Achieving Florida’s 75% Recycling Goal presents unique challenges and opportunities for policymakers and professional staff. Across the country, local governments who had become accustomed to receiving operational cost offsets from their recyclable materials are now paying higher fees to continue their recycling programs. Renewable News covers how Leon County and the city of Tallahassee are managing both through their partnership.
They are uncovering opportunities to improve upon current operations, including but not limited to potential changes to facilities, infrastructure, programs, and partnerships. New opportunities are helping both develop long-term policy strategies and recommendations to continue a financially viable recycling program and meet goals.
These kids are among the more than 1,200 students and their families who took the pledge to recycle right at the 10th Annual Earth Day Event celebration hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park. SCS Engineers professionals contributed their support and know-how to celebrate and educate at the environmental event.
For the past decade, the event has offered students hands-on recycling, renewable energy and environmental-related activities. One of the most popular activities at the anniversary celebration was a wind machine in which students hilariously tried to catch swirling “hurricane debris.” The most recent storm, Hurricane Irma, added 660,000 tons of debris into the landfill in just four months. Experts explained other inner workings of the Renewable Energy Park such as how landfill gas becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy.
The day’s activities included stations where students target what can’t be recycled in a bow and suction cup arrow game; don WM vests and hardhats beside the CNG truck which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, make a landfill out of candy before taking a bus tour of the real landfill and use recycled materials to make art with Young at Art and musical instruments with the South Florida Junior Chamber Ensemble.
Proving that being good to the environment is a winning strategy, Miami Dolphins’ former wide receiver O.J. McDuffie and former cornerback Patrick Surtain were on hand to sign autographs and take photos, many of which were shared on social media at #greenbroward, a local initiative in Broward County by Waste Management designed to engage and educate the community on sustainability efforts.
As part of the Earth Day festivities, Waste Management also awarded funds to all participating schools. The Dumpster Art Contest featured the handiwork of 14 schools that all took home gift cards to Michaels for future art projects.
The American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) recently nominated and confirmed Robert Gardner as the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Trustee to the Board. His term began January 1, 2019, and extends until December 31, 2021.
Mr. Gardner is a Senior Vice President of SCS Engineers and leads SCS’s solid waste management practice, including landfill engineering, landfill gas management, solid waste studies, landfill environmental systems, liquids management, operation and maintenance, and construction.
Mr. Gardner is also SCS’s National Expert on Solid Waste Collection and Routing, supporting municipalities and businesses nationwide to continue or expand their sustainable recycling-reuse programs despite international export restrictions and market fluctuation.
AAEES, a not-for-profit organization serves to protect public health and the environment by recognizing leadership and excellence through accredited Board Certification of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and with professional development opportunities. Mr. Gardner’s expertise supports multiple programs in the solid waste management industry, which have a profound positive impact on the environment, climate change, and human health.
Mr. Gardner is a Professional Engineer in thirteen states and Puerto Rico. He is an AAEES Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) in Solid Waste Management. In addition to serving the AAEES, Gardner is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Solid Waste Association of North America, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Waste and Recycling Association, and the Environmental Education and Research Foundation.