The Pennsylvania Waste Watcher program is open to municipalities, counties, businesses/industries, schools/colleges/universities, community non-profit groups, and individuals who have made a significant contribution in recycling, composting, and waste reduction/reuse efforts during the previous calendar year.  Applicants must demonstrate that their efforts are above and beyond services normally required or typically provided.

This years application deadline is May 31st 2017.

Consideration will be given to programs that show outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Recycling – Efforts that exceed typical Act 101 requirements will be considered. This may include collection, processing, business and industry recycling or other recycling done by either public or private sector entities.
  • Composting/Organics – This could include unique feedstock, use, or marketing efforts as well as any other innovative practices or extraordinary performance resulting in the recovery of organic materials.
  • Public Education – Exceptional comprehensive educational outreach will be considered in this category including, but not limited to, websites, newsletters, radio spots, TV advertisements, and other related outreach or social marketing efforts.
  • Special Event Recycling – This would include exceptional recycling efforts at fairs, conferences, sporting events, or other public events or venues. It should include both public area and behind the scenes recycling by vendors or exhibitors.
  • Special Collections – Collection events or programs addressing electronics, sharps, medications, books, bulky wastes, hazardous wastes or materials not traditionally collected in curbside programs will be eligible. The amount of material, participation levels, and long-term impact of the program should be significant. The name of the company who handled the material should also be noted.
  • Reuse – Unique reuse of clothing, furniture, building materials, electronics or other products will be considered in this category.
  • Environmental Rehabilitation – Any rehabilitation-related work with a recycling, littering or dumping cleanup component will qualify. This could include turning an illegal dump site into a reclaimed area or extensive use of recycled materials in a public area (such as ground-up tires in a playground area or reused cement or asphalt on walkways).
  • Recycling Innovations – This would include the utilization of a material typically perceived as a waste and turning it into a useable product or other unusual programs instituted by a business, institution, or government entity that utilizes traditional waste materials.
  • Waste Reduction – Comprehensive programs or campaigns that creatively or extensively reduce waste will be considered in this category.
  • Closing the Loop – Efforts that changed policy or significantly enhanced “buy recycled” initiatives or the use of recycled feed stocks in manufacturing or packaging will be eligible in this category.

The review panel has the discretion to recognize extraordinary efforts.

Application Procedure: Please complete the application form and include a detailed written narrative regarding your program. (See ‘Narrative Suggestions’ on the next page for assistance with this.) Please provide all pertinent information to help support why your program or event qualifies, including specific program details and results. Only include information or documentation regarding what occurred in the previous year.  Do not include information for the beginning of this year.

 Download the 2017 Application

Submit the application electronically as a Microsoft Word document or a .pdf file to pawastewatchers@gmail.com Sample educational materials are welcome. Ordinances and other documentation are not required.

Environmental Compliance:  Applicants must be in compliance with all pertinent and related environmental laws and regulations.

Recognition:  We will mail your certificate to you and provide PSA’s that you will be able to use with your local media. We will list those organizations that are receiving recognition in the PROP 2017 Conference Booklet, as well as posting the information in our monthly newsletter.

Narrative suggestions:  Provide applicable information in response to the following suggestions to support your nomination.

  • Give a detailed but concise overview of your entry including, for instance: goals of the program and how those goals are measured, how the program worked, collection methods used, number of people reached by the program, the reason for innovation, was grant money used (if so, how much funding did you receive, what grant program provided you with funding), etc.
  • In tons, list how much recyclable material your program kept from the waste stream and/or processed last year. For individuals, broader numbers are acceptable, such as number of bags taken to a facility/number of roll-offs used, etc.
  • Explain the educational outreach program of your nominee. Include number of events held or amount of presentations made that support the program.  Who was reached by these programs?  What type of publication/other methods were used for outreach? You may include a small sample of materials.
  • What partnerships were formed to increase and improve your program or event?  How will these partnerships continue?
  • If this is an ongoing program, explain how the program has grown and changed over the years and its positive effects on the community. 
  • How is the success and cost-effectiveness of the program tracked?
  • Describe efforts to buy or use recycled products or environmentally friendly products in conjunction with this program/event. Also include waste reduction efforts.
  • Does this project entail any sort of environmental rehabilitation? If so please explain its impact.
  • Is there anything that makes the program unique or cutting-edge that would deserve special recognition?
  • Are there any extenuating circumstances that should be recognized?
  • Please provide any additional information that you feel is pertinent and submit to the address below.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at pawastewatchers@gmail.com