Taking a recycling pledge, pedaling bikes to make energy and grabbing slips of paper representing hurricane debris in a simulator, students from eight local municipalities and 17 area elementary schools learned about the environment while earning $28,500 for their PTA associations during the 9th Annual Earth Day celebration hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.
More than 1,500 elementary school students and their families enjoyed hands-on activities including creating art from recycled materials with Young At Art Museum and building an edible landfill out of candy, as well as visiting environmental education booths where experts explained the inner workings of the Renewable Energy Park such as how landfill gas becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy.
“Last year Hurricane Irma added 660,000 tons of debris into the landfill in just four months. We thought it was important to demonstrate to students, through a few new engaging hands-on activities, what a vital asset Monarch Hill is for our region,” said Dawn McCormick, Community Affairs Director for Waste Management. “The students also take a bus tour of the real landfill and learn about the more than $5 million in hurricane-related upgrades that have been made to prepare for the future. We love sharing our expertise this one day a year while supporting the important work the PTA associations do throughout the school year.”
Participants shared the day on social media at #greenbroward, which spotlights a local initiative in Broward County by Waste Management designed to engage and educate the community on sustainability efforts and to help residents to Think Green and Think Broward. Social media posts highlighted Miami Dolphins alumni players running back Ronnie Brown and linebacker Channing Crowder signing autographs and students dressed in hard hats and vests at the Waste Management compressed natural gas (CNG) powered truck which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is part of Waste Management’s largest fleet of CNG trucks in the waste industry.
As part of the Earth Day festivities, Waste Management awarded funds to all participating schools. Pompano Beach schools took home the top two prizes for student attendance with Palmview Elementary School receiving $3,000 followed by Sanders Park Elementary School, which received $2,500. Winston Park Elementary School in Coconut Creek earned $2,000 for third place. All other participating elementary schools received $1,500 for their respective PTAs including: Tradewinds and Winston Park in Coconut Creek; Quiet Waters in Deerfield Beach; Calvary Christian School in Fort Lauderdale; Park Lakes and Piney Grove Boys Academy in Lauderdale Lakes; Lauderhill Paul Turner and Royal Palm in Lauderhill; Atlantic West, Liberty and Margate in Margate; and Heron Heights, Park Trails and Riverglades in Parkland.
Fifteen of the schools also participated in the Dumpster Art Contest with Earth Day themes taking home gift cards to Michael’s for future art projects while judges awarded first place to ParkTrails Elementary School, second place to Atlantic West Elementary School and third place to Heron Heights Elementary School.
Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park is bordered by Wiles Road, Powerline Road, Sample Road and Florida’s Turnpike.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.