At its 24th annual symposium, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) named Waste Management's Twin Bridges landfill the winner of its Pollinator Award.
The honor is presented to one site whose exemplary pollinator-friendly practices enhance the value of existing butterfly gardens, meadows, and native plantings.
"Wildlife Habitat Council members continue to raise the bar for conservation success," said Margaret O'Gorman, WHC president. "Congratulations to Waste Management's Twin Bridges landfill for its award-winning efforts toward habitat enhancement and biodiversity."
The wildlife team at Twin Bridges created several pollinator gardens that feature native plants. The pollinator gardens attract butterflies and provide habitat for birds. Recently the team installed remote cameras in order to evaluate the on-site deer population and better inform management decisions. They also raised and released a covey of bobwhite quail, a species that is in decline across much of its range. The wildlife team worked with the local 4-H club for both the deer census and bobwhite quail projects.
Another major goal of the wildlife team's habitat enhancement efforts is to increase the area devoted to native plants. To that end, the wildlife habitat team has forged an innovative plan to adjust the seed mix used on the "final cap" to include native warm-season grasses. The new seed mix was planted on about five acres of the landfill in 2006 and is regularly evaluated for its benefit to wildlife as well as its ability to prevent erosion compared to standard mixes.
"We are very honored to receive this special award in recognition of our environmental efforts," said Andy Esser, Twin Bridges district manager. "Our WHC-related projects engage our team and our community in wildlife enhancement and land stewardship initiatives that prove to be a valuable experience for all."
In 2007, as part of its company-wide sustainability goals, Waste Management pledged to preserve and restore 25,000 acres of wildlife habitat across North America. The company achieved this in 2010 and now has more than 28,000 acres. Waste Management also committed to have at least 100 of its facilities with WHC certifications and continues to surpass that goal with 116 sites certified.