Walking the Walk for the Environment
Janet E. Gardner, left, and Ossama “Sam” Abu-Shaban, right
Here at CalRecycle, we like to honor the folks at home who separate their garbage from their recyclables, and the folks in the trucks and at the recycling facilities and at the landfills who make sure materials end up in the safest, most productive place at the end of their useful life.
Today, we’d also like to honor two people who help local agencies carry out the work of CalRecycle, since we can’t be everywhere at once to make sure we’re fulfilling our mission of protecting human health and the environment. Without people working with local enforcement agencies (LEAs), we couldn’t ensure proper facility permitting, site inspections, and enforcement of waste management laws in every little corner of the state.
This year, Ossama “Sam” Abu-Shaban of Orange County and Janet E. Gardner of Fresno County received CalRecycle’s Ralph Hunter Award, which was established 12 years ago in memory of Napa County Environmental Health Director Ralph Hunter. Generally there is only one recipient, but we just couldn’t go without recognizing both of these environmental heroes!
In Orange County, civil engineer Abu-Shaban has long been involved in landfill gas monitoring and control projects to protect communities that have been developed on or near closed landfills. Thanks to him, buildings including condominiums and a structure with office space and a daycare center have had continuous gas monitoring systems installed to ensure people’s safety.
Gardner, an environmental health specialist, has long been involved in her Fresno County community, educating schoolchildren about environmental issues and leading cleanup projects such as the removal of illegally dumped waste tires from the San Joaquin River. She also trains new state and local inspectors through CalEPA’s Basic Inspector Academy.
Thank you, Sam and Janet, for everything you do for Californians and our environment!