Wheelabrator Technologies Celebrates 100 Years

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., the U.S. pioneer for municipal waste-to-energy technology, observes its 100th year of environmental achievement and innovation by looking forward to the next 100 years of continued excellence and leadership.

The company's accomplishments span a century of establishing global standards for design and efficiency in materials handling, industrial foundry and castings, dust control, worker safety, and environmental control, according to an Oct. 21 press release.

"On behalf of our 100th-year heritage of excellence and innovation, this celebration marks the beginning of an even more exciting future for Wheelabrator," said Mark A. Weidman, president. "We're deeply proud of the inventive, landmark environmental achievements of our predecessors and equally enthusiastic about the potential for even more challenging leadership and innovation in the decades ahead."

Wheelabrator was founded in 1908 as Sand Mixing Machine Company, which, by 1910, had evolved into American Foundry Equipment Company, inventor of the "American Dust Arrestor," an industrial fabric cleaning system for foundry operations. In 1932, the company introduced the airless centrifugal wheel for efficiently cleaning industrial surfaces.

Over the next two decades, through acquisitions and innovations, the company grew into an environmentally focused company. By the early 1970s, Wheelabrator emerged as the founder of the U.S.-based waste-to-energy business when it opened the industry's first commercially successful facility in Saugus, Mass.

Today, wholly owned by the largest environmental service company in North America, Waste Management, Inc., Wheelabrator is a recognized market leader in the design, construction, and operation of waste-to-energy and independent power facilities, with 21 facilities across North America. The company has recorded numerous industry firsts in providing reliable and safe waste disposal, clean energy, natural resource management and protection, and air quality control.

Other Wheelabrator "firsts" include:

1975 -- first commercially successful waste-to-energy facility

1979 -- first commercial reuse/recycling project for waste-to-energy residue

1987 -- first modern air quality control technology for large-scale, waste-to-energy

1994 -- first waste-to-energy facility with integrated materials recovery/recycling and carbon injection control

According to Weidman, "The people who founded this company in 1908 and those who will lead it in the next century will have shared the same motivations — leading very talented people in developing better and better technologies for industry and the environment. We're extremely proud to be a part of this chain of past and future innovation."

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