Submitted by Bonnie Hayflick; PR Counsel
CHRISTIANSBURG – Meridian Waste, the primary environmental services provider for Virginia Tech, has announced that General Manager and Virginia Tech graduate Ashleigh Garnes has been named to Waste360’s 2023 40 Under 40 awards list. This list showcases the next generation of leaders in waste and recycling who are shaping the future of the industry.
Garnes has been in the environmental services industry for five years after being recruited by Meridian Waste for her leadership in the community, sales experience, comprehensive business and personal network, impressive energy, and commitment to quality work.
Throughout the partnership with Virginia Tech, Garnes has become a board member of the Climate Action Commitment Team, composed of Virginia Tech leadership, students, and the community. They have increased the recycling of old corrugated cardboard, single stream recycling, and compost with an increase from 29 percent to 43 percent.
The collaboration with Virginia Tech stakeholders has allowed Garnes to establish new opportunities and events, and to serve as a voice in the new construction of buildings. She oversees the Meridian Waste team and their work objectives, accomplishments, and diligence in achieving a common goal.
“Ashleigh is a woman succeeding in a predominantly male-dominated industry,” said Mary O’Brien, Meridian Waste’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Her approach includes learning the business from the ground up and understanding and respecting each employee as they positively impact the success of the company along with the customers they serve,” O’Brien said. “Her energy and passion for the community and Virginia Tech as her alma mater is proven in her work product.”
The Waste360 40 Under 40 awards program recognizes inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 whose work in the waste and recycling industry has made a significant contribution to the industry. The winners are involved in every part of the waste and recycling industry, including haulers, municipalities, composters, recycling professionals, policymakers, and product suppliers. A panel of expert judges from Waste360 evaluated the nominations and consulted with an external advisor to select the finalists and winners.
The winners will be honored during an awards ceremony at WasteExpo, North America’s largest solid waste, recycling, and organics industry event to be held from May 1 until May 4 in New Orleans.