At a luncheon on Oct. 27, Keep Kingwood Green, a non-profit organization operating in the Kingwood area, was honored by Houston Mayor Annise Parker as a Houston Proud Partner. The luncheon at the Hilton of the Americas was attended by several hundred Houston leaders and other honorees. This celebration is held each year and sponsored by Keep Houston Beautiful. This was the 35th year this event has been held. Sixteen Proud Partner Awards were given this year and an additional 28 organizations were honored with certificates of recognition. Six other organizations or individuals were given special awards including J. Howard Rambin, lll, founder of Keep Houston Beautiful.

Accepting the award for Keep Kingwood Green was Hal Opperman, chairman of the board. Opperman has been president of Keep Kingwood Green since it was incorporated as a 501-c-3 in 2008. The goal of the organization is to advocate for more and better recycling options in the Kingwood/Lake Houston area and to educate residents, students, and businesses about the need to recycle. The movement was founded in Kingwood approximately 15 years ago as a web site by Brigitte Collee who was appalled at the dismal recycling rate in Kingwood. Prior to that, another organization, Keep Kingwood Beautiful, did offer recycling services in Kingwood but that organization became inactive after the city annexed Kingwood.

The Mayor’s Proud Partner Award for 2014 was earned by Keep Kingwood Green for their hard work in increasing both the number of items and the number of ways residents and businesses can recycle. Keep Kingwood Green has been forceful in lobbying for and getting additional services from the City, waste and recycling companies, and Humble ISD.

Kingwood is a bit different than other areas of the City where the City of Houston Solid Waste Department collects trash and recyclables. In Kingwood, each community association chooses which company will handle waste services. Keep Kingwood Green has worked hard to educate and advocate for curbside recycling in all the neighborhoods. About half of the neighborhoods now have this service.

Other areas where Keep Kingwood Green has helped to make great improvements are the weekend recycling program at the Metro Park and Ride lot which is now offered weekly and with added capacity. The monthly first Saturday electronic waste collection event, the success of the twice-a-year BOPA (Battery, Oil, Paint, Anti Freeze) collection of hazardous waste, and the many other educational programs are more projects of the organization. The organization has a comprehensive web site with information about recycling locations and suggestions about how to recycle. They maintain a telephone hot line (713-206-0558) and a web site where residents can ask questions. A new service they provide is a monthly newsletter which lists all upcoming recycling and other “green” events. For more information, go to keepkingwoodgreen.org

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Keep Kingwood Green accepting the Mayor's Proud Partner Award for 2014 from Mayor Annise Parker.

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