The Harding School Foundation honored Stephen MacIntosh, general manager of Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara, at its Seventh Annual Celebrate the Arts fundraiser event held Sunday at the Montecito Country Club.

MacIntosh was recognized for being instrumental in increasing environmental awareness and green practices at Harding University Partnership School.

“Stephen has been a relentless advocate for reducing trash in schools throughout our district, and he has gone above and beyond to help us at Harding,” said Dr. Sally Kingston, principal of Harding University Partnership School. “He has provided us with the knowledge, resources and expertise to promote environmental awareness and decision-making every day.”

As a founding member of Harding’s Environment Committee, MacIntosh has been involved with the school since 2006. While working as environmental services supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara, MacIntosh led the effort to initiate the foodscraps program, a zero-waste cafeteria and schoolwide recycling and composting at Harding. Under his leadership and guidance, Harding became the first zero-waste school cafeteria in California, composting all foodscraps and paper goods served in the cafeteria. Harding now diverts more than 92 percent of all its generated waste from landfill disposal through recycling or composting, reducing the cost of waste removal by more than 50 percent.

In recognition of his commitment and support, the Harding School Foundation presented MacIntosh with the 2011 Harding Hero award at Sunday’s event, thanking him for caring about the community and its future.

“It’s an honor to receive this recognition from a school that has such great leadership and an incredible vision,” MacIntosh said. “Harding has truly set a high bar for all schools by teaching environmental stewardship to their students, while demonstrating what can be accomplished through recycling and composting.”

Since his move from the city to general manager of Allied, MacIntosh has continued to support environmental education in schools. Earlier this year, he gave a $2,500 grant to Harding, making it possible for all of its sixth-grade students to attend Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre — a capstone environmental education experience.

The fundraiser marked the first-ever zero-waste event held at the Montecito Country Club. Attendees used compostable plates and utensils, with recycling and foodscrap bins supplied by Allied Waste Services.

“Stephen and his staffs’ support ranged from co-organizing events to talking to students about sorting trash to climbing in dumpsters to analyze the volume of trash picked up each week,” Kingston said. “Simply put: he has made it easy to be green.”

“I accept this award on behalf of all the committed Environmental Services staff, all of whom contributed to the zero-waste outcome,” MacIntosh said.

— Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.