The following is from the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment:
William “Bill” Ridge, of Inman, Kan., was inducted Tuesday, March 26, into the Kansas Solid Waste Hall of Fame. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser, M.D., recognized Ridge and his accomplishments during KDHE’s 18th annual WORKS! Conference. This year’s state-level recycling and composting conference is being held March 26-27 at the Hilton Garden Inn Manhattan.
“Bill has served the people of McPherson County and all Kansans through his work in the solid waste industry and by serving on numerous KDHE work groups to develop new laws, regulations and policies. Because of his work over the past two decades, solid waste management in Kansas is better than it would otherwise have been,” said Moser.
“I’m first honored to have served the residents of McPherson County for all these years, and I thank the Department of Health and Environment for the work they do each day to facilitate a clean and sanitary environment. Thank you for this recognition,” said Ridge.
Ridge joins 12 others who have been inducted into the Kansas Solid Waste Hall of Fame in earlier years.
“We thank Bill for his service and welcome him into the Kansas Solid Waste Hall of Fame,” said Moser. “KDHE is encouraged by the efforts of everyone in Kansas working to reduce waste disposal. The WORKS! Conference is an opportunity to convene the hundreds of people in our state who are responsible for integrated solid waste management programs at the city or county level. This event allows us to discuss and share aspects of waste management including collection, processing, recycling and composting.”
Ridge began working in the solid waste industry in the early 1990s, working most of his career as an engineer for manufacturing companies. He is an original member of the McPherson Area Solid Waste Utility Board of Directors. In 1995, he became the utility’s second general manager. Under his leadership, the utility gained a reputation as one of the most innovative solid waste organizations in the state.
During his 12-year stint there, the utility built a state-of-the-art transfer station and recycling facility; they carried out the closure and capping of the municipal solid waste landfill; and they converted residential trash collection to full-automation. Also during that time, the waste diversion or recycling rate in McPherson County increased from about 5 percent to more than 30 percent, one of the highest rates in Kansas.
Since retiring as general manager in 2007, Ridge has been working on the permitting of a new municipal solid waste landfill in McPherson County, ensuring the citizens’ long-term control over trash disposal costs.
Ridge has been a board member of the Kansas Chapter of SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) serving as its treasurer in 2001 and the president in 2004 and 2005. Bill has also served as the Kansas SWANA chapter secretary since 2006. At the 2006 Recycling and Composting WORKS! Conference, he was given an award as a Solid Waste Leader in Kansas.