5425258Forty future leaders toured the Collier County Landfill and Renewable Energy Facility to learn about green job opportunities at Waste Management. The middle school students are participating in a summer STEM enrichment curriculum through Grace Place for Children and Families. The goal of the program is to educate the students on different career opportunities and empower them to achieve the skills and education needed to pursue previously unconsidered dreams.

“By visiting employers first hand, it gives the students something more tangible to work towards. They see that they can contribute and be a part of the American dream,” said Lisa Hanba, teacher at Grace Place.

The students were taken to the top of a closed cell at the Collier County Landfill to get a bird’s-eye view of the waste management industry. Fernando Casey, WM District Manager, and Stephanie Kissinger, WM Public Sector Solutions Manager, explained how employees collect, sort and process the community’s waste and recycling.

Casey also explained that the future of the waste management industry is in forging new ways to extract energy from waste. As a pioneer in landfill gas-to-energy technology, Waste Management invested $8.5 million in the construction of the Collier County Renewable Energy Facility that produces 4.0 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 2,200 homes annually from waste.

“The students asked great questions during our tour. Hopefully, we helped show them that there are a lot of ways to be successful in life and serve your community at the same time,” said Casey.

Waste Management has been a proud supporter of the literacy, language and life skills programs offered at Grace Place for Children and Families. In 2012, the company sponsored a new music program and the non-profit organization’s campus expansion that will help serve the at-risk youth in Golden Gate.

Thank you to Waste Management for allowing us to visit and for sharing the above article with us.