NEW FAIRFIELD – At its July 13 meeting, the Board of Selectmen recognized two long-time public servants. The Board presented proclamations to Cheryl Reedy and Mike Gill for their long-time service to the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA). The proclamations, which were a surprise to both recipients, celebrated the accomplishments of both Ms. Reedy and Mr. Gill, who are stepping down from their HRRA roles after 14 years’ service each.
According to the authority’s website, “the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority…is the regional municipal solid waste and recycling management organization for the Housatonic Valley municipalities of Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, and Sherman. The Authority is made up of one representative and one alternate from each municipality for a total of 22 members. The Chief Elected Official of each municipality either serves as his/her community’s representative to HRRA or appoints another representative as well as an alternate.”
Ms. Reedy served the HRRA for fourteen years. She spent nine years as its Executive Director from 2006 to 2014. Since 2014, she has been the authority’s Assistant Director. During her term as Director, Ms. Reedy led the push for the passage of the Paint Stewardship law in 2011. The law requires paint manufacturers to assume the costs of recycling and disposal of unwanted latex and oil-based paints.
She also worked with schools to develop educational initiatives across the Housatonic Valley region to educate students on the value of recycling. In one of these, the annual Billboard Contest, students create recycling posters. Winners are picked from each grade in each town. First place winners go on to the regional competition, where grade winners and an overall winner is named. The overall winner has their poster made into a billboard that is seen throughout the region as a voice for recycling.
“I was brought here under false pretenses,” Ms. Reedy joked. First Selectman Susan Chapman had asked her to attend the meeting because they planned to recognize Mr. Gill. Ms. Reedy said that now that she’s retired, she is looking forward to spending more time with family.
Mr. Gill served 14 years as New Fairfield’s representative to the HRRA. For the past 11 years, he has been the authority’s Chairman. During his time as Chairman, Mr. Gill led the push for the region to change to a recycling system that allows residents to mix all of their recyclables together, rather than having to separate each type. This made the recycling process easier and resulted in the increase of residential curbside recycling, resulting in less recyclable products being dumped in landfills.
During their tenure with HRRA, Ms. Reedy and Mr. Gill created the Regional Recycling Task Force, which resulted in improved recycling in public facilities and new programs to recycle difficult to recycle items.
First Selectman Susan Chapman said, “The purpose of the proclamations are to thank Mike and Cheryl for their longtime service to HRRA. They have been with HRRA for a very long time, and have been very instrumental in the town and the region, and the town just wanted to recognize them for their service.”
By Greg Slomba
Photo by Ken Chapman