The following article highlights the presentation of the ISRI Safety Awards. The awards were presented during the State of the Association and Keynote featuring José Andrés. If you would like to watch the Awards presentation and the main stage session in its entirety, you can still register for ISRI2021 at This session and others are available to attendees on-demand.

On April 20, the first day of ISRI2021, the association presented the annual 2020 Transportation Safety Awards and the Circle of Safety Excellence (COSE) Occupational Awards.

The ISRI Transportation Safety Awards, sponsored by RecycleGuard Insurance Program, reflect the value and importance the industry places on vehicle safety, by recognizing the top performers in the field, both at the company and individual levels. The Circle of Safety Excellence (COSE) Occupational Awards recognize COSE member companies that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to their employees’ safety by instilling core safety values, and exhibiting continuous improvement in safety programs and worker-incident reduction.

Transportation Awards

Several accolades make up ISRI’s Transportation Awards: the Best Fleet Award, the Pacesetter Award, the Driver of the Year Award, and the ISRI Golden Wrench Award.

This year, Anthony Tillman, a driver at United Scrap Metal in Cicero, Ill., received the Driver of the Year Award for driving a commercial motor vehicle 26 years without an accident. “Tony is not only a great driver, but he is also a hard worker who cares deeply about the safety of others and the environment. He has always taken safety seriously, and he exhibits leadership qualities,” said Javier Aquino, transportation manager at United Scrap Metal.

ISRI presented the Golden Wrench Award to Mike Hickok for demonstrating outstanding efforts, achievements, and contributions to ensure commercial vehicles are safe on the road. As a lead truck technician at PADNOS in Holland, Mich., Hickok brings 36 years of experience and expertise to his job every day. According to the company, he’s been involved in promoting PADNOS’ safety culture and setting up its preventative maintenance program. “Mike has a direct impact on his company’s CSA vehicle maintenance score. As a result of his detailed inspections and quality repairs, the company has participated in multiple DOT roadside inspections with no violations,” said Brian Plowman, fleet maintenance manager at PADNOS.

“ISRI’s Vehicle Safety Awards Program recognize and reward ISRI members for outstanding commitment to the safety of their employees and the general public as evidenced by progressive and effective fleet safety programs,” ISRI Senior Safety Director Commodor Hall says. ISRI congratulates this year’s Transportation Safety Award winners for their strong commitment to ensuring that drivers and fleet safety are paramount in the industry.

Based on class size determined by vehicle miles traveled, the Best Fleet Award is presented to the ISRI member with the lowest vehicle crash rate, and the lowest Department of Transportation crash recordable rate for the previous calendar year. For Small Class (300,000 to 500,000 miles), TJN Enterprises in Sioux Falls, S.D. received first place. Metal Exchange in Saint Louis, Mo., received first place for Intermediate Class (500,001 to 1,000,000 miles). ISRI awarded United Scrap Metal first place for Medium Class (1,000,001 to 5,000,000 miles). Page ETC of Weedsport, N.Y., received first place for Large Class (greater than 5,000,000 miles). Second- and third-place recipients were also recognized in the Best Fleet Class. For a complete list for all the recipients, click here.

ISRI presents the Pacesetter Award to the member company with the lowest vehicle accident rate for 36 months in each of four classes, determined by vehicle miles traveled. Only first place is awarded. This year, the recipients of Small Class, Intermediate Class, Medium Class, and Large Class were TNJ Enterprises, Metal Exchange, Schnitzer Southeast of Atlanta, Ga., and Page ETC, respectively.

COSE Awards

Introduced in 2018, the COSE awards highlight members and “recognize those companies that exemplify [safety] and set the standard for safety in the recycling industry,” Hall said. The COSE initiative helps improve worker, vehicle, and facility safety within the recycling industry. Its members consist of like-minded companies that voluntarily come together to share best practices and safety data to better their safety operations and be recognized by ISRI for their commitment to safety.

The three COSE awards are the Best-in-Class, Superior Achievement, and Rising Star Award. The Best-in-Class Award is granted to the COSE member company or facility with the lowest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), for the previous calendar year. The COSE member company or facility that achieved an OSHA TRIR of 0.75 or less for the previous calendar year receives the Superior Achievement Award, and the Rising Star Award is granted to the COSE member facility (only) that achieved an OSHA TRIR of 2.65 or less for the previous calendar year.

Based on class size and determined by hours worked, ISRI presented first place in the Best-in-Class Award to four companies. United Scrap Metal MO of Saint Louis received the award for Small Class: 22,000 to 100,000 hours, (11 to 50 employees). Allied Alloys in Houston received first place in Intermediate Class: 102,000 to 200,000 hours (51 to 100 employees). Advantage Metals Recycling, a subsidiary of The David J. Joseph Company based in Kansas City, Mo., was granted first place for medium Class: 202,000 to 500,000 hours (101-250 employees). United Scrap Metal, was awarded first place in Large Class: greater than 502,000 hours (251 employees or greater). In addition to the first place Best-in-Class recipients, nine other companies and facilities were recognized as second and third place recipients. Also, 111 companies and facilities received the Superior Achievement Award, and 114 facilities received the Rising Star Award.





Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah is a Writer & Editor for ISRI's Scrap News. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycling industry and is always eager to learn more. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in History and a minored in Creative Writing. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.