Waste Connections earns Tahoma Business Environmental Award

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber annually recognizes entrepreneurial efforts that meet a high standard of excellence for environmental, preservation and protection accomplishments through its Tahoma Business Environmental Award.

The 2011 award was recently presented by award sponsor Steve Thomason, Taylor-Thomason Insurance, to Eddie Westmoreland, Western Region VP of Government Affairs for Waste Connections.

Waste Connections is an integrated solid waste services company that provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in mostly secondary markets in the Western and Southern United States.

The company serves more than two million residential, commercial and industrial customers across 27 states and is devoted to the idea of protecting the environment through the management of waste.  Since its inception in 1997, Waste Connections has worked with customers and local governments to lessen the impacts of waste generated by communities within their service area including Pierce County.

These efforts include using any waste that is unable to be recycled or reused to generate clean, renewable energy and exploring alternatives to landfill disposal.  In Pierce County, Waste Connections has worked with local governments, customers, residents and county government to increase their levels of recycling to be above the national average.

Waste Connections operates Pierce County-based companies Murrey’s Disposal, American Disposal, DM Disposal and DM Recycling, Tacoma Recycling and LRI Landfill as part of its “Northern Washington Division.”

The Pierce County system (excluding Tacoma, Ruston, and JBLM) has achieved a recycle rate of 49 percent above the national average is 34 percent.

One of the primary facilities for Waste Connections and its environmental efforts includes the LRI Landfill, a privately owned mixed municipal solid waste landfill, which serves residents from Tacoma and Pierce County. The Compost Factory located at the LRI landfill is a flexible and highly controlled processing and composting facility. It provides extensive new capacity for processing organic wastes into products at a competitive price.

The environmental and management controls built into the Compost Factory assure that this new generation of compost facility can be a good neighbor with the community that generate these wastes, and demand these products.

Currently, Waste Connections is partnering with a private company to create a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) plant capable of collecting methane, a natural gas that is the by-product of a landfill, and compressing it for use in CNG vehicles.  Waste Connections’ fleet of garbage and recycling collection trucks will be running on “garbage” as the company moves forward in converting its trucks to CNG over the next decade.

Waste Connections was honored for its work innovating the methane collection, its recycling and reuse of waste in Pierce County and its operations in other regions throughout the United States.

Steve Thomason (left) and Tom Taylor (right) of Taylor-Thomason Insurance presented the Tahoma Business Environmental Award to Eddie Westmoreland, Western Region VP of Government Affairs at Waste Connections. (PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY CHAMBER)