Earth Day festivities celebrate renewable energy, recycling and sustainability
Kaylee Fruchter-Mark Duper-Matthew Fruchter: Kaylee Fruchter and brother Matthew Fruchter team up with Miami Dolphins alum Mark Duper to learn about compressed natural gas (CNG) powered trucks. (Photo credit: Dream Focus Photography)
COCONUT CREEK, FL – With a focus on renewable energy, recycling and sustainability, more than 1,000 students and their families from 11 local elementary schools participated in the Fifth Annual Earth Day Open House hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.
The event also raised funds for each school’s PTA. Waste Management awarded $3,000 to Quiet Waters Elementary School in Deerfield Beach for registering the most students at the event. Two Coconut Creek elementary schools took the next honors with Winston Park receiving $2,500 for the second spot and Tradewinds earning $2,000 for third. All other participating elementary schools received $1,500 for their respective PTAs: Coconut Creek; Wilton Manors; Heron Heights, Park Trails and Riverglades in Parkland; Cresthaven and Sanders Park in Pompano Beach; and Griffin in Cooper City.
Participating in the check presentations to the schools were Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross and Coconut Creek Mayor Lisa K. Aronson and Commissioner Sandra Welch. Pompano Beach Commissioner George Brummer also participated in the event.
Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park is bordered by Wiles Road, Powerline Road, Sample Road and Florida’s Turnpike and includes Waste Management’s Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant and Monarch Hill Landfill.
“This was the fifth year we’ve invited elementary school students and their families here for Earth Day to experience what we do here at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park,” said Dawn
McCormick, Community Affairs Manager for Waste Management. “We wanted the students to come away with a clearer understanding of our environmentally sound practices and leading edge technology that produces enough clean, renewable electricity from waste at this site alone to power more than 50,000, homes locally per day.”
In addition to tours of the landfill, students participated in hands-on recycling, renewable energy and environmental-related activities. From experts they learned about how waste and the landfill gas it generates becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy, environmental safeguards and ground water monitoring, and recycling tips.
The students made an Edible Landfill out of layers of crushed graham crackers, fruit roll-up liner, cookie crumb dirt, and candy “trash” and took a bus tour of the real landfill
and landfill gas-to-energy plant.
Miami Dolphins alumni players Mark Duper, Lorenzo Hampton and Lousaka Polite poised for photographs with the students in front of a Waste Management compressed natural gas (CNG) powered truck. Nationally, Waste Management has nearly 3,000 CNG trucks in operation, the largest fleet in the waste industry, and more than 275 in Florida. CNG vehicles reduce diesel usage by an average of 8,000 gallons per year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 22 metric tons.
Miami Dolphins cheerleaders also encouraged the students during the Recycle Often Recycle Right game.
Ten of the schools also participated in the Art Dumpster contest with Earth Day themes of Recycling, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Water Conservation.
The first place winner was Park Trails Elementary School; second place went to Wilton Manors Elementary School and Winston Park Elementary School finished third. All participating schools earned gift cards to Michael’s for future art projects.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are the largest residential recycler and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit www.wm.com.