Finalists for the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio's fourth annual Central Ohio Emerald Awards have been announced.

Finalists for the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio's fourth annual Central Ohio Emerald Awards have been announced.

This year's winners will receive their green recycled glass trophies from SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills and SWACO Board of Trustees President Bradley Frick on May 12 at the Emerald Awards luncheon at the Aladdin Shrine Center at Easton. The event begins at 11:30 a.m.

An independent panel of judges has selected 21 finalists to compete in the six categories of litter cleanup, environmental education, entrepreneurship, partnership, innovation and leadership. Finalists are also competing for the top Emerald, the Board of Trustees Award. This honor is reserved for finalists who meet many of the qualifications in the six other categories.

"Central Ohio is becoming more sophisticated every day in a green approach to our world," Mills said in a statement. "Our panel of judges spent hours pouring over some outstanding projects and programs. I do not envy them in reaching their decisions.I know when the winners are announced, there will be many great examples for others in Greater Columbus to follow as they grow green."

The finalists include local businesses as well as educators, a family of restaurants and the pastor of a local church.

Registration for the 2009 Central Ohio Emeralds are $35 each or $350 for a table of 10. There is a discount for nonprofit organizations. Click on the green banner at www.swaco.org to register.

The speaker for the 2009 Emeralds is Robert Rayborn of Turner Construction. The LEED Accredited Professional is currently the Project Director for Turner's role at the new Orlando Events Center, a $380 million, 875,000 square foot, 20,000 seat events center for the Orlando Magic NBA franchise. When his work is completed there, Rayborn will take over as Project Director for the Turner/HNTB Design-Build role on the new San Francisco 49ers Stadium.

Most of Rayborn's 30-year career in the construction industry has been directly involved with the design and construction of sports facilities. That includes oversight of Huntington Park, the new home of the Columbus Clippers.

Mike Jackson of WCMH-TV will emcee the Emerald Awards. The Presenting Sponsor for The 2009 Central Ohio Emeralds is FirmGreen Inc. Additional support is provided by Ohio Mulch, Coca Cola, Kurtz Brothers, Rumpke, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottling, Turner Construction, American Electric Power (AEP), Battelle, Green Solutions Technologies, and Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. Media sponsors are WWCD-FM and Columbus Business First.

Finalists 2009 Central Ohio Emerald Awards:

Litter Clean Up

Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

Connie Hale, Crawford Hoying Smith

Randy Malloy, CD101 FM

Environmental Education

Roger Beck, Worthington Kilbourne High School

Southwestern City Schools

St. Paul the Apostle Church

Entrepreneurship

Generation Green

Heartland Refinery Group LLC

Raisin Rack Natural Foods Market

Zahler Enterprises LLC

Partnership

Limited Brands

Rumpke Recycling, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Promotions One

United States Postal Service

Innovation

Betty's Family of Restaurants

Green Solutions Technologies

Safelite Autoglass

Leadership

G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Columbus

Kevin George, The Columbus Dispatch

Green Columbus

Kroger Co.

Otterbein College