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Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful honors green contributions

Photo: Andrew McMurtrie Scott Warren and Anthony Rodeiguez act as master of ceremonies while playing Captain Kirk and Scotty, of Star Trek, during the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful awards ceremony Friday at the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place in Duluth.

Photo: Andrew McMurtrie Scott Warren and Anthony Rodeiguez act as master of ceremonies while playing Captain Kirk and Scotty, of Star Trek, during the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful awards ceremony Friday at the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place in Duluth.

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Award Winners

• Best Green Neighborhood: United Peachtree Corners Civic Association

• Best Green Building: BrandsMart, Mall of Georgia

• Best Green Business: Ricoh

• Best Green Industry: Rooms to Go

• Best Green Recycler: Dacula Soccer Club

• Best Green Educator: Linda Flagler

• Been Green Government: City of Norcross

• Best Green Partner: Gwinnett County

• Volunteer of the Year: Cathy Nichols

• Environmental Legacy Award: J. Alvin Wilbanks

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DULUTH -- Trees planted: 3,500.

Miles of roadway cleaned of litter: 1,392.

Volunteers lending a hand: 176,517.

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful -- a local nonprofit aimed at improving the county's environmental and quality of life standards -- held its annual gala Friday night to honor 2011's achievements and all those who chipped in. Ten awards were handed out to individuals and businesses that have implemented not just one-time projects but "sustainable" green practices in the community, GCB Executive Director Connie Wiggins said.

"There have just been some outstanding and amazing things that have gone on," Wiggins said, "and I think it's a true testament to our community's commitment to being the greenest, cleanest place in America."

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks was given the Environmental Legacy Award, the organization's highest honor. The city of Norcross was dubbed the Best Green Government. Companies including BrandsMart, Ricoh and Rooms to Go were also honored for their efforts.

Pinckneyville Middle School teacher Linda Flagler was named GCB's Best Green Educator.

"Because of her, (Pinckneyville) was recently selected to be one of the pilot schools (for a recycling program)," Wiggins said. "Her peers around the county always turn to her for her guidance on environmental education. She goes above and beyond what's in the classroom and applies it in the community."

The Dacula Soccer Club was named Best Green Recycler for a program instituted at Rabbit Hill Park, collecting bottles and cans for recycling.

"They are filling a large dumpster about every two weeks with materials that are being recovered and reused rather than buried and lost forever in a landfill," Wiggins said.

The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association was awarded for being the Best Green Community. Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful named Cathy Nichols its volunteer of the year for her efforts leading the organization's Great American Clean Up event, which was "the biggest event that we've done," Wiggins said.