Albany, NY (WIBX) - Do you know anyone doing extraordinary things to improve the environment?

The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications for its 2012 Environmental Excellence Awards program, recognizing people who improve and protect the state's resources.

Those eligible to apply include businesses, not-for-profit groups and individuals, among others. Winners will present their projects or programs during a ceremony this fall.

Applications must be post marked by May 18th.

Previous winners during the past nine years have helped to reduce 2.1 million pounds of hazardous waste, save 26 million kilowatt hours of electricity and preserve 149,000 acres of open space.

For more information about the awards or for application materials, click here. Other questions may be directed to the DEC's Pollution Prevention Unit at (518) 402-9469 or by e-mail at