Waste Management of Northern Nevada Gives Back to the Reno/Sparks Community

Story submitted by Alli Williams at The Abbi Agency on behalf of Waste Management

Waste Management, a leading company in sustainable waste collection and management, held various campaigns within Reno and Sparks this year to support the betterment of the community.

Waste Management’s goal is to help the community recycle right, without contamination, and educate those in the region about what they can do to have a cleaner, greener northern Nevada. Along with recycling education, Waste Management also takes pride in supporting the community in several other ways. In 2021, Waste Management made it their mission to support the community through initiatives at least once per quarter. Those initiatives include:

Recycling Ambassadors Program
Waste Management partnered with community ambassadors in order to inform the community about proper recycling habits. These ambassadors created content— video, photo, and social media content— about how to recycle correctly and shared with their respective audiences.

The first stage in the Recycling Ambassador Program was creating short-form videos explaining Waste Management recycling best practices. Sparks City Councilmember Kristopher Dahir and Reno City Councilmember Devon Reese were among the first ambassadors starring in these videos. Other ambassadors include leaders from Coffee Bar, Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors, Reno Public Market, and other elected officials.

The ambassadors continued to support initiatives with Waste Management throughout the year on their social media platforms and with their own networks. 

Household Hazardous Waste Program
Each year, Waste Management Waste partners with GrayMar Environmental to provide residential customers a new option for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal. Waste Management distributes vouchers to its customers to dispose of HHW for free. This year, they collected over one million pounds of HHW from customers in the region.

GrayMar is open year-round to help, but regular pricing will apply outside of the Waste Management program timeframe or without a voucher. GrayMar Environmental is located at 13203 S. Virginia Street in Reno.

Reno Fire Department Fire Fuel Mitigation Partnership
Last year the wind driven Pine Haven wildfire destroyed or damaged 20 homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate. To prevent a similar situation in 2021, Reno Fire Department applied for and received a grant to fund a 26 week defensible space program for homes in the City. That program included two 30-yard roll off boxes per week, placed in neighborhoods that applied for support, for residents to dispose of fire fuels around their homes. 

RFD asked WM to maximize the program with a donation of one additional 30-yard bin each week, a value of roughly $12,500. WM is proud to partner with RFD for this important safety program. 

Nevada Youth Empowerment Project
Nevada Youth Empowerment Project gives homeless young women (18-24) in the Reno area a chance to reroute their lives through a structured program that provides housing and basic needs, life skills training, opportunities to practice new life skills, and the support and love of a family.

This year, Waste Management donated $12,000 to the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project to support their programming and continue changing the lives of women in the Reno area. 

Waste Management Supports RTC’s Locked Eyes Save Lives
Waste Management joined with the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) and Vision Zero Truckee Meadows and placed panels on a fleet of 30 garbage collection trucks with a safety message urging pedestrians and drivers to make eye contact before crossing the street or driving through an intersection, all in part of their “Locked Eyes Save Lives” safety initiative.

In 2019, a total of 15 pedestrians died in Reno, the highest number since 2016, and a rate that was higher than the national average. In addition, there were 23 students hit in non-fatal crashes during the same time period. In 2020, 13 pedestrians died. RTC launched Locked Eyes Save Lives to educate the public, urging a change in both driver and pedestrian behavior in order to reverse this trend.

Leaders at Waste Management knew the importance of this critical message, and were proud to join the cause.

Waste Management and JUS Recognize Our Healthcare Heroes
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and affected people worldwide. Our local healthcare frontliners have been hard at work ever since the virus came to our area.

To show our appreciation for these heroes, JUS and Waste Management partnered together to give away free cold pressed juices, smoothies or bowls to anyone who is in the healthcare industry. Waste Management pledged up to $3,000 worth of products for healthcare workers during a week in April. In total, 287 healthcare workers were served. 

Waste Management hosted a social media contest for National CleanUp Day on September 18, 2021. 

Through the hashtag, #WMCleanUpDay, locals in Reno and Sparks had the opportunity to enter to win prizes for cleaning up parks, streets and rivers on National CleanUp Day. Each post counted as an entry, and social media users could enter as many times as they wanted on any platform throughout the day. 

Prizes included up to $3,000 in gift cards from some of the area’s favorite upcycled retailers, as well as restaurants, coffee shops, bars and eateries. Participating places include The Nest, Coffeebar, Mari Chuy’s and Plato’s Closet.

In total, 82 entries were made in the 24-hour period and users were able to clean up their community in a fun and engaging way.

Waste Management is always looking for ways to support its community, and will continue to do so through the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. For more information about Waste Management’s efforts, visit RenoRecycles.com.