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Waste Management "Thinking Green" at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort

Published 02-20-08

Submitted by Waste Management

ORLANDO, FL - February 26, 2008 "“ When families explore INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort, they can learn about the advances in waste disposal thanks to a new interactive exhibit that features Waste Management and its "green" approaches to handling garbage.

Located in the heart of Epcot(R), the INNOVENTIONS pavilion celebrates the creativity, inspiration and innovations that improve our lives and the world around us. To design this unique 100,000-square-foot interactive playground, Disney worked with Waste Management to create an experience that educates park goers about the latest advances in waste disposal and of the company's "green" approach to handling garbage. This newest exhibit walks guests through the number of ways in which garbage is handled throughout the collection process and also illustrates the technologies behind single-stream recycling and converting waste into energy.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the public to learn more about our operations and the ways in which we are protecting and enhancing the environment," said David Aardsma, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Waste Management. "Our goal is to not only be a waste collection company, but also an industry leader that is identifying new ways of reducing, reusing, and recycling materials, as well as recovering the energy in waste as a source of renewable energy."

Set to open in February, the exhibit will ask guests to handle their own "waste" as they walk through the disposal process, from trash collection to the landfill. Some of the things being featured are:

  • A life-sized garbage truck and registration kiosks that record a guest's "personal trash profile"
  • Mini trash truck that will record the "personal trash profile" and will be wheeled to several interactive games that illustrate the disposal process
  • A virtual single-stream recycling center where guests can sort their digitized garbage on a virtual conveyor belt
  • An interactive waste-to-energy facility educating users on the process of converting solid waste into clean-burning electricity
  • A virtual landfill that illustrates just how landfills are constructed and used to properly dispose of waste and create renewable energy.
  • For every piece of refuse that park guests organize properly, they receive points. At the end of the exhibit a "green score" is tallied, which is based on the amount of recycling and energy they were able to produce. Guests can also email a game completion certificate to themselves at home. This along with all of the other interactive stations is designed to engage park guests and allow them to learn firsthand about the waste disposal technologies they perhaps did not even know existed.

    Eric Goodman, of Walt Disney Imagineering, headed up the creative team working on the project and said he learned a lot about trash in researching what Waste Management does.

    "I believe my first thought when I got the assignment was, 'well, here's a story that everyone knows about because we deal with garbage everyday.' Oh, how naïve I was," Goodman said. "I learned that most people only know half the story "“ how to create garbage. We're really good at filling trash cans and recycling bins a few times a week and dragging them down to our curb. But after that "“ well, I think we all believe a 'garbage fairy' makes the trash magically disappear. We assume the trash we see isn't our garbage; that's everyone else's garbage. As I began to meet the people of Waste Management, the second half of the trash story began to become much clearer.

    "Here's what we learned," Goodman said. "This is a story of environmental stewardship and being leaders in your industry. It's a story that showcases the talent, resources and technologies that you all use to better the communities you serve."

    For more information about Waste Management and its green initiatives, please visit www.wm.com/thinkgreen.

    To download a compressed photo from the ribbon cutting ceremony, visit: http://www.wm.com/wm/wmft/epcot1.zip

    (Do not link to the photo. This link allows a downloadable image only.)

    Photo cutline:

    Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Think Green exhibit at Epcot are from left, Jerry Montgomery, senior vice president of conservation and environmental sustainability for Walt Disney, Waste Management employees Sam Phillips and Bill Maupin, Waste Management CEO David Steiner, Disney actress Poly Ethylene and Waste Management employee Thomas Judges. The ribbon was specially made of plastic, and therefore recyclable, bottles strung together.

    Sam Phillips, of Franklin, Wisc., has been a Waste Management employee for 37 years.

    Bill Maupin, of Henderson, Colo., has been a Waste Management employee for 40 years.

    Thomas Judges has been a Waste Management employee for 37 years.

    About Waste Management

    Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. More information and how Waste Management achieves Think Green(R) can be found at www.thinkgreen.com.

    About INNOVENTIONS at Epcot(R)

    INNOVENTIONS is located in the heart of Epcot(R) at the Walt Disney World(R) Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Creativity and imagination abound as guests celebrate, inspiration and the innovations that improve their lives and expand their horizons. Hands-on, interactive exhibits allow children and adults to be immersed into ideas that inform, entertain and inspire "“ conquer the most dangerous house in America, find solutions to "sticky" problems, experience the most cutting edge products at the "House of the Future," protect the environment from the daily waste we create and push the limits of everyday products as you make the world a safer place. For more information about INNOVENTIONS, contact: Stacia Wake, 407-560-1816 or Stacia.L.Wake@disney.com

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    Waste Management

    Waste Management

    Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.

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