ELLICOTT CITY, MD – At Howard County’s 15th annual GreenFest event this past Saturday, April 9th, the County’s Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services announced the winners of its fourth annual “Business Recycling and Waste Reduction” and “Green Community Leadership” awards program.

The contributions of these organizations to our community is significant. Actions taken by our award winners reinforces that there is a role everyone can play to preserve and protect our environment. We appreciate and applaud the dedication of the many businesses and organizations that make Howard County a leader in tackling the effects of climate change.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

In the “Business Recycling and Waste Reduction” award category, which recognizes Howard County businesses for their recycling and waste reduction efforts, the winners were:

  • Upcycled, Inc. – Upcycled, Inc. identified an opportunity to manufacture plastic lumber from recycled items, including building a picnic bench, park bench and garden bed for a County beautification program. Through its efforts, the company has thus far collected and recycled more than 1,070 pounds of plastic and removed 500 pounds of litter and waste from County parks and waterways.
  • Indigo Ink Digital Printing, Inc. – Indigo Ink Digital Printing, Inc. is a recipient of the Forest Stewardship Council certification, which assures the company’s products either come from recycled material, forest material that meets environmental and social standards, or a combination of both. They have also partnered with PrintReleaf to track paper usage and participate in reforestation projects for the equivalent of trees they have used. As of January 1, 2022, the company has planted 9,309 trees via PrintReleaf.
  • RepaintUSA – RepaintUSA is a latex paint recycler based out of Elkton, Maryland. In 2021, the company recycled more than 14,000 gallons of paint, some of which the company collected from the County’s Household Hazardous Waste program. Through a partnership it has with the Loading Dock in Baltimore, after RepaintUSA processes the recycled latex paint, it is sold again to consumers at a discounted rate.

The Green Community Leadership Award recognizes groups and organizations that demonstrate efforts, projects or programs that help protect Howard County’s natural environment and preserve its resources. This year’s winners of the Green Community Leadership Award were:

  • Emerson Community Association – Emerson Community Association consistently considers the environmental impact of their programs for their community association. A Bee City Program participant, the association has hosted a number of restoration projects, tree plants, collected pumpkins for animal consumption at a local Howard County non-profit farm, and collaborated with the Office of the County Executive on the Green Infrastructure network. 
  • Wilde Lake CARES – Launched in 2015, Wilde Lake CARES is a grassroots environmental committee in Wilde Lake Village. Since its inception, the committee has given away more than 200 native trees, installed native plantings in common areas of Wilde Lake, recruited volunteers for invasive species removal projects, held bi-annual neighborhood clean-up events, hosted three plant swaps and advocated to Columbia Association for installation of three Bioretention facilities. 
  • Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park – To educate Patapsco Valley State Park visitors about water quality and pollution, river and bay knowledge, and appreciation, benefits and methods for reducing plastic disposables, the Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park created a mobile visitor center. Utilizing the onboard Wi-Fi, park rangers and naturalists are able to share web-based information such as iNaturalist, a web application that maps and shares biodiversity observations around the world, showing Patapsco based flora and fauna.
  • VolunTeens – VolunTeens is a non-profit organization that teaches teens about the importance of environmentalism and sustainability by pairing them with service projects throughout Howard County. To help feed the homeless, VolunTeens hosts cooking classes using bumper vegetable crops it receives through a partnership with the Community Ecology Institute, as well as fresh ingredients from Freetown Farm. Through a partnership with the County’s Office of Community Sustainability, VolunTeens has helped provide reusable lunch bags to students, avoiding the need for single-use plastics in schools.

Award winners received handmade trophies crafted by a local sculptor, using recycled metal components, as well as a signed certificate from Ball. “Business Recycling and Waste Reduction” award winners will also become certified through the County’s Work Green Howard program.

For more information on this year’s award winners and other recognized Work Green Howard businesses, visit www.WorkGreenHoward.org.

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