Sharon Ehrhardt

Jefferson County's "guru of recycling," Sharon Ehrhardt, has been honored for her work by the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin.

Ehrhardt, solid waste/clean sweep specialist for Jefferson County, was presented recently with the prestigious Christy Dixon Recycler of the Year Award when AROW held its annual awards ceremony at the 2018 Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference in Elkhart Lake.

The ceremony recognized individuals and organizations for outstanding work in the field of recycling and waste reduction.

"AROW always looks forward to honoring those working hard in our industry. This year's recipients clearly demonstrate the strength of recycling in Wisconsin with achievements in private industry as well as education," Meleesa Johnson, AROW's president, said. "AROW is the voice for recycling and waste reduction in Wisconsin, and we are proud to recognize these individuals and groups."

The honor presented to Ehrhardt is given to an individual whose career demonstrates the highest professional standards.

"Sharon is one of the most important people I met as I began my job with Watertown," Rick Schultz, street superintendent for the city of Watertown, said when asked to describe Ehrhardt.

Schultz went on to say that, without Ehrhardt, he would never have successfully pursued such a wide variety of waste diversion and recycling programs.

"Recycling was just not something that I thought I would be doing, but Sharon was there all the way helping me operate and improve programs," he said.

Ehrhardt has been dedicated to recycling causes not only in Jefferson County but around the state.

"She has spent the last 17 years of her career convincing sometimes 'inconvincible' county and local municipal officials that waste reduction, recycling and clean sweeps are indeed in their best interests," a media release from AROW stated. "Sharon has served as co-chair of AROW's Product Stewardship Committee for the last five years and was active with the committee prior to that. She attends nearly every AROW Board and Council on Recycling meeting and is not shy about providing her opinions. She served on the Pharmaceutical Waste Working Group from its inception and recently volunteered to serve as its secretary.

"Sharon's vision is probably best expressed in the manner in which she signs her emails: 'Make recycling part of your life!'" AROW stated.

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