Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities

2011 Volunteer of the Year

 

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VOLUNTEER OF YEAR AWARD FOR 2011

Announcement by Mark D Holstine

 

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, Madam Chair, good evening, it’s great to be here again to present the Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities’ highest honor, the Volunteer of the Year!  As volunteers of local and regional solid waste authorities, each of you do so much to improve our communities it is truly a privilege for me to honor this year’s recipient.

Just being nominated by your peers for this prestigious award is in and of itself, truly an honor.   West Virginia’s county and regional solid waste authorities are fortunate to have so many worthy volunteers who serve selflessly with distinction.

Tonight however, I am going to single out one special person that is being recognized for many years of achievements and accomplishments during their volunteer service.

When tonight’s honoree began to serve on the local authority, they were immediately elected vice chairman.  From the start, this individual was instrumental in working with and helping guide the authority through rough waters to continually improve and enhance solid waste management in the county.

At first, it appeared the landfill was destined to shut-down.  It was unlined; leachate was untreated and discharging into a nearby river.  Several hundreds of thousands of dollars were owed on inadequate and unreliable equipment.

With the help of his dedicated leadership, that same landfill is now an environmental credit to the county and has been recognized by former Governors Manchin , Wise, Underwood and Caperton for its many environmental improvements.  The landfill now has an approved composite liner system.  It has an on-site sewage treatment plant for managing leachate which is then sent over three (3) miles of a main sewer line where it is treated at the local public service district’s sewage system and finally discharged into the river.

Our honoree has remained steadfast in their commitment to recycling in the county.  The program is now self-sustaining that includes recycling in all public schools and most private schools.  The program accepts electronics full time and in one year alone diverted over 2 million, nine hundred fifty thousand pounds of materials from disposal in the landfill.

Instrumental in establishing a solid financial base for future development and solid waste management programs, their leadership moved the authority forward.  All equipment is now updated and owned by the authority.  A routine replacement/maintenance schedule has been established.

Our honoree was actively involved in the successful negotiations with the Coca-Cola Company to donate an old bottling facility that was initially used to recycle tires and plastics. That same building today serves as the headquarters for the authority and houses the authority’s recycling program.

Our volunteer of the year has always worked closely with the other dedicated members of the authority.  His educational background and skills have contributed greatly to the many improvements to its state-of-the-art landfill and recycling facility.

A 1971 Graduate of Concord College, he taught scholl for one year, solid insurance for six months and managed a service station for two years before finding his calling with the health department. He has worked for the past 35 years at the Greenbrier County Health Department on environmental issues and threat preparedness.

A member of the Elks since 1978, he has been a member of the Emergency Services Council since 1980. He has also volunteered much time with the Emergency Services Council working on terrorism drills and pandemic readiness. He has served on numerous health boards as a member and an officer. 

A member of the Elks since 1978, he has been a member of the Emergency Services Council since 1980. He has also volunteered much time with the Emergency Services Council working on terrorism drills and pandemic readiness. He has served on numerous health boards as a member and an officer. 

Very active in the local community, he has helped out with the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and local soccer teams, and served on various boards at his church. Most of all he is always available 24/7 for anyone with a problem.

He is a true volunteer in every since of the word.  Not only at the local SWA but to the community that he loves so much.

These are only a few examples of his volunteerism over many years of service to our state.  Because of his commitment to the environment, recycling and litter control he has unselfishly dedicated much of his life to keep West Virginia healthy, clean and beautiful.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor to introduce to you tonight, the Chairman of the Greenbrier County Solid Waste Authority and the Volunteer of the Year for 2011, Mr. Mike Eltzroth.