Sanders Park Elementary students won first prize for the school’s PTA.


Staff Report

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – The PTA associations of 14 area elementary schools received a total of $24,000 during the 8th Annual Earth Day Open House fundraiser hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.

More than 1,200 elementary school students and their families participated in hands-on recycling, renewable energy and environmental-related activities and learned from experts about how landfill gas becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy.

The students created art with recycled materials in activities with Young At Art, took a pledge to Recycle Right, and made an edible landfill out of candy before taking a bus tour of the real landfill and landfill gas-to-energy plant.

“From our leading-edge technology and practices at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park down to the simple lesson that plastic bags are not recyclable curbside, students really learn about what each of us can do to protect the environment,” said Dawn McCormick, Community Affairs Director for Waste Management. “We are thrilled to offer this annual event that helps support the important work school PTAs do throughout the school year.”

Students donned vests and hardhats for photos and selfies at the Waste Management compressed natural gas (CNG) powered truck that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is part of Waste Management’s largest fleet of CNG trucks in the waste industry.

Another hot social media spot for the day was with Miami Dolphins alumni players Bob Brudzinski and Trent Gamble, who signed autographs, along with Dolphins cheerleaders who posed for photos with the students. The event raised funds for each school’s PTA.

Waste Management awarded $3,000 to Sanders Park Elementary in Pompano Beach for registering the most students at the event. Coconut Creek-area schools Tradewinds Elementary took second receiving $2,500 and Winston Park Elementary earned $2,000 for third.

All other participating elementary schools received $1,500 for their respective PTAs.

Twelve of the schools also participated in the Dumpster Art contest with Earth Day themes of Recycling, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Water Conservation.

Judges awarded first place to Atlantic West Elementary; second place to Riverglades Elementary and Margate Elementary finished third. All participating schools earned gift cards to Michael’s for future art projects.