Conservation Station: A Friend at Waste Management

By Stacy Martin on May 22, 2012 from Conservation Station via

I had the distinct pleasure last week of meeting a valuable asset to our community, a great source of information, a new friend, and hopefully a close knit partner on many future projects involving conservation projects in Bridgeport.  Her name is Amanda Marks-Cunningham and she is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Waste Management in this area.  I had the opportunity to meet and talk with her after she was a guest speaker/presenter for my daughter’s Little Explorers class at the Benedum Civic Center.  Anita Jesmer has taught this class for pre-school age children for 6 or 7 years.  I have been enrolled with my own children going on 5 years now.  Every year Miss Anita dedicates a month of classes to conservation ideas that she teaches the kids on their level.  Although she only focuses 1 month specifically on conservation ideas, her theme is taught throughout the year – “Earth Day Everyday”!  Her teachings/projects have included such things as recycling (kids recycled newspapers turning them into drawing paper), the benefits of trees to the environment (kids were given saplings to plant), and even involved field trips to the Clarksburg Water Board (for water conservation/purification) and guest speakers, such as Amanda from Waste Management.
Amanda talked with kids about recycling and Waste Management’s role.  She showed them a video of “Mr. Cool Can” and had the kids dress up in hard hats and safety vests to sort items around the room into the appropriate recycling bins.  The kids then got a visit from Paul Martin, an employee from Bridgeport Hauling, who took time out of his busy day to show the kids his Waste Management garbage truck.  The kids got to see first-hand how the truck works and learned about all of its safety features.  Finally, the kids enjoyed some specially made cookies Amanda brought for being such good students and were given some valuable resource materials to take home to teach the rest of their family what they learned. 
After the program, I talked at length with Amanda about her role with Waste Management as the Public Affairs Coordinator.  The most exciting aspect was our discussion on an upcoming national contest our local Waste Management office has been chosen to take part in later this year (details for how the citizens of Bridgeport can help win this contest will be revealed by Waste Management this summer).  Amanda also told me about other projects in the planning stage, and the numerous programs Waste Management has for teaching our children and the community about conservation matters.  Amanda stated, “Waste Management offers a wide range of educational resources covering everything from environmental awareness and recycling education to wildlife preservation. We always welcome the opportunity to work with our community members.”
My daughter has not stopped talking about the visit from Waste Management and points out every garbage truck and recycling bin we see, along with every recycling symbol she now searches for the products we use.  So if you haven’t already, take Waste Management up on that offer.  Whether you teach/lead a group of kids (i.e. Girl/Boy Scouts, summer and/or church camps); are head of a community organization ready to learn and help the community, or you are responsible for saving money for your business office (recycling is a great start), then contact Amanda Marks-Cunningham and find out what Waste Management has to offer.  You can contact her by e-mail at amarks1@wm.comor by phone at her office at (304) 623-3490. 

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