He said he was touched and humbled by the honour as well being more than a little surprised.
The Cornwall County Council education waste management officer has gained a reputation for innovative recycling schemes and successfully engaging Cornwalls schools and communities in recycling activities.
Schemes he has been involved with include Yellow Pages recycling, the Wash and Squash milk containers campaign and the use of recycled glass in Glassphalt as a road base. He has also been involved in recycling activities from holding recycling surgeries on local radio to helping schools create recycled artwork and sculptures.
Cornwall County Council director of planning, transportation and estates Richard Fish said: Richard is a modest man and had never sought or expected such an honour, but there is no doubt that his infectious enthusiasm for this subject has attracted the national spotlight.
Also awarded MBEs were Magherafelt Recycling Centre attendant Irene Matilda Smyth for services to local government in Northern Ireland and Offord Slater, previously of the Environment Agency, for services to the waste management industry and to the environment in West Yorkshire.