2014 Business Leadership Recycling Award Winners

Business Leadership Award Winner - Volume

Curly's Foods, Inc.

  Location – Sioux City, Iowa
  Amount of paper and paper-based packaging recovered in
  2013: 1,348 tons
  Number of employees – 700
  Amount collected per employee – 1.92 tons


Curly’s Foods began in 1987 as small meat processing company. Recognizing sustainability as a key component to a successful business, Curly’s Foods initiated a recycling program to recover old corrugated containers (OCC) and office paper in the 1990s. 


Curly’s Foods’ recycling program is marketed by their parent company’s corporate office and carried out through employee education and monitoring to ensure corrugated cardboard does not end up in the trash. Staff members showcase Curly’s corporate commitment to sustainability during the on-boarding process for new employees, explaining the company’s environmental management system (EMS), and the importance of the environment and sustainability. Each year, the EMS program is reviewed with all employees and updates are shared on the status of any new programs to increase recycling. To maximize efficient collection, Curly’s employees have recycling containers at convenient locations. For example, each office copy machine has a recycled paper container next to it. Office cleaning staffs recover any remaining recyclable paper. Curly’s Foods continues to look for ways to improve their sustainability and environmental programs.

More information

To learn more about Curly’s Foods, visit www.curlys.com.

Business Leadership Award Winner - Creativity, Participation, Partnerships

Michael Dunn Center

  Location – Kingston, Tennessee
  Amount of paper and paper-based packaging recovered
  in 2013: 318 tons
  Number of employees – 70
  Amount collected per employee – 4.54 tons


The Michael Dunn Center is a non-profit agency that offers a range of services – day care, childhood education, work programs and medical residential facilities – to children and adults with developmental disabilities in East Tennessee. Its mission is to empower individuals living with disabilities to help them gain independence. Employees who are educated on recycling carry the message to the wider community, facilitating increased participation and a variety of partnerships.


The Michael Dunn Center started their recycling program in 2000 to provide employment opportunities to people living with disabilities. Campus-wide recycling was incorporated as a way to start from within and grow the program. Word about the program spread via the utility board and civic groups. Michael Dunn Center offers recycling services to local businesses and the community that go beyond their campus.


The Michael Dunn Center empowers the people who work in its recycling program and, in turn, they have made others in the community aware of the importance of recycling. Through community forums, advertising in local papers and new-hire orientations on their sustainability practices, the program continues to see the number of program participants and partnerships as well as the amount of paper recycled increase.


In 2008, the Michael Dunn Center partnered with Keep Roane Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, to implement a pilot project for curbside recycling. The recycling program started with 15 households in Harriman, Tenn. Since this time, the program has grown to 194 homes and businesses. Over the years, the Michael Dunn Center Work Programs recycled over 1000 tons of paper.


In their recycling efforts, Michael Dunn Center partners with the Roane County Recycling Center and the State of Tennessee; local households and businesses; organizations like the Department of Energy, the cities of Harriman, Kingston and Rockwood; and numerous for-profit companies.

More information:

To learn more about Michael Dunn Center, visit www.michaeldunnfoundation.org.