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2015 Awards

Announcing the 2015 Ohio Buckeye Chapter Award Winners


2015 Chapter Awards


2015 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year – Gary Sheely

gary sheelyOur award recipient began his career in the solid waste industry at the City of Lima. He was instrumental in developing successful long term solid waste collection contracts for the residents of Lima. Our award recipient was one of the first to developed curbside recycling in the State of Ohio. Our award recipient was also one of the first to provide yard waste collection at the curb in bags. With three curbside services yielding impressive participation, our award recipient was also one of the first in the State of Ohio to provide automated carts to all residents for all three curbside services. The carts are owned by the City which allows for a seamless transition when new haulers are selected through the bid process. Our award recipient truly valued his customers, the residents of Lima and showed that with the cart program and three services at the curb, free bulky material disposal, up to 3 cubic yards per quarter, at the transfer station for all residents and numerous special collection events and clean-ups.  Finally, with all the solid waste innovations and dedication our award recipient has shown throughout the years, he is also a pioneer in water and waste water treatment as well.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 James S. Bridges Solid Waste Professional of the Year, Mr. Gary Sheely, Utilities Director of the City of Lima.

2015 Solid Waste Operator of the Year – City of Oberlin


City of OberlinOur award recipient has managed and operated a successful residential and commercial solid waste collection system in Lorain County. The program provides service to over 2,000 residential accounts and provides over 80 commercial containers to commercial and institutional customers. In 2013, our award recipient commissioned a Zero Waste study in conjunction with the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District. The Zero Waste plan was adopted by our award recipient’s Board in May of 2014. The plan required a diversion goal of 90% by 2050 and include several phases to accomplish the goal. Phase I involved converting to full automated collection of trash and recyclables and switching to single stream recycling, conducting waste audits, special waste collections, organics recovery and multi-family residential recycling. Then there was the fire……which destroyed all of the refuse and recycling equipment and garage. After significant research and grant writing, the trucks were replaced with advanced automated collection trucks with hydraulic hybrid drive system technology, the garage was rebuilt, ordinances were changed and education was revamped, all within 9 months from the fire. The results speak for themselves, a 112% increase in recycling compared to the old system. Impressive.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Solid Waste Operator of the Year Award goes to Mr. Jeff Baumann, from the City of Oberlin.


2015 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year – Chuck Bauer

check bauerOur award recipient was instrumental in the development of an innovative curbside recycling promotion and public relations campaign. Our award recipient desired to takes strides toward increasing recycling in local communities even when residents were raising questions and concerns. The transition from subscription trash service to contracted trash service has met resistance in some communities, but has reduced costs for households and increased recycling in communities around Ohio. Our award recipient initiated a bold new approach to educating communities about curbside recycling and the value of contracting for that service. The goal was simple, increase recycling, reduce costs, improve services and educate residents and elected officials. Our award recipient hired a PR firm to develop a program to sell the message, Take it to the Curb, with the good, better, best proposition. A web site was created, take2curb.org to explain the benefits of recycling and the good, better or best options for how to accomplish recycling in the community including a 90 second video explaining the options. Take it to the Curb means, Curb your Hassle, Curb your Waste, Curb your impact. The Take It to the Curb campaign provides an opportunity for communities to get everything they want in a trash service for a lower cost out of their pockets and a lower cost to the environment.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Kevin M. Bonzo Solid Waste Innovator of the Year goes to Mr. Chuck Bauer, Clark County Solid Waste District.

2015 Young Solid Waste Professional of the Year – Christopher Germain

christopher germainOur award recipient has been involved in statewide solid waste management and planning since early in 2012. Our award recipient has worked on some of the most challenging projects and initiatives including the HB 592 review process and the EPA written plan for Portage County. The HB 592 review process involved the coordination of numerous stake holders and the compilation of hundreds of ideas and suggestions on changes to the law from every angle. Topics such as flow control, planning, fees, SWMD structure, health department relationships, CDD and more were discussed. The Portage County plan rewrite involved a significant effort to build consensus among communities with private and public sector service ramifications. Our award recipient worked intimately with the Portage County SWMD, their Policy Committee and the communities to find the middle ground for success. That middle ground was achieved, our award recipient survived, the solid waste district has a new roadmap to rebuild its infrastructure and service its residents and businesses. In addition, our award recipient has been involved in new ideas such as regional planning assignments for his agency, an overhaul of the ADR and better engagement with SWMD and Ohio EPA. Our award recipient truly has shown that he can navigate through many difficult and challenging solid waste management initiatives, all at a young tender age, with great success.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 1stever 2015 Young Solid Waste Professional of the Year, Mr. Christopher Germain, Solid Waste Planner for Ohio EPA.




2015 Non-Member Recognition – Adam Friedrick, Medina County Commissioner

Adam FriedrickSince 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 and individual who have demonstrated unusually noteworthy achievements and/or highly significant contributions to the management of solid waste in Ohio.  Our 4thaward recipient is a County Commissioner for Medina County. He is presently the President of the Commission and the Chairman for the Policy Committee for the Medina County SWMD for the past two years. During the last two years, Medina County has undergone a significant change in the way solid waste is and will be managed into the future. Through a series of significant planning processes, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, countless community meetings, more unforeseen circumstances, political processes, even more unforeseen circumstances, transitions in solid waste management philosophies and a regulatory process with timelines that can’t be changed, our award recipient provided leadership and guidance through the process. Our award recipient was committed to understanding all the details and facts and made sure all who were involved in the process also understood the facts and details so sound decisions could be made for the betterment of Medina County. The results of our award recipients efforts, and as he always says the real folks that were the boots on the ground that made it happen, was a newly approved solid waste management plan for Medina County with new opportunities for recycling and solid waste management.


Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Non-Member Recognition Recipient goes to Commissioner Adam Friedrick from Medina County.

Service Award


Diane Bickett – Buckeye Chapter President

Diane BickettDiane has been a member of SWANA for many years and a Board member for the last 8 years. Diane has been our president for the past year and has provided great leadership for the Chapter including seeing us through another successful Partner’s Conference and the beginning stages of preparing for co-sponsoring the 2016 Wastecon in Indianapolis with the Indiana Chapter. Diane navigated our quarterly meetings with professional organization, communication and a renewed sense of accountability for Board members and their responsibilities.  Diane also assisted in many of the committees of the chapter including chairing the executive committee. Today we want to recognize Diane for her service to the Chapter as president from 2014-2015.


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