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Community Happenings

Garbage Men & Women Doing Good in the Community 

Here you will find a selection of our stories from the communities we serve and the environmental heroes who are part of the Meridian Waste team. 

Ashleigh Garnes Receives Prestigious Waste360 40 Under 40 Award
Ashleigh Garnes Receives Prestigious Waste360 40 Under 40 Award
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Congratulations to Ashleigh Garnes! Meridian Waste is proud to announce that Ashleigh is a winner of the Waste360 40 Under 40 Award.

Ashleigh has been in the environmental services industry for 4.5 years after being recruited by Meridian Waste for her leadership in the community, sales experience, comprehensive business and personal network, and impressive energy and commitment to quality work.

Under Ashleigh’s leadership, Meridian Waste has become the primary environmental services provider for Virginia Tech. Throughout their partnership, Ashleigh has become a board member of the Climate Action Commitment Team, comprised of university officials, students, and the community. This team has increased the recycling of old corrugated cardboard (OCC), Single Stream recycling, and Compost to 43%, increased from 29% in 2020. This collaboration with Virginia Tech stakeholders has allowed her to take the lead with new opportunities, events, and as a voice in the new construction of buildings to ensure the Meridian Waste Team executes the objectives and remains diligent in achieving the common goal.

Ashleigh is a woman making waves in a predominantly male-dominated industry. From the start, she took a beginner’s approach to learn the business from the ground up to understand – and respect – each employee and their role in positively impacting the success of the company and the customers they serve.

Students specifically can learn from her career path choices, progression, and recognition through hard work and commitment, and personal love of motivating and encouraging peers to excel with what they’re given. Ashleigh is never one to walk away from hard work or a challenge – instead, she embraces them! Before Meridian Waste, she was highly successful within an industry that most students would do unspeakable things to break into – the sports, fashion, and entertainment industries. She engaged with famous athletes, business tycoons, boosters, and coaches with egos and stories as big as a football field. Behind-the-scenes tours, parties, and access were a way of life. However, she was fearless to take a chance in a new industry that isn’t glamorous but is undoubtedly essential to society and the community where she lives and raises her four-year-old son. And she has found even greater success and personal happiness taking the “garbage” road less traveled!

Learn more about Ashleigh and her accomplishments: Download


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