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.
On Saturday, November 12, SCS Engineers Superintendent John Jones made an unexpected discovery at work. During his CQA inspection at the Okeechobee Landfill, John discovered an injured American bald eagle on the floor of a cell in the project area. With the help of friends from Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (AWRC), the young eagle was rescued and is now recovering at Arnold’s facility.
No one knows how the eagle became injured, but three eagles were observed earlier in the morning in what appeared to be territorial combat. The young bird had the good luck of being found by John and according to Sue Arnold, the founder of AWRC, “is on his way to a full recovery and will be released back into the wild.”
When asked if the eagle has been named, Sue Arnold said they don’t usually name the rescued animals because their ultimate goal is to rescue, rehabilitate, and return recovered animals to their natural habitat. She suggested, “call him ‘JJ’ since John took the time and effort to help us rescue the eagle, which is awesome.”
The south-central Okeechobee landfill, run by Waste Management, provides local businesses and industry with professional disposal services that are safe and meet the highest standards for environmental compliance. The Landfill is a certified wildlife habitat as well. The site is certified by the National Wildlife Habitat Council. Okeechobee dedicates 2,000 of its 4,100 acres as a wildlife habitat that will soon become home again to the young eagle JJ.
Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c) educational-based wildlife care facility. The Center is dedicated to bringing people and wildlife together to develop a community awareness of the value of Florida wildlife.
We’ll keep you posted when JJ’s release into the wildlife habitat is planned.