As part of its ongoing effort at resource conservation, and to explore and deploy clean, fuel-efficient vehicles, Casella Waste Systems today opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Chittenden County, its first facility companywide. Natural gas-powered trucks and vehicles are among the cleanest vehicles available and, with the discovery of new natural gas in North America, natural gas prices have decreased significantly. In addition they also have significantly lowered tailpipe emissions.‘We are thrilled to cut the ribbon on this facility, and to add three natural gas-powered trucks to our fleet,’ John Casella, chairman and chief executive officer of Casella Waste Systems, said. ‘Several years ago we began to explore replacing existing diesel trucks with natural gas-powered trucks. We quickly discovered that the environmental and economic benefits were obvious ‘ these vehicles cut particulate emissions by 95% and carbon monoxide by 75%, they’re quieter than traditional diesel engines and, because of the lower cost of natural gas, they offer potential economic savings as well.’ ‘I congratulate Casella Waste Systems on its leadership in becoming an early adopter of cleaner fleet vehicles,’ said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. ‘We have significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont through alternative fuel-powered vehicles in the transportation sector. Casella Waste Systems has made an enormous impact by choosing natural gas. Moving off foreign oil to cleaner alternatives like natural gas is an excellent step that I hope other businesses will examine closely as they build to replace their fleet vehicles,’ Shumlin said. ‘Casella Waste Systems is a thoughtful company, combining positive business practice with respect for the environment,’ said Don Gilbert, President and CEO of Vermont Gas Systems. ‘While there are many natural gas vehicles in service around the world and in other states, currently Vermont only has a few. The strong North American based gas supply and its relatively low price combined with our desire to decrease greenhouse gas emissions create a unique opportunity for Vermont. Casella’s leadership has demonstrated how Vermont businesses can save money and promote a cleaner environment through utilizing natural gas vehicles in their fleets,’ Gilbert said.Casella’s new facility consists of six fueling stations, allowing vehicles to be refueled overnight. Currently, Casella deploys three CNG-powered (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles in Chittenden County and expects to take delivery on three more vehicles by mid-summer 2011, at which time 20 percent of the company’s daily collection routes in the county will be serviced by CNG vehicles.While natural gas vehicle (NGV) technology has been available for years, the strong supply outlook and decline in prices for natural gas in North America has made transitioning to NGV’s more economical. Casella plans to add several more CNG-powered vehicles to its fleet this coming year, and has planned to build 2 additional fueling stations in other communities it serves throughout the northeastern US. About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Joseph Fusco, vice president, at 802-772-2247, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external). PHOTO: John Casella, Governor Shumlin, Joanna Underwood from Energy Vision, and Don Gilbert. (Vermont Business Magazine)WILLISTON, VT. (May 13, 2011) ‘
Due to the perception of the type of body that is “best” at sports, most people who make this an issue center the discussion on trans women who compete in female sports divisions. Thus, the debate mainly targets trans women, easily one of the most persecuted and discriminated groups out of our entire population. It wasn’t those tall girls’ fault that I didn’t make varsity. It wasn’t my fault, either. They were born into their bodies, and I was born into mine, and that was OK. I played JV for two years, made friends who I never would’ve talked to without basketball, and my parents got to come to every single game. I had fun. Regulating trans bodies without regulating all other bodies is discriminatory, period. That part of this argument is rather simple. But the more complex issue is the moral side of it — the fact that we, as a society, are even discussing keeping a kid out of sports. When it comes to the debate of how to classify trans athletes, I wish this was the focus of more conversations. Stop worrying about who wins the high school track meet. Focus more on who gets to play ball. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union published an article detailing why it is both illegal and immoral to ban trans girls from school sports. When I saw the headline, I was shocked to find out that banning young girls was even a consideration. Most people grew up playing sports. Some loved it, some hated it. Some got picked last in gym, some went on to become varsity captains. For a lot of people, sports were just a way to kill time when they were young — pick-up games at recess, recreational teams in elementary school, cross country in high school to stay in shape. But many of us loved sports when we were younger, which is why we love them so much today and why sport remains one of the most powerful industries in the world. In reality, I shouldn’t have been surprised. This debate is at the forefront of many intersectional discussions of gender and sport. Martina Navratilova — an LGBTQ+ icon in sports — even took time earlier this year to speak out against transgender athletes competing against cisgender athletes, citing the “unfairness” of the situation. I played junior varsity basketball in high school. I played JV because I was 5-foot-10 on a good day and played post against girls who towered over me by three or four inches. Most games, I just did my best to front the girl I was defending and keep her from getting the ball. I fouled out. A lot. I did my best to compensate with speed and skill, but I wasn’t quick enough, and my hook shot wasn’t reliable enough to balance out my size. Honestly, who are we to tell a kid they can’t play at the elementary, middle or high school level? Who are we to take one of the greatest parts of being kid away from someone just because of the body they were born into? I remember what it was like to be little and just love sports. I wasn’t the greatest athlete as a kid — my dad still swears I didn’t learn how to run properly until middle school — but I was strong and stubborn enough to keep up with most of the girls and even some of the guys in my class. There was nothing better than kickball at recess or dodgeball day in gym class. This conversation is only getting started, and I guarantee that over the coming years it will be brought into legislative and legal battles. But as we continue to move forward in this discussion, I hope we can focus on the humanity, not the trophies, that are connected to it. Think of the kids first, the kids who just want to play ball. At the end of the day, they’re what matters most. The trans girls who this debate focuses on can’t help it either. They were born into their bodies, and that’s not their fault. They just want to play. Maybe they just want to be part of a team, a strong group of girls who they can confide in and rely on. Maybe they do want to compete at a higher level. Maybe they just love to play, the way that many of us have loved to play sports our whole lives. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays. The fact that only trans women are targeted by this debate is only one of the biggest holes in its logic. There are a lot of parts of this discussion that frustrate me and confuse me and just make me want to cry. The main issue, however, is the concept of denying children’s access to sport.