Hunter Norwood, 5, of Manchester, was recently presented a 2016 eco-Excellence Award during the 2016 ecomaine eco-Excellence Awards luncheon in Portland, according to an ecomaine news release. Hunter is the son of Melissa Norwood and Jonathan Norwood.

The following remarks were read by board member and chairman of ecomaine’s Recycling Committee Erik Street during the ceremony.

“Hunter Norwood demonstrates that leadership can take hold at any age and knows no bounds. At the age of 5 and a half, Hunter Norwood has already been a recycling activist for nearly two years.

When it comes to walking the talk, Hunter has made recycling his mission and has inspired generations of his family, his teachers and his classmates to follow his example.

It all started when he was 4 and became enamored by the roll-off recycling station in the town (which has been painted to look like a school bus in ecomaine’s Recycling is a Work of Art contest). Hunter actively recycles at home and he has made it his weekly mission to collect all of the recyclable items from his relatives each week to transport to the drop-off recycling container in town.

His outreach to family has included his great grandmother, great-great grandmother, great aunt and uncle, cousins, and parents — some of whom are here with him today. Each of his family members have developed their own personalized recycling containers to support his efforts.

At school, Hunter also takes it upon himself to educate his peers on what can be recycled, and reminds staff when the bins need to be emptied. It is reported that he even impressed ecomaine’s own Recycling Facility Manager John Morin with his knowledge during the ecomaine open house last September. This has not been easy, given that Hunter primarily speaks with using sign language. There is nothing stopping him,” according to the release.

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