By: Chris Brunner
Students from Sawgrass Springs Middle School in Coral Springs traveled to Maryland last week to present their community sustainability project at the 21st annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education.
The annual Symposium tasks student teams from 12 middle schools across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Florida with identifying an environmental issue in their local communities and developing and implementing long-term solutions. During the 4-day Symposium, findings were presented to an audience of more than 200 and a VIP panel of environmental experts and Wheelabrator employees. The Sawgrass Springs Middle School team was awarded Best Promotion of Greener Lifestyle Project.
Throughout the school year, the students collected and analyzed data to create an educational campaign to inform Coral Springs residents about the dangers of plastic bags and promote the use of reusable bags.
“Our students are so grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in the Wheelabrator Symposium and work with the company’s professionals to make a difference in our community,” said Sawgrass Springs science teacher and Wheelabrator Symposium advisor Linda DeCarlo. “This program encourages our future leaders to apply concepts learned in the classroom to hands-on projects that make an impact in their neighborhood.”
Students also engaged with other teams and shared best practices at the Symposium’s Green Expo. There, the students shared information they gathered with their peers and pledged ways they would help enhance sustainability in their communities moving forward. The trip concluded with a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
“We are so proud of the students and grateful for the support we received from their educators and our panelists,” said Wheelabrator Technologies’ Regional Vice President Peter Kendrigan. “It is a pleasure to work with these young environmentalists who share our passion for stewardship and building sustainable communities.”
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, please visit www.wtienergy.com.