Government and Public Relations
Building Support for ‘Waste to Energy’ Facility
Ogden Martin Systems
For 20 years, Montgomery County, Maryland, was unable to pull together any consensus or serious support for its long-term integrated solid waste plan with a “waste to energy” facility as its key component.
Ogden Martin Systems, which was to build and operate the system, hired Potomac Incorporated to develop a comprehensive public education and community relations program to support County policy.
Potomac developed a grassroots network of business and community leaders and civic associations from throughout the County. Among these were the League of Women Voters, AFL-CIO, and Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. These groups participated in the resolution of the integrated plan that eventually won the County’s approval.
Public opinion was raised through op ed articles, periodic press conferences, and frequent talk show appearances, featuring the clients and the civic activists supporting the County’s integrated plan.
Outcome:The integrated solid waste plan is now the “way of life” in Montgomery County. Solid waste that is not recyclable finds its way to the “waste to energy” facility in Dickerson, Maryland, where it is an essential source of electric power.