From left, Antonio Marin, Bill Caesar, Alexa Najera, Ben Mouton, Rachael Hudspeth, Blanca Hinojosa, Matt Graham, Luong Nugyen and Joe Scarano
Tuesday, May 24, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) welcomed an executive team from WCA Waste Corporation to campus to mark the successful first year of the WCA Sustainability Initiative at the UHD Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability.
WCA Chief Executive Officer Bill Caesar was joined by WCA Chief Financial Officer Joe Scarano, Project Director Luong Nguyen, and Marketing Manager Chris Maltba, as well as two UHD alumni, Regional Vice President Matt Graham, and Vice President of Information Systems Antonio Marin.
Originally conceived by leaders from the UHD Student Government Association, the WCA Sustainability Initiative provides support for student-lead programs and demonstration projects for UHD and the Houston community.
The first two programs made possible through the WCA Sustainability Initiative are an on-campus composting effort, led by students Ben Mouton and Alexa Najera with the guidance of Biology Lecturer Rachael Hudspeth. A planned pocket prairie near the banks of Buffalo Bayou was made possible through the efforts of students Blanca Hinojosa, Nancy Conejo and Christopher Ward with the support of UHD Assistant Professor of Biology Michael Tobin. While the emerging pocket prairie was devastated by April flooding, the composting project has redirected more than 300 gallons of UHD kitchen and office waste that would have otherwise gone into landfills.
Caesar said, “WCA is very proud of the partnership we have built with UHD around sustainability. Both the compost project and the pocket prairie are great ways for UHD students to learn about sustainability and put those learnings to work in a meaningful way. We look forward to seeing these projects reach their full potential.”
The Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability is committed to teaching, research and professional development that creates and supports sustainable neighborhoods throughout Houston. The education of students through hands-on projects is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
Based in Houston, WCA provides waste collection, recycling and disposal services to customers around the nation. Driven to advance the science, safety, and service of the solid waste and recycling industries, WCA made a commitment to the WCA Sustainability Initiative in the summer of 2015, as a tangible expression of its sustainability commitment and the company’s enthusiastic support for the UHD dedication to environmental awareness.
UHD looks forward to continuing to partner with WCA to do great things for the University and the planet for years to come.