Finalists for the fifth annual Central Ohio Emerald Awards have been selected by an independent judging panel.

Finalists for the fifth annual Central Ohio Emerald Awards have been selected by an independent judging panel.

They include Northland resident and Whetstone High School student Sarah Weaver as well as the St. Francis DeSales High School Environmental Club.

The awards are presented by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio in seven categories to honor businesses and individuals for recycling and other efforts that reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.

This year's Emerald Awards business luncheon will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Aladdin Shrine Center, 3850 Stelzer Road.

Weaver, a sophomore at Whetstone High and the daughter of Laura and Mark Weaver of the Devonshire neighborhood, is one of three nominees in the "Young and Green" category for students. She sought to increase public awareness about the importance of recycling by creating a Web site, www.sarahrecycles.com.

The other Young and Green finalists are Amanda Liu of Hilliard Davidson High School, who joined the Environmental Awareness Club at her school and began a recycling effort that involved approximately 200 classrooms and Amelia Pierson of Westerville North High School, a Recycling Club member who created school hall passes made from recycled paper.

The Young and Green Award, honoring students ages 12 to 18, is new this year.

The St. Francis DeSales High School Environmental Club is one of three nominees in the Environmental Education category. Students in the club started a school-wide paper recycling program, planted a winter garden and started "Environmental Awareness Week."

The other Environmental Education nominees include the city of Columbus' GreenSpot Program, which has taken steps to improve the environment by issuing branding decals to identify environmentally friendly locations, and Hilliard Bradley High School's various environmental efforts, which include a recycling program, environmental club and experiments on different wetland plant mixes.

The winners will receive their awards, which are made from recycled green glass, from SWACO executive director Ron Mills and board of trustees president Bradley Frick.

Finalists also will be vying for top honors in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Litter Cleanup, Partnership and Innovation.