Each year at our Annual Conference, the Kansas Organization of Recyclers recognizes those whose efforts in recycling and waste reduction in Kansas, and across the country, positively impact Kansans. The following are those Honorees.
The Appreciation Award is given to individuals who have made a difference to the Kansas Organization of Recyclers. The award honors individuals who have helped KOR with its growth and development and made it possible for KOR to reach its goals and continue its mission.
2009 William "Bill" Bider
As Director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Waste Management, Mr. Bider has been a staunch supporter of reducing waste in Kansas and promoting recycling. He has guided KDHE BWM to search for new and innovative ways to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste. Mr. Bider has been a strong supporter of KOR, and because of him KOR and KDHE BWM have a strong, productive working relationship.
2009 Margaret & Paul Miller
Beginning the mid 1980's, Paul and Margaret Miller joined with a few like-minded environmentalists in Wichita to collect recyclables. At first, it was just newspaper, collected on Saturday's in three parking lots in Wichita. That was successful, so they added #1 and #2 plastics. They added cans, and the volume grew. After three years the demand was so large they approached Dillon’s, Waste Connections, and the City of Wichita about placing drop-off containers in Dillon’s parking lots. They became a 501(c)3 non-profit and the City of Wichita provided a vacant buildings. The ProKansas/Miller Recycling Center opened on Clark Street in 2003.
2010 Bridget Lemen
As Operations Manager for International Paper in Wichita, Ms. Lemen has helped support KOR through grant opportunities to the tune of more than $10,000. Her support, along with the International Paper Foundation, has helped KOR improve its annual conferences and offset printing costs.
2010 John Stutzman
As a member of the Stutzman Family, John helped bring city-wide and curbside recycling programs to Hutchinson, Kansas and eventually to more than 8 counties through Stutzman Refuse Disposal Inc. John was also a long-time member of the KOR Board of Director’s who helped lead the organization in its early years of formation.
2011 Sarah Krom
As Recycling Coordinator for Sunflower Diversified Services, Sarah was instrumental in developing recycling opportunities in Great Bend and Western Kansas. Under her guidance, Sunflower Diversified found innovative ways to recycle numerous products while providing jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Sarah is a founding member of KOR, former President and served many years on the Board of Directors.
2012 Chuck Delp
Upon his retirement in 2012 as Director of Southeast Kansas Recycling in Pittsburg, Chuck had redefined recycling in SE Kansas. Under his leadership, SEK Recycling grew from a tin-can collection facility to a place that not only takes all traditional recycling but branched into e-waste, hazardous materials, clothing and many, many other items. He even built a home from recycled materials. Chuck was a founding member of KOR and a long-time board member.
KOR Leadership Award
This award honors individuals or organizations who have exhibited vision, inspired others to act and have worked hard to accomplish goals and objectives that otherwise may naver have been accomplished.
2007 Stacy Wade
As an Elementary School student, Stacy began collecting and recycling metals. Her efforts earned her national recognition including being invited to participate in the Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C. In April of 2007, the Kansas Legislature honored Stacy for her efforts, recognizing her with Senate Resolution 1879.
2008 Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas
As Governor, Mrs. Sebelius was a strong proponent of recycling and waste reduction efforts. Her Executive Directive 07-373 asked that all state offices establish recycling programs. This directive showed that her commitment to recycling was not just something she preached, but when she had an opportunity to make a difference, she took the opportunity.
2009 Lynette Koon
As Coordinator of the Northwest Regional Recycling Program, Ms. Koon has helped boost recycling in eight Kansas counties. Through her efforts, each of these counties has recycling drop-off and collection centers. Her efforts have helped cities and counties find low-cost ways to implement recycling programs. Ms. Koon has been a speaker at KOR Conferences.
2010 Todd Bemis
When given this award, his colleagues said Mr. Bemis was the backbone of Coffey County Recycling. His efforts helped start the program, make it viable and have kept it running in Coffey County. Todd was with Coffey County for more than 20 years, implemented a comprehensive e-waste program and routinely found ways to increase the amount of material the county recycled.
2011 Jeff Beyer
In April 2011, there was a train accident near Olivet. The accident left more than 1,500 tons of grain, dirt and sand that needed dispersed. The materials were scheduled to be disposed of in a Subtitle-D landfill. However, Jeff had a better idea: through his efforts that materials was composted in Coffey County. As a landfill supervisor, Jeff has continually found new ways to turn waste into useable, and productive, materials.
2012 No Leadership Award presented
S.A.M. Award(Service, Achievement, Mentoring)
This honor is named after L.O "Sam" Samuelson and recognizes individuals or organizations who have a significant impact on recycling in Kansas. The recipient does not just support or lead recycling efforts, but has dedicated a part of their life to assisting others in these efforts. The recipient embodies the mission and goals of the Kansas Organization of Recyclers by serving the recycling needs of Kansas, achieving tangible results and mentoring others so a foundation for future efforts is established.
2008 L.O. “Sam” Samuelson
The S.A.M. Award is named after Mr. Samuelson, whose efforts in Wallace County and across the state of Kansas is a model for others to follow. Mr. Samuelson is an inaugural member of KOR.
2009 Kent Foerster
As an Environmental Protection Specialist with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Foerster helped recycling programs in the region prosper through his work on recycling and waste reduction strategies. He has led the way for the EPA in outreach and education.
2010 Kris Hicks
Kris is an Environmental Scientist with the Bureau of Waste Management and has been instrumental in helping communities across Kansas evaluate, collect and manage e-waste. Much of her work in this area has been through the administration and management of multiple grants and service contracts. In addition, she designed and developed a progressive assistance program - "Tubes for Cash" - to aid in the transition from the grant start-up assistance program to on-going collection operations. Kris is a strong supporter of KOR and helps in our efforts to strengthen and build recycling and waste reduction programs in Kansas.
2011 Celeste Hoins
As former Director of Recycling for the University of Kansas, Celeste was instrumental in developing long-term sustainable efforts on campus that are still in place today. She was instrumental in the creation of KOR and was a board member.
2012 No S.A.M. Award presented