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GFL Muskego plants goodwill in the community

When employees at GFL’s Muskego, Wisconsin, solid waste facility wanted to make a difference in their community, they put on their gardening gloves and got to work pulling weeds in the gardens of the Guest House of Milwaukee. 

In addition to the Muskego employees volunteering their time, GFL made a US$5,000 donation through the Full Circle Project to benefit the Guest House of Milwaukee, the city’s largest publicly funded-homeless shelter.  

Volunteering with local charity partners is a key part of the Full Circle Project as volunteers are able to build meaningful relationships with the charities they’ve chosen to support. 

“We chose to partner with the Guest House because a large portion of our routes operate in the city of Milwaukee,” said Bill Lewis, Muskego’s general manager. “I felt it would be a great way to help the community that we work in and represent a good portion of the work force in Muskego.” 

Volunteering for the first time at the Guest House, 10 GFL employees and six of their significant others made up a work party of 16 enthusiastic helpers. The group received so much satisfaction from the experience that they intend to make this an annual volunteer project. 

“Our group pulled all of the weeds from the front of their building as they were overgrown and had become unsightly,” Lewis said. “In addition, we weeded all of their raised gardens, so more vegetables could be planted for the community to come and harvest when they’re ready.” 

With the help of volunteers, the Guest House has transformed vacant city lots into an urban farm with 56 raised garden beds and a half acre of in-ground plants. The fresh produce grown is provided to the Guest House, their neighbors and the Friedens Community Ministries network of food pantries. 

The Guest House of Milwaukee has been committed to ending the cycle of poverty in the city for the past 40 years. The King Park neighborhood, where the community garden is located, is officially classified as a food desert, an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. The garden helps to provide healthy food to community members.  

“The Guest House staff were very happy with the amount of work we were able to accomplish in just four hours,” Lewis said. “My teammates did a great job, and I’m very proud of the hard work they put into giving back to the community.” 

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