Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cambridge Public Works Commissioner Lisa Peterson accepts the city’s Outstanding Achievement Award at MassRecycle’s annual ceremony Nov. 15, while Squizzle Plekavich, left, and Roger Frymire, right, accept Fresh Pond Stewardship Awards on Thursday with Deputy City Manager Richard Rossi and Cambridge Conservation Commission Director Jennifer Wright (Photos: top, Judy Wong)

Cambridge has won the year’s MassRecycle Board of Director’s Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of its “visionary leadership and innovative efforts to improve recycling and waste reduction in Massachusetts.”

In addition to such municipal efforts as the successful rollout of single-stream recycling and the Go Green Awards, residents also get involved in environmental issues, including leading the Cambridge Climate Emergency Action Group, the CitySprouts school garden program and kids pushing for schoolwide composting and the use of biodegradable lunch trays — even writing and illustrating a book, “Energy Lite,” to show how everyday appliances, from blenders to hair dryers, waste energy and money and damage the environment.

Every year, the statewide nonprofit MassRecycle coalition recognizes a select group of people, businesses, communities and organizations for leading and innovating in recycling and waste reduction, explained Cambridge’s public information officer, Ini Tomeu in a Friday press release. Winners are selected through a peer review process.

Public Works Commissioner Lisa Peterson accepted the award on the city’s behalf at MassRecycle’s 16th annual Recycling Awards Ceremony and Celebration, held Nov. 15 at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington.

Click here for information about Cambridge’s recycling efforts and here for information on MassRecycle.

In other environmental news, the Fresh Pond Stewardship Awards ceremony held Thursday at the city’s Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility honored Roger Frymire and Squizzle Plekavich for their work at the Fresh Pond Reservation.

Frymire has worked for a decade to rid the Alewife watershed of invasive weed species. From his kayak, he has pulled up more than 150,000 water chestnut plants by their roots — weighing more than 10,000 pounds — from four of the ponds around the golf course.

Squizzle Plekavich, a member of the Friends of Fresh Pond, has worked since 2003 providing monthly plankton surveys of Black’s Nook and Little Fresh Pond to the Water Department, information useful in assessing water quality. For 13 years, Plekavich has volunteered clearing brush and helping with projects improving pathways and clearing weeds. He co-leads Friends group programs, educating the public about the ecosystem at Fresh Pond Reservation. His efforts epitomize the educational goals of the Master Plan.

This post took significant amounts of material from press releases.