Steamboat Ski Corp.’s Wahl named Recycler of the Year | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Ski Corp.’s Wahl named Recycler of the Year

Pilot & Today Staff

Liz Wahl

— Liz Wahl, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s food and beverage director, will be honored next week as the 2010 Recycler of the Year by the Colorado Associa­tion for Recycling.

Wahl is set to receive the honor during the association's annual Summit for Recycling, scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday at the Sheraton Steam­boat Resort in Steamboat Springs.

"It is an honor to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the ski area and entire community of Steamboat Springs," Wahl said in a news release. "The success of the Zero Waste Initiative would not be possible without the efforts of resort staff, which accepted this new program with open arms and continues to help educate guests, as well as the various organizations across the Yampa Valley that stepped up wholeheartedly."

The Colorado Association for Recycling is a nonprofit group that works to promote and encourage recycling through programs that educate the public, local governments, businesses and Colorado's elected officials, according to its website.

The group is honoring Wahl largely for her zero waste efforts. This past winter, Steamboat Ski Area created the Zero Waste Initiative, which focuses on composting, recycling and providing reusable products.

Association Executive Direc­tor Marjie Griek said a committee consisting mostly of the group's board members selected the award winners. The decision was tough, she said.

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"I don't know Liz personally, but we certainly have gotten a lot of great feedback from people in Steamboat as Liz's name is mentioned, 'Oh, yeah, she's doing great work; she's been very impressive,'" Griek said. "So I think that actually helped the committee make a decision."

In summer 2009, Wahl directed the launch of a community zero waste initiative focused on the reduction and ultimate elimination of waste at five large-scale, public community events, according to the release. Wahl also serves on the board of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

Wahl helped promote the zero waste project at last summer's Family Fun Fest, the Free Summer Concert Series, a bike-in movie and the Olympic Trials last winter, Griek said. Anne Mudgett, of the Sustainability Council nominated Wahl.

Griek said she was impressed with "what they accomplished, the ability to reach out and spread the word and kind of do that snowball effect that we see here, the fact that it's not just a one-time thing but ongoing."

Wahl is scheduled to receive the honor Tuesday. This is the summit's first time in Steamboat, Griek said. People can register at the conference, and the cost is $225 for one day for nonmembers and $415 for two days. Elected officials and people who register as groups of three or more get a discount, Griek said.

The Summit for Recycling will offer sessions about electronics recycling, household hazardous waste, recycling systems, social media and more. It also is scheduled to include a tour showcasing Ski Corp. and the community's sustainability efforts.

Griek said a highlight is likely to be a session at 8:45 a.m. Monday where participants will learn to do a waste composition study to find out what they're needlessly throwing away.

"It's a great tool for getting started or even expanding an existing program," Griek said.

She said she looked forward to convening in Steamboat because of the impressive work that's going on in the community.

"And it's gorgeous," Griek added.

2010 winners

2010 Colorado Association for Recycling award winners:

■ Outstanding Elected Official

Councilman Paul Lopez, City of Denver

■ Outstanding Outreach — Educational Institution

EarthWake Club, George Washington High School

■ Outstanding Outreach — Municipality

City of Lone Tree

■ Outstanding Business Recycling/Diversion Program

Gallegos Sanitation

■ Outstanding Government Recycling/Diversion Program

■ City of Colorado Springs Street Division

■ Outstanding Volunteer of the Year

Jeanette Papp

■ Recycler of the Year

Liz Wahl, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

■ Lifetime Achievement

Michelle Kincheloe, Dex One

Steven M. Foss, Curbside Recycling Indefinitely

Online

More information about the Colorado Association for Recycling is at http://www.cafr.org. Click on the “events” tab at the top to learn about next week’s summit.

For more information about the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, visit http://www.yvsc.org.