MDEQ lauds Ridgeland, Nissan plant at ceremony
The City of Ridgeland and Nissan Canton are among the 22 enHance program members recognized by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality at their August 25 luncheon.
Ridgeland Public Works director Mike McCollum said that the program recognizes environmental stewardship beyond regulatory requirements set by the state and federal government. Ridgeland was recognized for ongoing programs conducted by the city.
“We have submitted different projects in the past but the ones were recently recognized for are ongoing,” McCollum said.
The city has been an enHance member since 2011. McCollum said that the enHance program is just for recognition, though they have used MDEQ grant money for these projects in the past.
One is an asphalt recycling program where old asphalt is reused and repurposed, usually to fill potholes. The project diverts 11,600 tons of asphalt form landfills per year.
The city was also recognized for offering recycling services to residents through curbside collection and drop-off containers which results in over 1,000 tons per year of recycled material.
The City of Ridgeland provides services to more than 25,000 residents including water, wastewater, solid waste, recycling, law enforcement, fire protection, and recreational opportunities and provides these services through approximately 230 employees.
Marleen Yowakim, a spokesman for Nissan, said that they had senior engineers Brett Rasmussen and Jason Redd along with Shane Gorman, another engineer, present to accept the award.
She said that Nissan has been an enHance member since 2011. She said they employ 8,300 people.
They were recognized for projects that include using shipping dunnage as a beneficial use material thereby diverting around 2,700 tons of waste from the landfill per year, installing PLC controls to multiple air handling units reducing energy consumption by over 1.1 million kWh per year, and, working with Rankin County schools to achieve Energy Star Certification.
MDEQ Communications Director Robbie Wilbur said that The recognition was part of the annual workshop and awards luncheon held in Jackson for the 2021 class. The class of 2020 was also recognized due to the cancelation of the annual meeting last year. Three new members and eleven renewing members were part of that group.
“It is an honor to recognize these members that actively strive to reduce their wastes, reduce their environmental impacts, and improve the quality of life in their communities. Their vision and leadership is to be commended as their efforts result in both immediate and long-term benefits for our state,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive Director.
Ridgeland and Nissan were recognized in the “Leaders” category for 2020.
MDEQ accepted one new member and six renewal memberships into its enHance program for the 2021 class on Wednesday. The recognition was part of the annual workshop and awards luncheon held in Jackson. The class of 2020 was also recognized due to the cancelation of the annual meeting last year. Three new members and eleven renewing members were part of that group.
enHance is a voluntary stewardship program that recognizes committed environmental leaders who accomplish goals beyond their legal requirements.
Participating organizations make a commitment to address and achieve ongoing environmental improvements.
enHance is open to facilities, cities, counties, and other entities who are interested in the program, and applicants can choose from three tiers: Leader, Steward, or Associate.
Members include private companies, federal government facilities, and local governments. Membership is voluntary, and applications for membership can be found at www.enhance.ms.