REPORT FROM CITY & COUNTY OF HONOLULU – Mayor Peter Carlisle today congratulated Suzanne Jones, the City’s recycling coordinator, who was recognized as one of the top women professionals in the country in the recycling industry and selected as one of 12 professionals for the 2012 Rosie Award by Waste & Recycling News (WRN), a national industry publication.
More than 60 women in the recycling, waste and sustainability industries were nominated for the first-ever WRN Rosie Award, recognizing women who inspire greatness with leadership, work ethic, vision, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
“Suzanne and her team have made great strides in recycling over the past two decades,” Carlisle said. “She is well-known throughout our community for her passion and commitment to recycling. It’s great to have her recognized on the national stage.”
Jones is the recycling branch chief for the City’s Department of Environmental Services. She has been at the helm of Oahu’s recycling efforts since the program’s inception in 1989.
Under her guidance, recovery rates as well the public’s awareness of recycling and waste-related issues have increased dramatically. Oahu today recycles five times more than 1990 and is ranked among the top cities in the country in landfill diversion. Whether you recycle at home, school or work, Jones most likely has played a role in the program or policy development.
“This honor came as a surprise,” Jones said. “I learned my recycling team submitted the nomination, and I’m overwhelmed by their support. The award now means so much more to me.”
She has earned national recognition for Honolulu as a 2012 Green City finalist, one of three top big cities for excellence in recycling. She was recently commended for her environmental leadership by the Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful 2011 Mayors’ Laulima Award, and honored by the Organization of Women Leaders as the 2011 Outstanding Woman of the Year in the public sector.
Jones has championed Hawaii’s HI-5 beverage deposit program, which currently claims one of the highest redemption rates in the nation, and earned recognition from the EPA with an Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement for pioneering the program in the islands.
She has been instrumental in establishing and growing curbside recycling on Oahu and in fostering recycling in the workplace. She has developed key public education initiatives, including Oceanic Cable’s Green Channel, Tour de Trash, and Discover Recycling Fairs, while managing the comprehensive www.opala.org website, a central information resource for the public for more than a decade.
Jones, who’s originally from New York where she started her career in recycling as a consultant, is a University of Hawaii alumnus and lives in central Oahu with her husband and two children.