Volunteer of the Year: Kim Miller

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Kim Miller only began volunteering with the City of Fort Collins within the past year.  But her high quality of work and “world class” commitment has earned her recognition. Fort Collins staff first met Kim when she attended one of the public tours of the Timberline Recycling Center (TRC). After the tour, Kim immediately signed up to join the fledgling volunteer program as a Recycling Ambassador (RA) and quickly became a star RA, willing to try new things, eager to learn and conscientious about getting things done right.  Kim has earned the title of Recycling Ambassador Outreach Coordinator, but really Kim is a versatile “pinch hitter” who volunteers for all sorts of tasks.  She now gives tours of the TRC herself (getting rave reviews) and works shifts on-site to help elderly and disabled visitors unload their recyclables.

Kim really “gets” recycling and can be counted on to provide good answers to the many questions TRC visitors ask about recycling details.  She has a brisk, get-it-done attitude that brings great credibility to her role as an educator. Her background as a therapist for hearing-impaired children (Kim is retired) makes her a natural at giving recycling presentations in classrooms using a lesson plan that she developed herself.

In addition, Kim has helped City of Fort Collins staff do research to improve recycling guidelines and to explore strategies for extended producer responsibility. She reliably shows up at tabling events such as the Winter Farmers Markets to generate interest from visitors in signing the city’s new Choose to Reuse pledge.  And in her private life, Kim is just as committed to recycling, for instance by applying Zero Waste principles to her church’s luncheons.

Visitors to the TRC get a peer-to-peer experience when they encounter an RA, and when that person is someone like Kim, who is passionate about recycling, they see for themselves that every little bit does help and are inspired to do their best, too. We are fortunate that the Earth’s pathway to sustainability is lined with volunteers, like Kim, who act as model citizens, create enthusiasm for recycling and reinforce conviction in other people that everyone can be a catalyst for change.

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