Community Pride Clean Up Week Chairman Teunis Wyers was named 2001 Individual Recycler of the Year by the Washington State Recycling Association at their 22nd Annual Conference in Wenatchee on May 7.
The Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) was formed in 1976 and provides leadership in recycling education and promotion throughout the Northwest region.
WSRA has traditionally recognized one individual and one company or organization for their excellence in recycling.
The criteria for the Individual Recycler of the Year are "an individual whose actions have significantly furthered reducing and reduced solid waste. What did this individual accomplish that distinguishes him or her? Was the nominee's work above and beyond the normal scope of duties?"
The Mt. Adams Chamber, recognizing Teunis's dedication to the Community Pride event, submitted the following nomination.
Teunis Wyers spearheaded our Community Pride committee and brought over 100 volunteers together to accomplish a huge clean-up effort in western Klickitat County. He was responsible for the creation and implementation of this event and chairs the committee to coordinate it. His concept of "Neighbor Helping Neighbor" encourages our region to pull together and get ship-shape every spring.
His commitment to this event is 1000 percent. He is a concerned citizen first, and second, an attorney in private practice. He is not a member of the waste industry, but merely a citizen who takes action when he sees a need for the betterment of the community. He is distinguished by the fact that he is not in the recycling industry.
Mr. Wyers donates his time to prepare our collection site, performs work for the Port of Klickitat in return for the use of the site, and spends three full days on-site operating heavy equipment and supervising collection, sorting and recycling of materials received. He then spends countless more hours (days) delivering recyclable materials.
In 2001 approximately 1/3 of the material brought to the site was kept out of the landfill. Seventy-five yards of metal, 35 yards of glass, 40 yards of paper, 80 yards of white goods (appliances) and over 1240 tires were collected. The tires, 800 of which were collected from an illegal dumpsite in White Salmon, were used to construct a sound and safety barrier separating a popular Columbia River recreation site from the railroad tracks.
While there were no measurable economic benefits to the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce, community benefits were enormous. Residents and visitors to our region experienced cleaner surroundings creating a positive picture of the area. This translates to pride in one's community and a potential increase in tourism.
Receiving the award came as a surprise and Teunis said, "I'm flattered to be honored with this award, but the credit for the success of the Community Pride program really goes to the hundreds, literally the hundreds of people who have participated in the event and volunteer every year to provide the critical services that make it a success."
The monetary value of this year's event has been calculated at over $12,000. Major contributors that make the event possible are Kreps Brothers, LLC, which donates the use of the excavator Teunis operates to load waste into containers for transport to the appropriate waste stream, along with Brad Roberts Construction and Brad operating his backhoe; Regional Disposal Company donating transport and fees; AmeriCorp providing staff for unloading, materials management and security; and the Bingen-White Salmon Rotary Club for assistance with expenses and numerous greeters and tire counters.
Wyers continues at the helm of the chamber's Community Pride Committee and just completed the 7th year of operation.