A well-known member of the recycling community, who retired just two years ago, has passed away.
Steve Thompson, 66, who for years headed up the Curbside Value Partnership, which was aimed at improving recycling rates around the country, died suddenly on April 21.
Thompson, a native of Ashland, Va., retired in 2014 after leading the CVP for 11 years after working in recycling for Reynolds Metals Co.
CVP morphed into the Recycling Partnership after his retirement, and that group continues the work to improve recycling curbside recycling rates through both education and the placement of recycling carts.
“Steve was passionate about many things. He loved his family, the water, making sawdust, reading poetry, ACC basketball, good music playing loudly, dancing, free thinkers, good conversation, the Golden Rule and great gas mileage,” his obituary reads.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lauren Dabel Thompson, two sons and two granddaughters.
The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment paid tribute to Thompson on its website, asking recycling colleagues to share their memories.
“He was a passionate warrior on behalf of recycling — committed to identifying best practice approaches and broadcasting this information far and wide. His contributions to moving the recycling needle in the USA were numerous and significant. He was a valued colleague to all of us who knew him in the recycling industry, and will be deeply missed!” wrote Betsy Dorn of Reclay StewardEdge, a recycling consulting firm.
Keefe Harrison succeeded Thompson and is executive director at the Recycling Partnership.
“He brought a spark and a challenge to each of his relationships — warm, smart and startlingly articulate, he helped unlock doors in people, and our industry,” she wrote.
Will Sagar, executive director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council put it this way: “Steve also showed me the way to accept and delight in the things in life that matter the most.”
Thompson's family asked that in lieu of flowers, people can perform an act of kindness.
“He left just the way he would have liked, lightning fast, only 20 years too early,” his obituary reads.