Wheelabrator Honored with State Environmental Stewardship Award
Proactive wildlife projects, sustainability lauded
WESTVILLE, N.J. — March 26, 2014 — Wheelabrator Technologies, a worldwide leader in converting everyday household and commercial waste into clean, renewable energy, was recently honored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) with an environmental stewardship award for its proactive engagement in sustainability initiatives at its Gloucester waste-to-energy facility.
“The NJDEP’s stewardship program recognizes businesses that voluntarily take measures to go above and beyond compliance with our environmental laws and regulations,” said John Giordano, assistant commissioner for compliance and enforcement. “Wheelabrator was recognized in two of our stewardship categories – environmental enhancement projects and community outreach. The company proactively took on the responsibility to vastly improve wildlife habitats, and partnered with other environmental and civic groups to further ensure a sustainable future for New Jersey’s natural resources.”
The state’s voluntary environmental stewardship program has 21 categories in which businesses can achieve recognition for proactive activities that far exceed permit requirements.
As a strong advocate for the environment, Wheelabrator Gloucester created and maintains a wildlife refuge and nature trail on 150 acres of wetlands surrounding the waste-to-energy facility. Working closely with the New Jersey Audubon Society and the Gloucester County Nature Club, this sanctuary is certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council as a “Wildlife at Work” site that offers a meandering trail system designed to provide an optimal outdoor experience for visitors while minimizing the human impact on wildlife.
In 2012, Wheelabrator Gloucester raised and released 75 Bobwhite quail as part of New Jersey’s efforts to restore the Bobwhite quail population. The repopulation effort was the first-of-its-kind in the state. In April 2011, the South Jersey Land and Water Trust (SJLWT) honored Wheelabrator for its wildlife restoration project along Big Timber Creek. The site provides a classroom for the public to witness how restoring native plant species can benefit wildlife habitat for local and migratory species, including resident bald eagles. In addition to the SJLWT, employees work with multiple partner organizations including the South Jersey Quail Unlimited, the Gloucester County Nature Club, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, and the NJDEP to maintain the programs.
Wheelabrator Gloucester partners with numerous local civic and school groups on other environmental enhancement projects ongoing at its location. Two butterfly gardens are abloom as a result of collaboration with the Westville Environmental Commission. As part of the Wild Wings Project, one garden, created by the Girl Scouts, features wooden butterfly houses vibrantly painted by local schoolchildren. The other garden graces the pond at Thomas West Park behind Parkview Elementary School. Butterfly and bat houses were also installed along the nature trail by students at West Deptford Middle School who participate in Wheelabrator’s annual Symposium for Environment and Education, now in its 20th year.
“As a leader in converting post-recycled waste into clean, renewable energy for the communities we serve, Wheelabrator’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond our day-to-day operations and includes corporate social responsibility programs designed to foster environmental awareness, education and community engagement,” said Mark Weidman, president of Wheelabrator Technologies. “We applaud our Wheelabrator Gloucester employees for their commitment to environmental stewardship and we extend our sincere gratitude to the NJDEP for recognizing Wheelabrator with its environmental stewardship award.”
ABOUT NJDEP ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP INITIATIVE
The NJDEP’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative is a recognition program developed by compliance and enforcement for use by all NJDEP programs that conduct compliance assurance inspections. The goal of this initiative is to encourage regulated entities to improve their environmental performance beyond the minimum requirements of existing rules and regulations. The program is broad in scope and covers a diverse spectrum of environmental stewardship and sustainable related practices. To learn more, visit their site.
ABOUT WHEELABRATOR TECHNOLOGIES INC.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. Wheelabrator owns or operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities that provide safe waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, waste coal, and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 21 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 853 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes. To learn more, visit www.wheelabratortechnologies.com or follow us on Twitter.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., 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 waste-to-energy and 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.