FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (c119 – 11/02/05)
Outstanding Education Program Award presented to IVCE & Solid Waste Management for Bilingual Recycling Education Program
MARSHALLTOWN – When Silvestre Vargas Gonzalez began working with Pam Blake at Iowa Valley Continuing Education, very few in the Hispanic community were aware of the recycling process in Marshall County. Silvestre’s position was developed through a Solid Waste Alternative Program (SWAP) Grant as the Bilingual Recycling Coordinator. The grant provided an opportunity to develop educational programs and materials to help teach the Hispanic population about solid waste/recycling issues – businesses and residential.
Thanks to the efforts of Silvestre and the model program created through Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE) much of the Hispanic community are learning about the recycling programs in Marshall County. The program is collaboration between IVCE and the Marshall County Landfill. Judy Westendorf and Joe Robertson from the Landfill have both given major input to the development of this program. This program will now become a pilot program for other Solid Waste operations across the state and the Midwest.
The uniqueness of this program was recognized recently when the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operators met for their Annual Conference and honored the Bi-Lingual Education Program as the 2005 Outstanding Solid Waste Management Education Program Award. The Award was presented to Iowa Valley Continuing Education and the Solid Waste Management Commission of Marshall County by the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations, whose motto is "Improving the Environment Everyday”. In addition, the Landfill received an award for being the best facility of its size.
Iowa Valley Continuing Education is in its 10th year of a SWAP Grant and the Bilingual Coordinator position since 2003. The present two-year grant will have a focus toward electronic waste and education of recycling e-waste in English and Spanish. This program will be included as part of the pilot program for the State of Iowa.