Earlier this month the Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) Award was awarded to local business owner, Samantha Cross, at a gala ceremony at the Melbourne Art Centre.
Samantha is the director of Cross Connections Consulting, an organisation focused on providing businesses with assistance to best manage their waste, find value in waste and understand what role their can play in the circular economy.
The coveted award is presented to a woman who has made a significant contribution to environmental sustainability in Australia over the past five years. The award, sponsored by Blue Environment, recognises the achievements of women in the environment industry, and is open to all eligible women in the environment sector across Australia.
Samantha said she was honoured to be the 2016 recipient of the award.
“I really thank WMAA and Blue Environment for supporting and recognising all the amazing women working in the waste and resource recovery sector”, Samantha said. “It’s a really exciting and innovative area to work in and I’m looking forward to being involved in projects that make a difference to our communities.”
For the past 25 years Samantha has been playing with waste and loving it. Loading it, transporting it, managing it, helping businesses reduce or divert it from landfill. The most rewarding aspect she said, has been finding value in waste since the late 90s and collaborating with and inspiring others to see waste as a resource in the circular economy.
Over the last 12 months Samantha has successfully piloted an innovative community engagement program to tackle the issue of soft plastic waste which currently ends up in landfill or as marine debris.
The Plastic Police® Partnerships program has collected over 1000kgs through the efforts of a local Hunter primary school community. The collected plastic has been turned into a new school bench which was presented to the school during National Recycling Week. As a contributor and one who is at the coalface of the waste industry, Samantha continues to assist NSW EPA and the Office of Environment and Heritage, businesses, schools and local communities.
Image | Samantha Cross, second from right, being presented with her award