Fayetteville Recycling & Trash division receives national award

The city’s Recycling and Trash division was honored by the National Recycling Coalition with an award for 2020 Outstanding Community / Government Program for its food-waste composting and recycling programs. The coalition’s annual awards are designed to recognize outstanding individuals, programs and organizations around the country, both for their achievements, and as models for other communities.

The organization honored the city’s recycling program and celebrated the recent city-wide ban on expanded-polystyrene foam.

Coalition officials said the program deserves the honor for reducing green house gas emissions, saving city tipping fees, reducing litter, and helping Fayetteville get closer to its overall waste diversion goal.

The city’s food-waste collection program was launched in 2019 and has since diverted 457 tons of food waste away from the landfill.

“We are honored to be recognized for the work we are doing in providing sound recycling and cutting-edge composting programs,” said Brian Pugh, the city’s waste reduction coordinator. “The residents of Fayetteville also deserve a pat on the back when it comes to this award, because it is by their continued participation in and support for programs that can recover, reuse and divert from the landfill that we were able to receive it. Finally, our staff deserves a lot of credit, as it’s because of them that the materials are collected, processed, composted and sold back to our residents to enrich the soil and support the economy. We couldn’t do it without any of those factors, it is definitely a team effort.”

The city currently diverts 19% of its solid waste from the landfill through recycling programs, waste-reduction education, and food-waste diversion. The goal is to divert 40% of its waste by 2027.

The remote award ceremony is available to watch on YouTube (Pugh accepts the award at about minute 12).