taylor_fillmore_web.jpgCOCONUT CREEK — With a focus on renewable energy, more than 1,000 students and their families from four local elementary schools participated in an Earth Day celebration hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.

The event also raised funds for each school’s PTA. Waste Management awarded $2,000 to Quiet Waters Elementary School for registering the most students at the event. Winston Park Elementary School received $1,500 and Sanders Park Elementary School and Margate Elementary School received $1,000 each.

Participating in the check presentations to the schools were Broward County Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs, Deerfield Beach Mayor Peggy Noland, Margate Commissioner Lesa Peerman and Broward County School Board member Nora Rupert. Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and Pompano Beach Vice Mayor George Brummer also joined in the festivities.

Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park is bordered by Wiles Road, Powerline Road, Sample Road and Florida’s Turnpike and includes Waste Management’s Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant and Monarch Hill Landfill.

“This was the third year we’ve invited the local community in for Earth Day to  experience what we do here at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park,” said Dawn McCormick, Community Affairs Manager for Waste Management. “We wanted the students to come away with a clearer understanding of our environmentally sound practices and leading edge technology that produces enough clean, renewable electricity from waste at this site alone to power more than 50,000, homes locally per day.”

In addition to tours of the landfill, students participated in hands-on recycling, renewable energy and environmental-related activities. From experts they learned about how waste and the landfill gas it generates becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy, environmental safeguards and ground water monitoring, and recycling tips.

The students made an Edible Landfill out of layers of crushed graham crackers, fruit roll-up liner, cookie crumb dirt, and candy “trash” and took a bus tour of the real landfill and landfill gas-to-energy plant.

Photo: DARYL NOBLE Photo

BICYCLE POWER: Sandpiper Elementary student Taylor Fillmore, 10, bikes to generate 290 watts of energy.