Press Room

Wheelabrator Technologies to Host 21st Annual Environmental Symposium in Baltimore

Event held in partner city for the first time as Wheelabrator marks milestone in environmental leadership

BALTIMORE, MD. — (April 27, 2015) — Renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is bringing students from around the country to Baltimore May 4-7 for its 21st annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education, an innovative educational program that has inspired thousands of middle school students to become environmental leaders in their communities.

The Symposium, which is taking place in Baltimore for the first time, coincides with the anniversary of the Wheelabrator Baltimore energy-from-waste facility that has been providing clean, renewable energy to the city for three decades.

“We are thrilled to host our Environmental Symposium in our partner city of Baltimore this year,” said Wheelabrator Technologies President and CEO Mark A. Weidman. “It provides these students an opportunity to showcase their projects to a city that values environmental stewardship and is committed to sustainability and clean energy-from-waste technology.”

For 21 years, the Symposium has played a major role in Wheelabrator’s corporate social responsibility program and, in that time, has empowered more than 3,000 students to become environmental stewards in their local communities. “The Symposium enriches all those who participate and creates experiences that students remember for a lifetime,” Weidman added.

Each year, the Wheelabrator Symposium challenges middle school students to identify an environmental issue in their community at the start of the school year and then research, develop and implement long-term solutions, working with their teachers and Wheelabrator employee-volunteers. It incorporates STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts and provides students with an interdisciplinary view of environmental issues and solutions.

Two Baltimore school teams, Friendship Preparatory Academy at Calverton and Green Street Academy, will join 11 other schools from across Florida, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic participating in this year’s Environmental Symposium. Students will present their findings to a panel of educators, environmental experts and Wheelabrator employees during the program.

As part of their participation in the Symposium, Friendship Preparatory Academy is completing a project that focuses on educating the community about the importance of energy conservation and sustainability, while demonstrating ways to save energy, reduce utility costs, and live more efficiently. Green Street Academy is finalizing a project that identifies invasive species that are affecting local farms and open spaces, while educating and presenting information on the causes, effects, and ways to prevent the spread of invasive pests.

Live-stream viewing of student presentations will be made available at Wheelabrator’s website at www.wtienergy.com, enabling classmates, teachers, school and town administrators, family and friends to watch as each project is presented.

We're excited for our students to participate in this year’s program and learn more about sustainability, energy and the environment,” said Francis Coffey, 7th & 8th grade science teacher at Friendship Preparatory Academy. “Partnering with a renewable energy provider such as Wheelabrator has been an enriching experience for our students who are working on energy conservation projects and studying the ways in which we can work together to reuse, reduce & recycle.”

Wheelabrator’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond its day-to-day energy-from-waste operations and includes corporate social responsibility programs designed to foster environmental awareness, education and community engagement.

“For 30 years, we have been proud to help the Baltimore-area communities convert their post-recycled waste into a clean, renewable energy source and recover valuable materials from the waste stream, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and preserving natural resources for the future,” said Dave Jones, Wheelabrator Baltimore’s plant manager. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the city and our work to help build sustainable communities and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders through our corporate social responsibilities initiatives such as our Environmental Symposium.”

The Wheelabrator Baltimore energy-from-waste facility uses up to 2,250 tons of everyday waste from Baltimore area homes and businesses as a local, sustainable fuel to generate as much as 64 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity for sale to the local utility—the equivalent of supplying the electrical needs of 68,000 Maryland homes. Wheelabrator Baltimore also supplies steam to the downtown heating loop, which serves 2,320 businesses and provides power for M&T Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, further reducing the use for fossil fuels.

Wheelabrator Baltimore began operations in 1985, and has been a part of the city’s environmental sustainability focus ever since. More recently, the City of Baltimore recognized Wheelabrator as a partner and major contributor to the initiative for a Cleaner-Greener Baltimore Campaign.

Headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire, Wheelabrator creates clean, renewable energy from everyday residential and business waste. Wheelabrator has a current platform of 15 energy-from-waste facilities, four independent power-producing facilities, four ash monofills and three waste transfer stations. Wheelabrator has an annual waste processing capacity of over 7.4 million tons, and a total combined electric generating capacity of 768 megawatts — enough energy to power more than 645,000 homes. Wheelabrator facilities also recover metals from ash for recycling into commercial products. For more on Wheelabrator: www.wtienergy.com.