What does environmental sustainability mean to WCA?
Everything that we need for survival and well-being depends on our natural environment. At WCA we know it is our responsibility to maintain and manage the environmental, economic, and social dimensions that are fundamental to the concept of sustainability. Such dimensions create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to ensure a healthy environment for present and future generations. WCA is committed to maintaining and cultivating sustainable business practices, as well as ensuring environmental awareness and preservation in the markets we service.
Our vision is to be the premiere sustainability partner to the communities we serve. By advancing the science and service of the solid waste industry, we will bring a higher quality of living to all of our customers and employees. We will set the standard for environmental stewardship and create a new way in which “green” is perceived.
WCA is committed to creating a company culture where employees understand and respect the value of protecting the environment. Our compliance with governmental regulations and permit requirements in the markets in which we operate demonstrates our commitment to the communities we serve. WCA strives to be a leader in the solid waste industry by continually improving our operations, policies and procedures to reflect this commitment. Environmental responsibility, efficient transportation and disposal services are the avenues WCA utilizes to service our customers and achieve this goal.
Here at WCA, we do large and small things to care for our earth and our family of employees, customers, and the communities we serve. Here are just a few examples:
Landfill gas to energy stations
Landfill gas is a mix of different gases created by the decomposition of waste within a landfill. WCA is committed to converting landfill gases into alternative beneficial uses. A portion of the gas is flared off, while another share is used to produce electricity and heat or upgraded to pipeline-grade gas. While several of our landfills already have such processes in place, the Ft. Bend Landfill is working with Enerdyne on a project to take the methane gas, clean it up into a high BTU standard, and pipe it into a high pressure pipeline. The Wewoka Biogas Project at WCA’s Sooner Landfill is another one of our landfill gas recovery projects, and the landfill gas pipeline is managed by Enerdyne.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicle Conversion
Natural gas is produced both worldwide and domestically at a relatively low cost and is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel fuel. Natural gas vehicles show an average reduction in ozone-forming emissions of 80 percent compared to gasoline vehicles. WCA is exploring options for CNG conversions company wide. We are excited about this initiative. Please keep in touch, more to follow!
WCA believes recycling is an integral part of the sustainability movement across America. In order to ensure our company has an impact in maintaining a greener planet, we have in place residential recycling programs generating over 500 tons of recyclables per week, as well as landfill recycling programs which focus on recycling scrap metals. We also recycle other useful materials received from customers for roads and alternative uses.
WCA C.A.R.E.S. Special Projects
Across the broad spectrum of WCA landfills, transfer stations and hauling centers, we have implemented many specific projects internally to ensure we live up to the high sustainability standards we have set as a company. One of our major goals is to ensure our carbon footprint is as minimal as possible. Here is a sampling of our other internal projects:
- The 1,200 acres that exists on the south portion of Davis Estate Road includes our Wetlands project which encompasses 31 acres of mitigated wetlands. The property has not had any excavation performed on it and also includes two beautiful lakes
WCA is committed to being involved within the communities we serve. Just a few examples of our community projects:
This is just a small part of our sustainability plan, we are always thinking of new ways to Save the Earth!
- Fort Bend Regional Landfill donates annually to The George Ranch. The money goes to a 501 C 3 charitable fund which enables thousands of under privileged children to tour The George Ranch and learn more about over 150 years of Texas History.
WCA representatives did a waste stream audit of the entire Stetson University campus in Florida. Then we met with the staff and presented our suggestions on how to improve their waste stream and carbon footprint. Here were the missions:
Educate the students and create a sustainability team with both the students and staff. Provide information on recyclables and how to run a successful program.
Reduce the recycle frontload by five containers which were being serviced twice per week for paper and cardboard. We replaced them with compactors which only get serviced once per month for a big reduction in the CO2 emission.
Eliminate a frontload solid waste truck by utilizing the compactors and having staff manage the proper disposal of material.
Both staff and students dedicated to being a green university. Part of their plan of action is to reduce their carbon footprint. They are purchasing CNG vehicles, golf carts and bicycles. Stetson’s CO2 emission has declined 21% since 2009, and we are proud to be a part of their success!
- Both the University of Florida and the Shands Hospital have a goal of being zero waste by 2015. We are currently the Florida Gators recycling partner, and since our involvement we have increased the recycle material collected during the football season by over 14%. We provide recycle literature in English and Spanish for the University of Florida and the Shands Hospital staff, students and guests.