2020 Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for Service

Oct. 13, 2020

Wade Hamm

The Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations (ISOSWO) proudly recognizes Mr. Wade Hamm with the 2020 Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for Service to Iowa Solid Waste Management Industry. One of the industry’s highest honors distinguishes persons within the Solid Waste Management industry of Iowa who has demonstrated excellence.

Wade Hamm has worked at the Great River Regional Waste Authority (GRRWA) Landfill (Landfill) since 1995 and serves as General Manager of all GRRWA operations since 2006. Over his 25 years working for GRRWA, Hamm has made several innovative operational changes and implemented new waste diversion programs that allow the Landfill to continue to provide services to its member communities for many years to come.

In 2014, Hamm initiated a program to shred received municipal solid waste (MSW) and began a process of flat filling at the Landfill’s working face. The process optimized the utilization of the Landfill’s roughly 18 years of airspace and extended the life of the existing permitted area by approximately six years. As an added benefit, this operation diverted nearly 2,400 tons of metal from the waste stream to be processed locally.

Hamm and GRRWA were then able to negotiate a much-needed expansion of the Landfill with the FAA. The complex negotiations between the FAA, GRRWA, and the municipal airport were ultimately successful in obtaining a 70-acre expansion, which has increased the life expectancy of the Landfill by over 100 years.

Hamm initiated an asphalt shingle recycling program to capture the material for reuse to preserve landfill airspace. Participation with roofing contractors is strong and is one of the few remaining asphalt shingle recycling programs in Iowa today and diverts approximately 500 tons per year.

In 2014, Hamm, on behalf of GRRWA, entered into the voluntary Iowa Department of Natural Resources Environmental Management System (EMS) program. GRRWA has initiated several EMS influenced programs that have increased waste diversion, community education, and outreach activities, and helped support river clean-up activities.

“Rocky the Recycler!” is a community education and outreach program conceptualized during a GRRWA EMS Core Team meeting. Hamm supported the idea and encouraged his staff to implement the plan. This program received an Outstanding Program Award for Solid Waste Management Education from ISOSWO in 2018 and continues to be very successful within GRRWA’s service area.

Hamm has been a contributing member of ISOSWO for years and is currently serving as a member on the Board of Directors. He passionately shares his experiences and successes when presenting at professional industry conferences, informal roundtable discussions, and networking events.

ISOSWO congratulates Wade Hamm for his outstanding achievements in the Solid Waste Management industry!

– William Rowland, Past President and Awards Committee Chair