitary Engineer as the newly formed District's first Solid Waste Coordinator.  In this position, our award recipient contributed to the development of the Districts first Solid Waste Management Plan that included flow control and the construction of the  State's  first  dirty  MRF.      In  1997,  Medina  County's  MRF  won  a Recycling Silver Award for Excellence in Municipal Solid Waste Management under our award recipients leadership.  Also in 1997, the District gained OEPA approval to construct the State's only Class I composting operation. Our award recipients sense of humor, showmanship and industry knowledge yarn made him a favorite facility tour guide among adults and school children.     Our award recipient continues to be active with SWANA and the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year, Mr. Bill Strazinsky, Medina County Solid Waste Management District Coordinator.


2012 Solid Waste Operator of the Year

2012 Operator of the Year

In 2004 our award recipient identified the need improve its very successful household hazardous waste  (HHW)  program  that  has  operated  since 1995. During the solid waste Plan Update process in  2004, our award recipients technical advisory committee and municipal service directors indicated that  the  residents  of  the  County  needed  a permanent solution to HHW management. In response  to  this  solid  waste  management  issue along with other efficiency issues, our award recipient commissioned the development of a Special Waste Convenience Center (SWCC) where municipalities/townships can bring previously collected HHW throughout the year. In addition the SWCC will contain the offices of the District. Our award  recipient  began  the  development  of  the  facility  in  2009  with operations beginning in April of 2011. The facility was recycled from a previous bowling alley complex with some of the alley material used inside the offices. Starting in 2013, our award recipient will evaluate the opportunities to utilize the SWCC to collect additional special wastes for recycling  or reuse including  possibly:  Books,  Fluorescent bulbs,  Shrink wrap, Shoes, Bicycles, Carpet, Plant containers, Styrofoam, Small Quantity Exempt Hazardous Waste and Electronics and TVs.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Solid Waste Operator of the Year Award goes to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District for their Special Waste Convenience Center. Accepting the award is Diane Bickett, Executive Director.



2012 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year– City of  Columbus, quasar energy and SWACO

2012 Solid Waste Innovator of the Year

Our innovator award goes to a partnership between a major city in central ohio, a solid waste management authority and an organic waste to energy company. Our award recipients are being honored today for their development of an innovative solid waste management facility that is fueled by waste, cuts pollution and produces energy and cost savings. Our award recipients began the development of the facility back in 2004 when an RFP was issued for interested parties to develop beneficial uses for bio-solids. Construction began in May of 2010 for a state of the art anaerobic digester to process sewage sludge, fats/oil/greases, food waste, industrial organic process waste and other organic solid wastes. The facility is designed to accept 90,000 wet tons annually which in turn can generate 2.6 million gasoline gallon equivalents of compressed natural gas used for vehicle fuel. This fuel sells for $2.25 per gasoline gallon equivalent, a savings of $2.00 per gallon of diesel fuel. Compressed natural gas vehicles produce  60-75% less pollutants compared to gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles and also reduces our reliance on foreign oil sources. In addition to these savings and benefits, the City saves approximately $9.00 per ton on disposal fees using the anaerobic digester versus a landfill which annually saves over $230,000.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year goes to the City of Columbus, quasar energy group and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. Accepting this award is Rob Van Evra and John Hoff from the City of Columbus, Mel Kurtz from quasar energy and Ron Mills from SWACO.

2012 Non-Member Recognition – Commissioner Todd Portune, Hamilton County

2012 Non-Member RecognitionFor 2012, the Board of the Ohio Buckeye Chapter created a recognition program to honor solid waste professionals, government agencies, non-profit organizations or other companies who have demonstrated unusually noteworthy achievements and/or highly significant contributions to the management of solid waste in Ohio.

Our first recognition recipient has chaired the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District’s Policy Committee since 2001. Our recognition recipient has been instrumental in establishing a vision for the District, developing innovative recycling projects, expanding District programs and promoting  recycling  and  waste  reduction  throughout  Hamilton  County. Under our recognition recipient’s leadership, the District has been able to exceed the State of Ohio’s recycling rates for all sectors and all other State solid waste management goals in Hamilton County.   Our recognition recipient also helped create a unique paper recycling program form office buildings called Recycle at Work. This program has served over 280 companies serving more than 61,000 employees. Our recognition recipient  also was instrumental in piloting Recycle Bank in a community in Hamilton County,  developing  a  bar/restaurant  recycling  program  and  the development of a permanent HHW program for all county residents.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Non-Member Recognition Recipient goes to Commissioner Todd Portune from the great County of Hamilton.

Service Awards - Tony DiPuccio

2012 Service AwardTony has been a member of SWANA for  10 years and a Board member for 5 years. Tony has been our president for the past year and has provided great leadership for the Chapter including seeing us through our bi-annual Tri-State Conference at The Ohio State University. Tony navigated our quarterly meetings with a renewed sense of organization and time management. Tony also assisted in many of the committees of the chapter including chairing the executive committee, scholarship committee and programs and arrangements committee. Today we want to recognize Tony for his service to the Chapter as president from 2011-2012.


2010 Chapter Awards

2010 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year – Dan Billman

2010 Professional of the YearOur award recipient was the Director of the Lorain County Solid Waste District for 10 years and retired this past summer. Our award recipient has been a member of SWANA over the past ten years, the past President of the Association of Ohio Recyclers and the Organization of Solid Waste District of Ohio. Our award recipient has accomplished many things in his solid waste management career including the development of Ohio’s first county wide volume based incentive program for curbside recycling.

Our award recipient coordinated a process of changing the way trash and recyclables were going to be collected in the county. Under the Direction of our award recipient, the District’s Board of Directors and Policy Committee developed a new grant system that incentified communities to switch their current trash and recycling collection system to a volume based collection program.  To date 13 communities have switch to the volume based system out of 34 communities. The early results show that 11 of the 13 communities have shown significant increases in recycling.

Our award recipient has also coordinated the development of a comprehensive permanent collection program for special materials such as HHW, electronics and scrap tires. The collection center opened this past summer and will be operated year round.

Finally, our award recipient also managed a permanent fluorescent bulb and ballast collection program and revolving loan program to promote recycling in Lorain County.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year, Mr. Dan Billman.

2010 Solid Waste Operator of the Year

2010 Operator of the YearOur award recipient recently converted from their manual refuse and recyclables collection program to a fully automated system. The old manual system required residents to bag their own trash and separate recyclables into numerous categories. The award recipient used old style rear load packer trucks with multiple employees operating each vehicle which resulted in higher costs to operate and increased worker injuries and workers compensation claims.

To address these issues and inefficiencies, our award recipient first implemented a pilot program for automated refuse and recycling collection services in 2009. The automated collection program was designed to make refuse and recycling collection easier, more cost efficient, reduce on?the?job injuries of employees and increase recycling, which prolongs the life of the award recipient’s landfill.

After achieving the goals and measures set for the pilot program, our award recipient created a permanent automated collection program for refuse and recyclables. Residents were provided 96 gallon wheeled carts for refuse and recyclables. Recyclables are collected as a single stream.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Solid Waste Operator of the Year Award goes to the great City of Toledo. Accepting the award is Service Director Ed Irelan.


Our final membership award in the Solid Waste Innovator of the Year. This award has been renamed by the Chapter Board of Directors in honor of Kevin M. Bonzo. Kevin passed away this past April. Kevin’s involvement with the SWANA Buckeye Chapter began back in 1995.  Kevin was chapter president from 1998-1999. Kevin also served SWANA national as Special Waste Division Director from 2001-2003. More recently, Kevin assisted the Chapter with the development and management of the Chapter Web site and served on the Program and Arrangements and Nominating committees. Kevin retired from the Chapter Board of Directors in 2006 but remained active in solid waste management until his passing.

Kevin had a great sense of humor, was hard working, was an innovator in the solid waste industry and above all, a great husband to Mary, a great father to Derrick and Ryan his sons, and an all around great man. We miss him very much. So It is with great pride that this award will now be named the Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year Award.

Today, we have in attendance his wife Mary, mother-in-law Violet and sister-in-law Colleen. Please give a warm welcome to them and extend our condolences.

2010 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year – Steve Vinny

2010 Solid Waste Innovator of the YearFor nearly 20 years our award recipient has been a constant innovator in the field of solid waste management. In 1992 our award recipient built the Medina County Central Processing Facility which was and still is the only mixed waste processing facility in Ohio. In 1998, our award recipient designed and permitted the first and only Class I compost facility in Ohio which processes mixed solid waste and organics to produce an industrial compost product. In 2007, our award recipient was awarded a United States Patent for his design of an air splitter plate to separate the light combustible fraction from mixed solid waste. As a result, our award recipient created an engineered fuel from mixed solid waste that can burn cleanly in existing coal fired boilers. In 2008, our award recipient developed a modular designed waste processing and recycling system called MiniMRF. This system is designed to remove compostables and metals at a rate of up to 100 tons per hour and can be expanded to produce engineered fuel or fiber and plastic separation.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year, Mr. Steve Viny.

Service Awards - Dan Graeter

2010 Service AwardsDan has been our president for the past two years. Dan has provided great leadership for the Chapter. Dan was responsible for the creating the highly successful Tri-State Conference in 2008 and again in 2010. In 2008, along with the TriState Committee, Dan orchestrated the first conference in Cincinnati. In 2010, the conference moved to Indianapolis. Dan was able to coordinate between the Ohio Buckeye Chapter, Indiana Chapter and Kentucky Chapter to make these events very successful. Today we want to recognize Dan for his service to the Chapter as president from 2008-2010.

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