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Four West Michigan Facilities Receive DNRE Neighborhood Environmental Partners Program Award

Contact: Mary Dettloff (517) 335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources

July 28, 2010

Four west Michigan businesses have received awards today from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment for their outstanding commitment to environmental community outreach. In a ceremony today at the Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, DNRE Director Rebecca Humphries applauded the businesses' commitment to environmental protection and conservation.

"I am here today to recognize four West Michigan businesses for their outstanding commitment to the environment and their community," said Director Humphries.  "These businesses are finding ways to engage their community, their clients and their employees in environmental and natural resources projects that benefit their community and the state of Michigan."

Receiving DNRE Neighborhood Environmental Partner (NEP) Awards were Pilgrim Manor, the City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant, Herman Miller and Mel Trotter Ministries.

Pilgrim Manor was honored for hosting an Emerging Green Building Competition at its facility. Each year, regional chapters of the US Green Buildings Council have the option of hosting a design competition for students and young professionals. Pilgrim Manor hosted the event and held the award ceremony on Earth Day to draw attention to the importance of environmentally efficient green building in the community. Pilgrim Manor also educated 15-20 community volunteers on developing rain gardens at its annual General Synod in Grand Rapids.

The City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant was recognized for its development and implementation of the Wyoming Medicinal Disposal System (WYMeDS). The plant partnered with local pharmacists to collect and sort liquid and solid medications from the public, which the plant stores. The medications are then destroyed by the Kent County incinerator. The program is a model for pharmaceutical waste collection and disposal.

Herman Miller, Inc. was honored for its work with Habitat for Humanity in helping to build a LEED Certified Gold home in Grand Haven. More than 120 Herman Miller volunteers also partnered with residents of the McLaughlin Neighborhood in Muskegon to build a playground and help in clean-up projects around the neighborhood. Herman Miller also participates in the West Michigan Sustainability Forum and the Adopt-a-Highway program.

Mel Trotter Ministries of Grand Rapids received an NEP Award for its innovative recycling and composting program in its community. The facility implemented a "zero waste" Thanksgiving dinner, with more than 2,000 people participating in the event and only generating 10 pounds of waste. Mel Trotter Ministries has also eliminated the use of disposable plates and silverware, further reducing solid waste and litter at its facility. The residents of its drug and alcohol recovery program participate in the 2x3R4Living Program, which teaches residents about the traditional three R's - reduce, recycle and reuse - and the additional three R's of recover, remanufacture and resell/repurchase.

The NEP Awards Program was developed by DNRE to recognize facilities and their community partners who have worked together on environmental and natural-resource projects to improve the environment locally in their communities.

Further information on the NEP Program is available on the DNRE website at, or by calling the DNRE Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management and accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations. To learn more, go to